Like Footprints in the Wind: A Generation Lost

Like Footprints in the Wind: A Generation Lost

by Pamela Atherstone


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"There will be nothing left to harvest. It will all become clear tomorrow." Few people know about the "Purge of the Kulaks" in Russia, as this is a suppressed part of history. Based on real stories of people who actually lived through this terrible time, the fictional Jahnle family is falsely "evacuated" from their farm in a small village near the Black Sea, and begins their journey north, into the unknown, with many other German-Russian families like them. It is nearly harvest season of 1929. Not understanding what is happening to them, the family experiences adventure at the beginning of their trek, as they traverse the first four hundred miles by horse and wagon. During this trip they come into contact with the NKVD (the People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs, which later becomes the foundation of the KGB.) They are loaded into an overcrowded cattle-car on a very long train and taken nearly nine-hundred miles to the labor camps on the coast of the White Sea, near the town of Onega, in western Siberia. Here they are exposed to separation, interrogation, starvation, over-work, cruelty and death. The ever-present love of the family members for one another, combined with the solid foundation of their faith in God, runs like a fine silk thread holding them together through the worst of situations, and yet doubt and disbelief often permeate their souls. But this story is not all doom and gloom. There is hope and the promise of a better life for some of them.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781432797737
Publisher: Outskirts Press, Inc.
Publication date: 11/28/2012
Pages: 388
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Pamela Atherstone is the great-granddaughter of German-Russian immigrants and an amateur genealogist focusing on Russians of German heritage. This is her first novel, and she is currently working on a continuation to this story. She lives in the Central Valley of California with her husband, Jim, and her horses and dogs.

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Like Footprints in the Wind: A Generation Lost 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a must read. What these people went through is incredible. Their ancestors were invited to Russia by the old royalty, but when when Stalin came to power, they became persona non grata because they held to their faith, they kept their productive farms instead of accepting collectivism. Reading this felt like I was reading about the Jewish Holocaust at the hands of the Nazis, but this took place in the Soviet Union. It is not only a well-researched record of what happened to this ethnic group of people in Russia and Siberia at this time, it is also a touching story. The characters will feel like your friends and family by the time you finish reading this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is exquisitely done. It is a horrifying yet tender story of family love persisting through dangerous and devastating events. I love the characters. Very convincingly drawn. The many interesting details about different cultures delighted me. Emotional scenes are handled beautifully--restrained yet powerful. A work of art, and you have done what you can for the "Generation Lost." Ginnie D.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Alice Recker for Readers' Favorite In Pamela Atherstone's novel ". . . Like Footprints in the Wind" the saga of a family torn apart takes us from unrest in a German-Russian village at the hands of Stalin to their separate destinies. Under Stalin's rule families are uprooted overnight and forced on a journey of unimaginable consequences. Johannes and Katerina pack items they feel can't be left at home and along with their four young children and their two teenage daughters, they begin a trek that ultimately is destined for Siberia. On the treacherous trip Katerina must find a respectable gravesite to bury her baby, Rosina. Eventually they are loaded onto cramped and windowless boxcars and after many days reach their destination. The family is quickly separated and this is the ultimate dagger in the hearts of each of them. Only one daughter is saved and Anya's quest is to find the rest of her family. Pamela Atherstone's ". . . Like Footprints in the Wind" is a riveting story of a dark phase in history few of us recall. She has the unique ability to tell the tale of the dislocation of German-Russian families in a way that brings home the cruelty of leaders toward their own people. The family Atherstone depicts is like any loving and hard-working family. Their individual destinations end the similarities. Atherstone's talent for telling a story brings the reader to admire the unusual way this particular family learns to cope and the realization of how many others endured unspeakable hardships. My hope is Pamela Atherstone continues her stories to both enlighten and to entertain us all. I look forward to more books coming from this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a real page-turner. Ms. Atherstone's gift for storytelling layers her first novel with the true events of one of history's grand movements, believable emotion and conversation, scary adventures, and people whom the reader can really care about. As a record of Stalin's persecution of German-Russians, the author's skill rises to meet the scale. Rural Russia was still filled with animals--the domestic friends and co-workers of farmers and northern woodsmen as well as not-so-friendly rulers of the Arctic forest--an aspect of life that the author captures as sympathetically as her human relationships. This story will be appreciated not only by German-Russians seeking their story but by anyone who loved traveling across the Russian steppes with Dr. Zhivago. I'm looking forward to Ms. Atherstone's second novel and the rest of the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mrs. Athertstone proves herself to be an exceedingly gifted storyteller. Despite the novel's chilly setting, Russia, this book is more than a story about "a generation lost." It is an absorbing tale of heartbreaks, friendships, family ties, betrayals, forgiveness and love. The reader is transported to another time and place. The characters inhabit your daily life and thus finishing this saga, is like losing contact with cherished family members and friends. For every ending, there is also a new beginning. thanks to Pam's efforts, this story is now about "a generation found"...I can't wait to read her sequel.
JanA2 More than 1 year ago
Just finished the book and loved it! I couldn't put it down until I was finished! I'm really hoping the sequel is already published and ready to be read...right now!