My Sister's Mother: A Memoir of War, Exile, and Stalin's Siberia

My Sister's Mother: A Memoir of War, Exile, and Stalin's Siberia

by Donna Solecka Urbikas


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780299308506
Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
Publication date: 04/27/2016
Edition description: 1
Pages: 312
Sales rank: 858,406
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Donna Solecka Urbikas was born in Coventry, England, and immigrated with her parents and sister to Chicago in 1952. After careers as a high school science teacher and environmental engineer, she is now a writer, realtor, and community volunteer. She lives in Chicago with her husband.

Table of Contents

Part 1. The Generation between the Wars
The Haunting Past                 
Uneasy Peace             
The Interview             
Lost Lives Regained              
Birth into War            
Polish School             
The First World War              
Walenty and Natalia              
Operation Marriage                
Cradling Death                      
The Farm                    
Train Travel                
Part 2. Russia and Siberia
The Lieutenant                       
The Impact                 
The Arrest                  
Family Secrets            
Soviet Labor Camp                
Majorettes and Identity                     
Prison without Bars               
The Longing               
Undeserved Beauty               
Fleeting Summer Breezes and Conspiracies              
Terms of Endearment            
The Human Commodity Market                    
A Less Than Normal Childhood                    
Part 3. Choices and Destiny
The Fittest Survive                 
The Guardian             
A Man of Honor                    
Under Naked Skies                
Not Me                       
Death in Small Doses             
Like No Other            
Numbing Existence                
War and Mental Illness                      
From Here to Hell                  
Part 4. Bittersweet Lessons
I, as Savior?               
The World at War                  
The Land of White Rice and Cinnamon                    
Forever the Farm                    
King Takes Rook                   
On Being a Mother                

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My Sister's Mother: A Memoir of War, Exile, and Stalin's Siberia 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Boundlessbookreviews More than 1 year ago
Janina and her young daughter Mira face the horrors of war as they are made to leave their home and are sent to a labor camp. Donna, born after the war, hears the stories and wants the bond that her mother and sister have. For years she tries to understand them and the horrors they faced. They share a bond that she will never be a part of. She begins this memoir as a way to understand them and the reasons for her treatment from both her mother and sister. I can say that this novel is gripping. A young girl trapped in a world that she shouldn't have to endure because of horrors that occurred to her sister and mother. She wants the bond with her mother, the love that is shown to her sister. I have a rocky relationship with my mother and so this book hit home in some ways. Of course, I never faced such horrors such as war, but it helps me understand Donna and her feelings. This book was well researched and full of history. It was very detailed and painted a picture of the war that was not pretty, but it helps the reader to understand how brutal it was for some people. I have never been big on reading memoirs, but this one really spoke to me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This excellent true story of war, exile and refugee status after WWII is completely relevant in today's world. It is an important book to read because it illustrates how history repeats itself. When we first learned about WWII, I am sure every one of us thought to herself, "I would have been brave, I would not have stood silently by the atrocities of Hitler and Stalin, I would have helped!" The story of the refugees in this book is heart rending -- but their story is NOT unique and it is NOT ancient history -- it is being played out each day by millions of war displaced families from the Middle East and Africa. If this books helps to create compassion for today's refugees, it goes beyond being just an educational read. . . this book might help to change hearts, spur action, and that could save lives. So even now, Janina, through her daughter Donna, is helping others. What a miracle these women are!