The historical novel describes passionate love, intense suffering and miraculous survival of one Ukrainian family who lived in a Ukrainian village through the hardships of World War I, Socialist Revolution, Russian Civil war, World War II, the famines of 1921, 1932-33, 1947, and a cruel Stalinist regime. 2011 Amazon Genre Bestseller.
|Publisher:||Savant Books & Publications LLC|
|Product dimensions:||5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.54(d)|
|Age Range:||16 Years|
About the Author
Mila Komarnisky, a Canadian citizen, spent her childhood in the eastern part of Ukraine. She has a Ph.D. degree in nutrition and metabolism from the University of Alberta, Canada, and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Diploma from the Kharkiv Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Institute in Ukraine. As a Doctor of Philosophy, she was invited to work as a postgraduate researcher at the Department of Comparative Biomedical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine at Louisiana State University. After an illness, she retired, took a novel writing course at the Winghill Writing School, Ontario, Canada, and is now pursuing a career as a novelist.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Wretched Land based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
The novel is a heart-wrenching and moving account of life in Ukraine during the tumultuous 20th century. The title is more than appropriate. Sincerely told, it's a saga of the Verbitsky family living in rural Ukraine through the hardships and vicissitudes of peasant life starting as early as the first decade of the century and up to the time of Ukraine's independence in 1991. Wars, famine, Stalin's oppression, political gamble of various communist leaders - it is like reading history and fiction all in one. The historical aspect is covered aptly and succinctly, giving the vivid picture of political and social climate's changes throughout the century. As one who was born and lived my first 25 years in Ukraine, I know what the author means when she goes right to the point about Moscow's influence: "The government is like a shoe, and the party is like a foot in that shoe. The shoe moves only in the direction that the foot sets off". On a personal level, it's a touching love story. With all the talk about every other family being dysfunctional nowadays, it was a relief to read about one that was not, about the relationship that was solid as a rock, about the devotion that endured unimaginable hardship and never wavered. And that goes not just for the couple but also for their 10 children, who all functioned as one indestructible unit in the face of one adversity after another. The motive of love for their land and desire to own and cherish even a small piece of that famously fertile Ukrainian soil comes through with clarity throughout the novel. I am happy to say that I've met the author of this book, Mila Komarnisky, right here on this site! She came to Canada from Ukraine and mastered the English language to the point that she could write a book. I consider it quite a feat. She is hard at work on her second novel now.
The novel Wretched Lands by author Mila Komarnisky takes place from War World I to War World II in the Ukraine eventually where Stalin rules. This could be considered a historical fiction. There are a few historical references to various events and as a reader you will learn about some of what happened in both wars and Ukraine under Stalin's control...the feelings of the Russian people at that time, or ignorance thereof. But ultimately it is a story about Ukraine coming out from under the grip of Russia, and of people coming out of the grip of oppression. The city names and descriptions rang true as well as the names and events. This almost seemed as if it could have been based on real life stories and I have to wonder if the author had been influenced by events she herself endured or had been told about from family members. I could appreciate the characters and their struggles and this kept me wanting to read more. Follow Dmytro, the main character, as he goes through hardships like the death of his father and poverty after his father gambles away all his inheritance before he dies. Dmytro vows to do better with prayers to God. With his love Khrystina still dedicated to him, maybe they have a chance? With questions of whether he would eventually lose his love because because of her "promise to marry someone else" and if he would be able to endure the difficulties of life himself, the story keeps the readers interest. Later his love has troubles of her own which testifies to more harsh living and why this novel is "Wretched Lands" ... Many of the struggles revolve around nature versus man, as with starvation, the unforgiving Earth; as well as man versus man as with an underground organization, rape and more. For those who can appreciate a real, raw story about the realities of life, this novel might be just for you. The author uses exquisite language. Some of my favorite lines: "Fear for his future coursed through him, like a sea wave in a dreadful storm.Making the prose palpable." "Cold. It was so cold that she was not able to feel her feet as she ran. It seemed like her feet were wooden sticks." But the novel will keep you turning the pages to find out if in the end all the lands have to offer really are just wretchedness? ***** Five Stars Reviewed by Ami Blackwelder, author of The Shifters of 2040
Mila Komarnisky's Wretched Land is the evocative tale of a family that survives the odds and relies on love to carry them through the horrific events of 20th century Ukranian life. It is the story of a nation, told through the riveting and remarkable love story of a couple that faces insurmountable odds and tragedy. Dmytro Verbitsky is an impoverished aristocrat who marries Khrystina, whose wealthy, land-owning family disapproves of her marriage, having previously arranged a marriage between Khrystina and their selection for her husband, the wealthy Pylyp Pokotailo, believing her to be "too young to make decisions" about her life. Khrystina tells her family that she is prepared for a life of hard work and refuses to dissolve her marriage, which they believe to be a mistake. Her family disowns her, telling her that she no longer has a mother or a father and sends her away. After her family's betrayal, Dmytro embraces Khrystina's shoulders and tells her, 'Do not cry, my love. I am your family now and forever.'" It is this indivisible union that epitomizes their relationship and will guide them through the trials of marriage. Through it all, their remarkable and passionate love buoys them and withstands every possible test and heartbreak, as Dmytro holds true to his promise to be her family forever. The couple faces World War I, Civil War, World War II, and Stalin's regime, among other tragic circumstances; however, Dmytro remains "strong-willed. so long as he had Khrystina by his side." In cold and harsh times, they raise a family that is filled with love and compassion, maintaining their hope for a better future for the Ukraine and for their family. Komarnisky provides readers with a truly great literary work, inspired by history, interwoven with a tapestry of deeply moving themes, unparalleled in our generation-for this is the creation of literature rather than the mere creation of a story. Wretched Land is heart-rending, moving, impossible to put down, and even more impossible to forget.