The heroine of the book is the old woman Marie, born in 1919 as the daughter of a Ukrainian peasant woman and an Czech slave captive from the First World War.
She has been living with us since the beginning of the 90s, but spent most of her life in the ancient town of Radomyl in Poles, Ukraine. It is therefore a memorial to the hardships his country has gone through since the twenties of the last century.
And from his memory he mines these memories, which he tells his grandson in a rousing stream about the fate of the land and his own. Come to Radomyla once a year for a wedding with some relatives who call her European and hope in vain that they will start pouring dollars instead of candy.
Before the Second World War, Radomyl was blinded by a diverse mix of ethnicities: Ukrainians, Poles (forgiveness), Russians, Germans and Jews, who made up half of the town’s population before the war, but were not liquidated by the Nazis. Stavruk was interested in the antagonistic relations between Jews and Ukrainians, stemming, among other things, from the fact that many Jews belonged to the Bolsheviks.
A telling detail: in the twenties, they used yarmulkes from the vestments of the church in Kasane, on the other hand, in the creative company where Maria’s husband Ivan works, they used Try leaves from the synagogue’s fillings for cartoons. And the relationship with the big brother? We Ukrainians have a problem with the fact that we consider ourselves to be something other than Russians, Marie thinks.
Collectivization. Famine in the twenties with piles of dead and the deportation of tens of peasant women and their families to Koly and Kazakhstan. There was a famine in 1947, when Stalin once again had everything taken from the Ukrainians, down to the last grain, so that he could send grain to Poland, Slovakia and Romania.
author: Alexey Sevruk
And in the meantime, the German occupation, which Marie comments ironically: That fool Hitler thought he could break someone who had persecuted Stalin in the 1960s. Khruov’s era with its hopes, Chernobyl, perestroika and then independence. The story of the old man is very emotional about it. He doesn’t even count his compatriots, although he concludes that after all those tragedies, the main ones left are those who don’t really want to work.
This excellent, specific family chronicle, populated by a lot of characters from heroes to ghosts, is a testimony of hope, hope, and female evil. Getting rid of ds is a woman’s job, explains Marie. And on a different note: We suffered, so what? At first, we are not talking about the fact that Ukraine will suffer due to Putin’s wolf.