So What Are You Reading?

Reviews of Books.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Return to Ukraine

Return to Ukraine by Ania Savage

From the Carpathian Mountains to the Black Sea, a great description of independent Ukraine. Ania Savage has written a wonderful book describing her journey to Ukraine during the time Ukraine was gaining its independence from Russia. The story of her family fleeing Russian persecution when she was six years old and her growing up in the USA with her mother's fond memories of home adds depth to her visit to the towns of her youth. Her description of her visits to both Western and Eastern Ukraine gives the reader a great sense of the cultural and geographic differences in this large Eastern European country. She works in a urban university and a rural school and her descriptions of the people she meets are respectful but insightful. She provides a lot of historic background to the places she visits and her bibliography in the back of the book is a valuable resource for further reading. This is a great book to read if you want to find out about Ukraine at the moment this great country gained its independence. The last chapter tries to bring the reader up to date for the year 2000, but it is only able to update us on the characters. It only briefly covers events in the first eight years of Ukrainian democracy and left me yearning for more.

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