Suz's love for COWS + Allan's work with LASERS = one unique blog name! Welcome to our blog filled with race recaps, pictures of our labs, and everything else we share with blogland!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Like A River From Its Course by Kelli Stuart

The historical fiction lover in me is always excited to read that an author spent years gathering material and talking to people who lived through these horrific events of WWII in before crafting a novel from those stories. The time and effort spent in writing this story is immeasurable and my hat is off to Kelli Stuart for her dedication to "getting the story right" as I've heard it put. There's a quote in the acknowledgements that spoke to me before I'd even read the first word of the book itself.

"The characters in this book are composites of the hundreds of men and women I met while touring Ukraine. They don't tell one single person's story, but rather hundreds of stories combined." -Kelli Stuart

That quote stayed with me while I read the stories of Masha, Ivan, Frederick, and Luda. Another quote during one of Frederick's sections of the book resonated with me as well. Frederick said, "We're not just a part of history. We are history." How true that was then and how true it is today.

There is so much that goes on with each person that's so raw and heartbreaking that I honestly don't want to spoil a bit of it by giving you any more than what's included in the book summary. I'd be lying if I didn't admit that this was hard to read at times and I had to put it down and come back to it after taking some time to process the horrific events that happened to so many during that time in history. If you like historically accurate fiction with nothing sugarcoated you'll probably love this. If you prefer your historical fiction with a little more sunshine and rainbows then this will push your boundaries but sometimes we all need to step outside our reading comfort zone.

NOTE: Like A River From Its Course by Kelli Stuart is a book that you have to be ready for when you begin reading it. If you aren't prepared to read about the "killing ditch", murder, and rape then I'd suggest putting this one down and coming back to it when you can stomach that. She doesn't gloss over the raw horror that these four characters lived through.

Book info


About the book:

Like a River from Its Course (Kregel, June 2016)

An epic novel exposing the ugliness of war and the beauty of hope.

The city of Kiev was bombed in Hitler's blitzkrieg across the Soviet Union, but the constant siege was only the beginning for her citizens. In this sweeping historical saga, Kelli Stuart takes the reader on a captivating journey into the little-known history of Ukraine's tragedies through the eyes of four compelling characters who experience the same story from different perspectives.

Maria Ivanovna is only fourteen when the bombing begins and not much older when she is forced into work at a German labor camp. She must fight to survive and to make her way back to her beloved Ukraine.

Ivan Kyrilovich is falsely mistaken for a Jew and lined up with 34,000 other men, women, and children who are to be shot at the edge of Babi Yar, the "killing ditch." He survives, but not without devastating consequences.

Luda is sixteen when German soldiers rape her. Now pregnant with the child of the enemy, she is abandoned by her father, alone, and in pain. She must learn to trust family and friends again and find her own strength in order to discover the redemption that awaits.

Frederick Hermann is sure in his knowledge that the F├╝hrer's plans for domination
are right and just. He is driven to succeed by a desire to please a demanding father and by his own blind faith in the ideals of Nazism. 
Based on true stories gathered from fifteen years of research and interviews with Ukrainian World War II survivors, Like a River from Its Course is a story of love, war, heartache, forgiveness, and redemption.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/28YOXRu
About the author:


Kelli Stuart
is the coauthor of Dare 2B Wise and has written for several brands including Disney, American Girl, and Short Fiction Break. She has served as editor-in-chief for the St. Louis Bloggers Guild and as a board member for the St. Louis Women in Media. In addition to her writing, Kelli has spent twenty years studying Ukranian culture. Kelli lives in Florida.


 Blog Tour Schedule



Travel back in time in Kelli Stuart's new novel, Like a River from Its Course, as the city of Kiev is bombed in Hitler's blitzkrieg across the Soviet Union. This sweeping historical saga takes the reader on a captivating journey into the little-known history of Ukraine's tragedies through the eyes of four compelling characters who experience the same story from different perspectives. Based on true stories gathered from fifteen years of research and interviews with Ukrainian World War II survivors, Like a River From Its Course is a story of love, war, heartache, forgiveness, and redemption.

Celebrate the release of Like a River from Its Course with Kelli by entering to win a Kindle Fire Prize Pack.

like a river - 400 

One grand prize winner will receive:
like a river - prize collage (1) 

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on July 18th. The winner will be announced July 19th on Kelli's blog.

like a river - enterbanner


I received this book free of charge from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review.