Monday, February 22, 2016

Harvest of a Black Earth by Patrick Crabb


It is 1994 in a newly independent country of Ukraine and Dmitry Petrenko is prepared to exact his own form of justice against Alexander Orenchenko, the man whose actions ruined his and many other lives decades before.  During Dmitry's youth, the Ukranian Soviet Socialist Republic was a place of famine, war, totalitarian repression, and revolt.  Some say over half the population died as a result of oppression and war between 1930 and 1950.  How did Dmitry and Alexander survive under these circumstances, only to lead Dmitry inches away from cold-blooded murder? (taken from Amazon description)

I found that I enjoyed reading this book. Although the Ukranian population suffered great atrocities during this time, I found hope, love and patriotism. Even though the subject matter was depressing, seeing things from Dmitry's point of view gave it a more inspirational feel.

There's a lot of detail so that you can actually see the landscape and atmosphere, but it doesn't bog you down.  The atrocities aren't very detailed.  They're graphic enough to make you realize what it was like in the POW camps and when they filled the mass graves.

 Dmitry is a very strong-willed and strong-hearted person.  The more I read of Alexander, the more I disliked him.  In this case, like so many others, greed and power make you do horrible things that not only effect you, but loved ones as well.

The only issue I had with the book was pronouncing the names of the people and places.  Considering it takes place in the Ukraine, that wasn't surprising.  I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book.

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