I can breathe again!

After three years of researching, writing, and editing, the book DREAMER is ready to be released. Like many authors, I wish I could keep going…there are so many things I’d like to add, to say, to promote…BUT, there is a time to let go. The hardest part of any parent, whether to a child or a book, is to let go.

Today I let go!

Dreamer is released on Amazon as a Kindle book, to be followed soon with the paperback and eBook with other retailers like Barnes & Noble, Nook, and iBooks. Readers who pick up the early release via Amazon will find extras in the Kindle book because I included some artwork throughout and in the back a list of references. These books, articles, and videos were entertaining and/or informative and I thought some readers would also enjoy the added depth to understand the main idea I wanted to get across with this book.

I wanted to share a little of the Ukrainian culture, and some knowledge about their unique situation during the war…so more people can understand where Ukrainians come from and possibly understand what the country of Ukraine wants to attain in the future. So much of the news today talks about the corruptness, but very little about the vibrant culture, the unique struggles they faced while striving for their freedom.

This book is very different from anything else I’ve written and I hope you enjoy the experience and share the book with your reader friends.

To entice you –

I am adding this video to the post. You will see for yourself what a wonderful variation of scenery there is in Ukraine today, and why so many great writers have been inspired by the country throughout the centuries. Enjoy!

Famous Poets from Ukraine put to music:

Taras Shevchenko poetry to music

As recent as 2015, Russia still blocks support for the Ukrainian culture and refuses to let any other version other than those sanctioned by the Russian government to be released, as in this case of a Russian teacher who wrote a poem to support Ukrainians…

Discrimination and censorship lessen our humanity

I’ve always found it odd that some people choose to discriminate against various cultures, races, and religions. I am offended by the various genocides that have taken place in history and hope it is ended and we can become better people and nations. Only then will freedom for any of us truly be attainable. We all benefit from the added layer of cultures to our mutual development to humanity.

The atrocities of genocides like Holodomor, the Armenian death walk, the Goloshchekin genocide, the Holocaust or Shoah, and genocides in Croatia, Bangladesh, Rwanda, and PolPot Cambodia…we need to learn from them all. We begin with ourselves.

Open your ears and heart to a new culture, accept people for who they are, and end labels that divide us. Only then can you be free.

Dreamer – A Ukrainian World War II story

This is a story of a Ukrainian boy named Ivan Rudenko
and his family from Galicia,
of how they survive World War II without raising a weapon…
They discover new unlikely friends along their journey,
each with their own story to tell.

Grab a copy at Amazon today! Dreamer

The International Review of Books

Dreamer: A Ukrainian World War II Story 
Which line stood out from all the others in the book?  “Hope has to survive. Like a dormant plant waiting for the right moment to seize the day…”  

General Summary for Context:  Dreamer is the story of Ivan Rudenko, a young Ukrainian boy, who is forced to flee his native land with his family at the onset of World War II. He watches as the German army occupies his town and slaughters his Jewish friends and neighbors. Although Ivan’s family sympathizes with the plight of the Jews and does their best to aid those wishing to escape, it soon becomes clear that the family can no longer remain in Galicia. When the train carrying them to the German work camps is destroyed by allied bombers, they flee into the forest seeking refuge wherever they can. Their survival is aided by the strength of their family and new unlikely friends they encounter along the way. They eventually arrive in Regensburg, Germany where they are granted refuge in exchange for their work in support of the German war effort. Nevertheless, they continue to hope and dream of an allied victory that will allow them the freedom to live and worship according to their Ukrainian culture and beliefs. However, the end of the war only brings new hurdles to overcome in their quest for freedom.  

Concise Review: Heartfelt and quietly moving, this memoir-like work of fiction uses the voice of a young Ukrainian boy, named Ivan Rudenko, to paint a portrait of the struggles, triumphs, and tragedies of a world at war. Told through the innocent eyes of a young boy, the story creates many tender and poignant moments as readers become involved in the plight of this family from the very onset. We feel a tender connection to Ivan as he tries to understand the actions and motivations of the adults who control his life. Shielded by his parents’ love and faith that God will protect them, Ivan does not always understand what he is witnessing. Like most boys his age, he longs for carefree days and dreams of a future when he will achieve the greatness that he believes is his destiny. That connection between reader and narrative continues as the family bonds together to survive the difficult and dangerous journey toward freedom.

Elisabeth Zguta uses a fast-flowing narrative more than dialog to reveal the horrors of war and shed light on a dark time in history when it was easy for governments to lie to its citizens and covert policies were the norm. Spanning a time period between 1939 and 1949, the story highlights the suffering of Ukrainians after centuries of occupation, annexation and being regarded as inferiors. However, the spirit of the Ukrainian people is exemplified in the characters’ optimism, tolerance, and loyalty against incredible odds. Ivan and his family do not spend time despairing over the past. They never give up hope of a brighter future.

General thoughts on the Novel: 

The book creates a cinematic view of the war through the eyes of a child. Reading this novel is tantamount to watching a film, providing us not only with a portrait of the family, but also a view of the war we may not have considered before. All this makes for a fabulous and memorable read. 

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