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The Silence of Trees Kindle Edition
|Length: 336 pages||
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I've wondered what happened ever since. I bought "The Silence of Trees" as soon as the book was available via Amazon and even paid extra for second day delivery. I sat down with the book and a cup of tea expecting to finish in one sitting.
Normally, I'm a serial devourer of books, but "The Silence of Trees" was entirely too rich for that. I paused at 75 pages and dreamed that night of the gypsy camp. Music, counterpointed by the jangle of tambourines rang in my ears. I even saw the raven-haired dancer clad in red and gold.
I followed Nadya through fifty years of her life, learning what it was like to lose family during World War II, to live in a German work camp, and to finally immigrate to a new land where you do not speak the language and begin anew. Each step is full of the same vivid detail as the initial scenes. Nadya and her family grow and become as real as next-door neighbors.
Ms. Lupescu's prose truly is the stuff that dreams are made of. The narrative voice of her protagonist Nadya remains strong throughout nearly fifty years of her life. You can almost taste the kolachi and feel the willow switches on your backside on Palm Sunday. The best of literature transports you to places you have never been. While some of the locales of "Silence" are places you may not have wished to be, there's heart and hope in every page.
Rebecca Kyle, October 2010
I highly recommend this novel to anyone who wants to learn about another culture and experience history in an up-close and personal manner. The poetic nature of the novel, the use of trees and nature as symbols, the folkloric and superstitious manner the narrator uses to describe her memories all blend together to make this a rich novel worthy of a second reading or discussion by a reading group or history class. I think the book would be a great accompaniment to a college international studies course, especially one that focuses on eastern Europe. Like the pysanky egg, the book has layers and details that all come together beautifully in the end. Some may say the ending is a little too neat, but I like the hopeful note the author concludes on.
Can you tell I really loved this book?
P.S. Having recently traveled to Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic, I noticed the elderly in those countries very reserved and reticent to talk with "foreigners," unlike the youth who were very friendly and carefree. This book gave me a good understanding of why that might be as many, I am sure, had lived through communist regimes and German occupation.
As others have stated, the book is the story of Nadia Lysenko and her journey from that of a teen wanting her fortune told to a grandmother who must face her demons to be truly happy. The book weaves almost seamlessly from the past to the present and back to the past on multiple occasions. It's not at all difficult for the reader to easily make these transitions because this book is so well written.
The Silence of Trees leaves me with the feeling that this author has given us all a gift by sharing her talent. The novel succeeds on so many different levels. There is not only an amazing story, it is intertwined with folklore from the Ukrainian culture that adds to the story's enrichment and character development.
I have spent far more money on novels that I enjoyed a great deal less. This book is a prime example that the cost of a novel shouldn't be considered proportional to whether or not the content is worth the time to read. I have no hesitation in recommending this book to any woman. I'm not sure the male gender would embrace it as wholeheartedly because the story is told from the perspective of a woman but won't deny the possibility exists that I could be wrong about that. All I can say for sure is that the memory of the story will always stay with me.