- MP3 CD
- Publisher: Bolinda Audio; Unabridged edition (December 1, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1489087672
- ISBN-13: 978-1489087676
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 6.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 380 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,414,438 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Winter Journey MP3 CD – Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged
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The reason I only gave it 4 stars is because I do not enjoy reading graphic sex scenes. Halina's relationships were a big part of who she was and how she responded to situations, but the sex scenes did not add to the book. I think they are better left to the imagination.
I read constantly. If I am touched by a book, however, I may not pick another one up for a few days because I need to think about what I read and my feelings toward it. It's been nearly a week now and I haven't gone on to another book. That's how good this book is.
"Winter Journey" is set both in Australia and Poland and seems to be set sometime in the late 1990's/early 2000s. Halina Shore is a forensic dentist in Sydney who had emigrated to Australia from Poland after WW2 with her single mother. While her professional life proceeds fairly smoothly, her personal life has never been settled. Married briefly, she lives alone in a trendy Sydney suburb with her cat, when she's asked to join a team of medical archeologists and religious figures who are coming together in the small Polish town of Nowy Kalwaria to investigate a WW2-time crime. The crime? Someone - the Nazi occupiers or the town's Christian population - brutally rounded up some 1000 Jewish villagers and put them in a barn and then lit the barn on fire. No one - supposedly - had left the barn alive. As the years passed, the townspeople blamed the atrocity on the Germans. Jewish authorities blamed the town's Christian population, who had turned against their Jewish neighbors in a fit of madness. "Nowy Kalwaria" - a fictional place - is modeled after similar horrific real horrific crimes perpetrated in Poland during (and after) the war.
Diane Armstrong's novel is both a telling of a deed - the fiery deaths of hundreds of men, women, and children - and the emotional toll it took on both the perpetrators and their descendants and on survivors from the village, who were lucky to escape the murders. Halina Shore and the crew helps investigate the bodies uncovered from the mass burial and tries to pinpoint who was murdered. Some Poles insist the victims were Jewish "Bolshevics" - men who had cooperated with the Soviets during their occupation of the county, before the Germans arrived. Almost everyone else insists the victims were the Jewish villagers.
Diane Armstrong does a good job in relating her story and the characters, both current and past, both alive and dead. Halina Shore uncovers secrets among the town's people, as well as some in her own life. Armstrong's story - so much in the news the past 20 years as more and more Jewish communities are identified as having been leveled by their own Christian neighbors. It's a good novel and may interest the reader in many non-fiction accounts of war-time activities.
Halina herself was born in Poland and her object, while she was in the country for work, was to research her own history – discover some, if not all, of her past. But the bitterness which shrouded Nowa Kalwaria remained, and in the eyes of the majority of Poles, the Jews were to blame for past atrocities.
As the forensic investigation deepened, the horrors of what was being uncovered rocked the small community – was everything they had always believed a lie? What else would Halina discover?
Winter Journey is Aussie author Diane Armstrong’s debut novel, and although fictional, was inspired by a true incident which took place in Poland in 1941. Tense, horrific, sad and emotional, Winter Journey is an exceptional historical fiction novel which I thoroughly enjoyed. It was recommended to me – and I pass the recommendation forward.