Souvenirs from Kyiv – ARC Book Review

Title:- Souvenirs from Kyiv

Author:- Chrystyna Lucyk-Berger

No. of pages:- 155 pages

Date published:- will be published on 22nd April 2022

Publisher:- Bookouture

Genre:- Historical Fiction


Russia has been trying to wipe Ukraine off the world map for thousands of years. They haven’t succeeded yet. Now, I’m picking up my stone and throwing it at Goliath. I want people to understand. I want to save this country.’ Chrystyna Lucyk-Berger, March 2022

Larissa is a renowned embroiderer, surviving in occupied Ukraine during World War II as a seamstress in her ruin of a workshop. Surrounded by enemies, she expresses her defiance by threading history into her garments. But at what cost?

Mykhailo is a soldier on leave, returning to Ukraine from the front on Christmas Eve. As he travels through his country, he is confronted by the hardship the war has brought to his fellow countrymen. Will what he sees this Christmas change the course of his life forever?

Marusia and her family are woken early one morning by the arrival of the Nazis, who have come to search for her partisan brother. As the soldiers move through their house, her family has just moments to make choices that will determine their survival.

Chrystyna Lucyk-Berger’s stories bring to life the true history of her Ukrainian family who fought to survive World War II. Laced with hope, Souvenirs from Kyiv celebrates the endurance and resilience of the human spirit.

Souvenirs from Kyiv was awarded 2nd Place in the 2014 HNS International Short Story Award and the collection won the silver medal in the IPPY Book Awards 2020 for Military and Wartime fiction.

This is such a beautiful story–of heartbreaking experiences of Ukrainian families during WW2. The author herself belongs to the Ukrainian-American generation and these stories are based on the stories of her own grandparents and relatives in Ukraine, during the Nazi rule. This story was written in the light of the Ukrainian-Russian war that is happening right now.

Each of these stories tells a story about bravery and courage. Larissa sews clothes, Mykhailo is a soldier, Marusia and her family are approached by the Nazis, all these stories are touching tales of how a person survived living under the Nazi regime. A heartbreaking story. The author does a good job of transporting the readers into the story, making the readers feel like they are also a part of the story. I actually enjoyed reading all the stories and felt touched by those stories.

Overall, this is an emotional heartbreaking stories of brave Ukrainian people on how they survived WWII. Worth five stars,

Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC. The review is based on my honest opinion only.

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