Saturday, December 3, 2011

Book Review: The Volga Flows Forever

About the Book:
The Meiningers had set out for Russia seeking to improve their lives, to escape the political and religious turmoil often surrounding their otherwise picturesque German homes and villages. They dreamed of the faraway place awaiting them. They colored the soil beneath the vast steppe rich and black in their minds ready to be tilled. And there would be a neat little house ready to receive them. In their wildest dreams, they could not have imagined what actually awaited their arrival. There were no houses, no fields nothing but grass as far as the eye could see. It was almost evening; they were hungry, wet and cold and felt like orphaned children.
These German immigrants and their descendants civilized this bleak Russian frontier, converted the harsh steppe into fields of waving grain dotted with wind-driven flour mills, and in this isolated place, developed a culture that was uniquely their own. They survived savage attacks of marauding tribes, the unpredictable often harsh climate, and the vagaries of tsarist edicts. Sigrid tells the fascinating story of these remarkable people in The Volga Germans.
The Volga Germans is the second volume in Sigrid Weidenweber’s trilogy The Volga Flows Forever. Catherine, the first volume, brings to life the fascinating historical character of Catherine the Great who invited her native countrymen to settle the Russian frontier. In the final volume, From Gulag to Freedom, she follows the Volga Germans through the hardships of collectivization and deportation during the Soviet years to finally immigrate to the San Joaquin Valley of Central California.

My Review
I loved the first book in this series (you can read my review of it here). I was really wondering could the second book be as good as the first. Well it was!  Sigrid Weidenweber outdid herself!  I thought the story flowed better in this book. Again I love the detail she put into the book. She really put in a lot of time and effort researching the story and it shows! As a history buff I loved learning more about Russian history-particularly that of the serfs. I was able to draw a lot of correlation between the life of the sefs and that of early Americans.

The Author
  Born in Germany in 1941, Sigrid Weidenwber remembers the horrific aftermath of fascism. At the end of the war, she found herself living under communism. After the Berlin Wall was built, she managed to escape the repressive environment with the help of friends and a French passport. To this day she does not speak French.
She holds degrees in medical technology, psychology and an Honorary Doctor of Letters from Concordia University of Portland, Oregon for her trilogy “The Volga Flows Forever.” In her trilogy she brings to life Catherine the Great in her multiple roles as monarch, woman, lover, mother, grandmother and head of the general staff of the army, in Volume one. The following two historical volumes deal with the Volga Germans brought to Russia by Catherine’s edict.
Three years ago she moved to Santa Rosa Valley, California from Portland Oregon. She has passionately embraced California together with her family that also resides here.







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