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Formats
Paperback Book Details
  • 10/2021
  • 9781639035816
  • 54 pages
  • $12.95
Homeland
Having immigrated to the US at age 10 with his parents Frank wanted to visit his Homeland, now the Czech Republic but was not yet a naturalized US citizen. Arriving in the Czech Republic his passport was lifted and he was declared a Czech Citizen and by judicial fiat placed in the Czech Army. He deserted, made his way to Hamburg, stowed away on a ship to America, detained at Ellis Island and to be sent back to Europe to be shot as a deserter. He managed to get a message back to his wife in Texas, who with their 2 year old daughter (my mother by the way) and they went to 'New York and with the aid of the State Department secured Frank's release form detention on Ellis Island. It was only through a series of miraculous events that Frank was able to return to his home in Texas.
Reviews
Robert Keprta (Superlative Selling) tells an engaging historical tale of freedom, danger, and the complexities of birthright and citizenship in this compact, compelling narrative. Frank, who emigrated from the Austria-Hungary Empire at the age of ten, decides to visit his birthplace as an adult in the early twentieth century. Upon his return, he is captured and forcibly enlisted in the army. Drawing strength from his steady faith in God, he is eventually able to escape and undertakes a long, perilous journey back to the United States–this time as a stowaway with no passport. Without papers, he is imprisoned at Ellis Island until his wife, Bosinia, can come and verify his identity, finally allowing him back to rebuild his life in the U.S.

This story, drawn from actual incidents, is fast paced and exciting, although at times the text is bogged down by minor errors and long chapters without breaks. Frank’s faith is a clear support to him throughout his dangerous experience, and Keprta skillfully illustrates that the homeland of the novel’s title is not Frank’s new life in Texas, or the old country in Europe–rather, it is eternity in heaven. Some readers may wish for a map to detail Frank’s travels, or personal photographs to make the story more intimate, as this mixture of memoir and fiction straddles more than one genre.

Despite the story being a quick read, it never lacks for excitement. The sections dealing with the experience of Frank’s wife are gripping, and the narration of Frank’s time in Europe is well-detailed and visceral. Readers will sympathize with Frank’s desire to see his birth home, even as they recognize the inevitable danger awaiting him. Once he is forcibly conscripted, readers will cheer for him to escape and be relieved when Frank and Bosinia are safely reunited at last.

Takeaway: An exciting historical story of danger, triumph, and migration, based in the Christian faith.

Great for fans of: Airey Neave’s They Have Their Exits, Jonathan F. Vance’s The True Story of the Great Escape.

Production grades
Cover: B+
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: C
Marketing copy: B

Formats
Paperback Book Details
  • 10/2021
  • 9781639035816
  • 54 pages
  • $12.95

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