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Formats
Hardcover Book Details
  • 04/2016
  • 9780299308506
  • 312 pages
  • $26.95
Paperback Book Details
  • 02/2019
  • 9780299308544
  • 312 pages
  • $19.95
My Sister's Mother: A Memoir of War, Exile, and Stalin's Siberia
A searing take of war, trauma, and survival Donna Solecka Urbikas grew up in the Midwest during the golden years of the American century. But her Polish-born mother and half sister endured dehumanizing conditions during World War II as slave laborers in Siberia. War and exile created a profound bond between mother and older daughter, one that Donna would struggle to find with either of them. At four o’clock in the morning on February 10, 1940, Janina Ślarzynska and her five-year old daughter, Mira, were taken by the Soviet secret police from their small family farm in eastern Poland and sent to Siberia with hundreds of thousands of others. So began their odyssey of hunger, disease, cunning survival, desperate escape across a continent, and new love amidst terrible circumstances. After the war, Mira, Janina, and her new husband—a Polish Army officer who had helped them escape the Soviet Union—are haunted by the past. Baby boomer Donna, born in postwar England and growing up in 1950’s Chicago, yearns for a “normal” American family. In this unforgettable memoir, Donna recounts her family history and her own survivor’s story, finally understanding the damaged mother who had saved her sister.
Reviews
Kirkus

In this heart-wrenching debut memoir, a mother and child survive Stalin’s work camp then struggle to find inner calm in America.

Polish American Historical Association

"Set against the background of Polish history, Urbikas recounts her mother and sister's plight of deportation, liberation, and journey through Central Asia to England and finally the United States. ... An ambitious and dense narrative."

Polish American Journal

"Poignant and empowering. ... Refreshingly honest ... about the effects that war has on its survivors and inevitably their children."

Formats
Hardcover Book Details
  • 04/2016
  • 9780299308506
  • 312 pages
  • $26.95
Paperback Book Details
  • 02/2019
  • 9780299308544
  • 312 pages
  • $19.95

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