THE LAST GREEN VALLEY By MARK SULLIVAN
A review by MONICA WEST, Monica reads
Do you want to read a page-turning book? Do you want to know more about the Ukrainian question? Are you interested and learning more about the past? Do you know how you feel about autonomy, honesty and compassion? Do you think your life is fortuitous or self-made?
Well then, this book is a must read for you. The author follows the life of the Martel family who were born and raised in rural Ukraine. Their story is real. The author used their background information and how they found their last green valley.
Do you know what the Holodomor of 1932-1933 was? Do you know that four million Ukrainians died during this time. Stalin also imprisoned and enslaved millions of people in the aftermath of World War II. The Martel family was made up of Ukrainians of ethnic German blood. Was it a hindrance or a blessing?
The Martel family were farmers and I fell in love with the family characters. They were loyal, loving, forgiving, and just as crazy and fun as some of my family members. The communist regime seemed to go out of its way to punish people who worked hard and knew how to reap a good harvest. The prisons of Siberia were always to be feared. This book had me in the first chapter and I couldn’t put it down.
After reading the book, I looked at my life through the lens of my feelings of connection to the rest of the world. What would I do in these situations? Adeline is the heroine and Emil is the hero.
Mark Sullivan spoke of a world that I fear is happening during my children’s time on this earth. You must beware. This book will make you think, teach you about a period of historical horror and make you think about what is really important in your life?
Mark Sullivan took a story he heard about a family from Ukraine and made it historically accurate with a few fictional characters added to fill in the gaps that couldn’t be found in his research of that family. It broadened my horizon on why and how the Ukrainian people today stand behind a red line to prevent the Russians from entering their country.
Monica West book reviews for InDepthNH.org. Monica is known for her love of history and her lifelong love of reading. She holds a BA in History, with a minor in English. “My years of reading for leisure and pleasure gave me the idea to read a book and analyze the author’s baggage, cargo and ability to write the language of his mind and use the gift prose to educate and entertain the reader. Go get a book, read it and enjoy the adventure.