There are many great books about the various disruptive Mennonite experiences. People and place stories. Trauma stories. Healing stories. MaryLou’s descriptive review makes me want to read this one.
In her beautiful book Flyway Sarah Ens tells her Mennonite grandmother Anni’s story in the form of a long poem. We begin in Ukraine during the period between 1929 and 1945. Anni’s little sister dies, the churches close and Anni’s father is arrested and taken away. Famine comes.
Hunger taught us to wake slowly, to lift, as if from water.
If you did not starve, hunger taught you
to watch and wait. If you did not starve,
the stone of your stomach turned traitor.
Anni does housework and childcare for her younger siblings while attending school and then graduates just as the Germans invade Ukraine. Amid the war Anni’s brother Peter drowns.
Where is God my mother said.
I saw his body blue beneath a smooth skin of water
After a time of German occupation the Red Army approaches and
evacuees crawled the road……..
35,000 stumbling through the murk. You…
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