When Sorrows Come

Written by Maria Dziedzan
Review by Janis Pegrum Smith

When Sorrows Come is a beautifully written, magnificent tale that is very difficult to put down. Based upon actual events and experiences, it makes for extremely poignant reading, given Ukraine’s current situation. Maria Dziedzan pulls no punches in this unremitting, harrowing account of life in a western Ukrainian village throughout the years of the Second World War. Although centred upon the enchanting main character Anna, the author seamlessly weaves the other villagers into the story, and the reader too, before unravelling the village’s painful course throughout the brutal occupation of the Soviets and Nazis in turn.

A sobering, fast-paced read that will have you on the edge of your seat. Exquisitely observed detail breathes full life into the page, and the heroine is inspirational at every turn. Shocking, compelling and deeply moving, this thought-provoking novel will stay with you long after the last page. A real gem of a book that should be widely read, I expect it will win an award or two before too long. It is by far the best HNS submitted indie novel I have read to date; I highly recommend this book.