WWI Family Saga Set in Russia is Nominated for Whistler Independent Book Award
A Heartbreakingly Intimate Novel That Illuminates the Strength of the Human Spirit
By: Diana Stevan
In Sunflowers Under Fire, based on the true stories of her grandmother's ordeals, author Diana Stevan captures the voices of those who had little say in a country that is still being fought over.
In 1915, Lukia Mazurets, a Ukrainian farmwife, delivers her eighth child while her husband is serving in the Tsar's army. Soon after, she and her children are forced to flee the invading Germans. Over the next fourteen years, Lukia must rely on her wits and faith to survive life in a refugee camp, the ravages of a typhus epidemic, the Bolshevik revolution, unimaginable losses, and one daughter's forbidden love.
It's an inspiring tale of one uneducated but wise woman during one of the most turbulent times in Russian history. Praise from readers includes the following from Myrna Kostash, the award-winning author of All of Baba's Children. "This material is ripe for literary exploitation, and Stevan carries it off with real panache, seamlessly braiding together the familiar stories that her mother passed on to her in Canada with the meticulous research required to fill it all in. And, while back stories of emigrants from Galicia and Austro-Hungary have been told, the events of Sunflowers Under Fire take place in a part of the Russian Empire, Volhynia, we hear very little about.
Incident after incident, character after character, I was carried into worlds - from hardscrabble village life to wartime detention camps to ancient peasant rituals, not to mention intimacies of family life - that opened up this page-turner of a novel."
Sunflowers Under Fire is available for sale at all major booksellers. Visit: https://www.dianastevan.com/