Stolen Girl. Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch. 2010. 208 pages. [Source: Review copy]
First sentence: The woman who said she was my mother was so ill on the ship from Europe that she wore a sickness bag around her neck almost the whole time.
Premise/plot: Stolen Girl is a companion novel to Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch's Making Bombs for Hitler. Making Bombs for Hitler is Lida's story. Lida is separated from her sister, Larissa, very early on in the novel. The War Below is Luka's story. Lida and Luka meet in a Nazi slave camp in Making Bombs for Hitler. Stolen Girl is the story of Larissa/Nadia. She was "stolen" hence the title by the Nazis. She was brainwashed into thinking she was German [not Ukrainian]. She was "raised" by German Nazis for several years. She even forgot her name and her sister. The novel is set in Canada, for the most part. Nadia has been adopted and she's adapting to life in a new country all the while battling nightmares and flashes of terrifying memories. Will she ever remember who she is?
My thoughts: In some ways, and this is just my opinion, Stolen Girl is less action-packed than the previous novels. That's not to say it's not intense in its own way. It is just the suspense/tension comes in flashbacks. These flashbacks are blended with the "present" coming of age story, Nadia/Larissa learning English, attending school, making friends, having struggles, etc. Readers definitely get more of a glimpse of PTSD in this one. War has effects LONG after peace has come. That's something to keep in mind always.
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