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The Journey

200 pages18 hours


‘The Journey’ is a novel in three volumes set against the backdrop of World War 2. It is a story of unimaginable deprivation and survival, love and loss, of friendships forged through most challenging experiences.

Volume 1.
On the memorable night of 10th February 1940, Julian Kalinski (29), his wife Anastazia (26) and their baby daughter are taken from their home in Poland by the Russian soldiers, packed on a cattle train and with thousands of families sent to Stalin’s labour camps in Siberia. Two years later, on liberation, only the strongest have survived the arctic cold, the starvation and the inhuman treatment by their captors.

Volume 2.
While Julian joins the forming Anders’ Army that is sent to Europe to fight Hitler’s forces, Anastazia, with hundreds of Polish women, their children and orphans, is transported to the safety of the British colonies. Before Anastazia and her friend Eva escape the “paradise” of the Soviet Union, Eva is subjected to unspeakable degradation that remains a binding secret between the two friends forever. Their hopes of returning home are dashed by the Treaty of Yalta (February 1945), when Poland is sacrificed to Stalin’s demands. Thousands of displaced Poles settle in England.

Volume 3.
In 1960, Julia (Anastazia and Julian’s daughter) is an impressionable sixteen-year-old dreaming of an exciting, adult future. Her mother’s progressive illness forces her to tackle unfamiliar and daunting challenges. Her parents’ past still has the power to cast long and haunting shadows. After her eighteenth birthday Julia, with her friend Miro, embarks on a visit to Poland in order to find answers to questions that trouble her mind. A miraculous discovery brings the fragmented family together and also their very long journey to a bitter-sweet end.

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