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The Night Sky: A Journey from Dachau to Denver and Back
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The Night Sky: A Journey from Dachau to Denver and Back

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4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  45 ratings  ·  30 reviews
This extraordinary and unflinchingly honest memoir takes us on a riveting journey into the hearts and souls of three enigmatic people whose destinies are forever changed by the events of World War II. The secrets of misguided love and passions are revealed as the author journeys between the past and the present to solve the mystery of a handsome Polish officer with piercin ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published October 11th 2011 by Johnson Books (first published October 1st 2011)
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(showing 1-30 of 119)
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Sharon Martin
Imagine finding out that the man you thought as your father, who had provided, cared and reared you was not. How would you react?

The author takes us on a totally amazing journey through her own history, as well as her mothers history. Discovering her father was a prisoner of war, as was her mother, she starts to uncover the horrors that were inflicted upon the people at the time, what both drew her mother and father together and also what made them separate. Her mother then met another man in a
...more
Book Him Danno
I really enjoyed this book, the idea of someone not knowing their father and searching for him for years hit home with me. I have a family member that learned that her father was not who she thought on her mother’s death bed. Sadly she was never able to get a name from her mother and will forever wonder who her father was. The author on the other hand had a name and her search for her father lead her to many places and ultimately back to where she had always been.

Her search was hindered before t
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T. Edmund
Maria Sutton lets us into her life and past as she searches relentlessly for her biological father, and any information about family members estranged by her Mother's move to America after WWII.

The meat of this story is in the experiences of the people Maria speaks to, and their harrowing lives throughout the Second World War. In particular the insight into how DP's (displaced persons) were treated even after the end of the official war is painful (but worthwhile) to read.

Maria also provides us
...more
Laura
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Maria Sutton's well-written memoir of her life-long search for her birth father, a Polish officer who was a prisoner of war in Germany during WWII. I was drawn in right from the first page and captivated throughout as Maria puts the pieces together of what happened since the day the SS tore her from her home and into forced labor. How would her mother meet her handsome father? And why would he eventually abandon his young family?

These questions and more were the impe
...more
Sid Frost
This is the true story of Maria Sutton's forty-three year search to find her ancestors, a search repeatedly hampered by her mother's reluctance to help, the loss of records during World War II, and the painfully slow government officials Maria had to deal with.

Maria came to the United States in 1952 when she was four years old with her mother Julia, her father Paul, and her sister Krystyna who was a couple of years older than Maria. The Catholic Charities helped them settle in the Denver area.

Ju
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Corinne
What if, by accident, you found out that the man you called father wasn't actually your father - not actually the man who gave you life? And what if your mother refused to tell you the story? How far would you go to learn about a family you'd never met?

This was Maria Sutton's reality. Born in a Displaced Persons camp in Germany in the aftermath of World War II, she arrived in the United States when she was still very young. Beyond knowing that her mother was born in a tiny village in the Ukraine
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K Foster

The Night Sky covers Mrs. Sutton's forty plus year journey to wrap up some familial loose ends resulting from the German and Russian occupation during World War Two. From tracking her biological father to finding her mother's lost brother, Sutton's research starts with an overheard conversation between her mother and a friend when she was fourteen to many years of research, and following every slim lead. Along the way she realizes some stories are best left to the imagination.


While the story of
...more
Kathy Voorhees
Sep 12, 2014 Kathy Voorhees rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Book Clubs and classmates at Wheat Ridge High School
This author's tenacity to find her biological father absolutely amazed me. She took me on the journey with her to parts of Europe and through WWII. For me to learn that a woman, my age who grew up not too far from my childhood home had come from Europe; and what she and her family went through was incredible to me. In 2014, I have learned more about that conflict than studying it in school. My thought was our school should have had a presentation from Maria's mother and father to learn of their ...more
Huitzsapi
Haven't finished yet but I am finding that it has snuck up on me and entirely captured my interest. It has all the things I feel a book should have...
information to share/learn
it make me feel...something not all writers can accomplish
it makes me question and want to know more about...the lives of the hundreds of thousands, possibly millions of displaced people after the second world war.
Laura
The Night Sky: A Journey from Dachau to Denver and Back is the story of one woman's journey to find her biological father and the secrets she discovered along the way.

The author, Maria Sutton, was born in a Displaced Persons camp, in war torn Germany. She immigrated to America when she was three, with her mother, sister and stepfather. It was a conversation that she overheard between her mother and a friend at age 13, when Sutton found out the man she had called father all her life, was not real
...more
Lesa
What happens when a thirteen-year-old learns the father she always knew is not actually her father? For Maria Sutton, it sent her on a forty-three-year quest. She relates that story in her dramatic account, The Night Sky: A Journey From Dachau to Denver and Back.

Maria knew her mother was from the Ukraine, and had been sent to Dachau Death Camp. Her mother survived, to end up in a displaced persons camp with her two daughters, and, finally, in Colorado with her husband, Paul Venckus. But, it was
...more
Jane
Maria Sutton searched for 43 years for her biological father. However this story will lead you to realize a history of how war tears families apart.
Some become bitter while others stay strong embracing life.
One takes a journey with Maria across Poland, Germany, the Ukraine, and United States.
I think too one can see why immigrants that come to the U.S. have a past. Do we get to know their story. Sometimes but most often not.
If we knew their story, we might not be so quick to judge them.
In Maria's
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Grady
Her Mother's Child: Survivors

Maria Sutton adds to the literature about World War II and the concentration camps that housed not only Jews and 'disreputable types' but also Displaced Persons. No matter how many times we read literature about those times and those heinous events, another reminder is always healthy for our spirits in assuring that sort of atrocity will not occur again.

What makes this memoir memorable is the manner in which the author has written the information: this is not just f
...more
Grady
Her Mother's Child: Survivors

Maria Sutton adds to the literature about World War II and the concentration camps that housed not only Jews and 'disreputable types' but also Displaced Persons. No matter how many times we read literature about those times and those heinous events, another reminder is always healthy for our spirits in assuring that sort of atrocity will not occur again.

What makes this memoir memorable is the manner in which the author has written the information: this is not just f
...more
Caroline Pointer
Riveting. The on-the-edge-of-your-seat-I'm-not-putting-this-book-down-come-hell-or-high-water kind of riveting.

Written by Maria Sutton, The Night Sky: A Journey from Dachau to Denver and Back memoir is the story of a woman's search for her own family story. A story within a story, if you will, and it reads like a suspense novel. In fact, at times, while reading it, the phrase, "No way! That can't be true..." slipped from my lips. Ms. Sutton had me along side her twisting and turning through the
...more
Melinda
This is the true story of a woman who at a picnic when she is 6 years old overhears some gossip about the man who is raising her isn't her real father. This is in 1961, long before researching who your father, lost and displaced in Europe in the aftermath of WWII, would have gone about a million times faster if the internet had been invented 20 years earlier.

Maria Sutton fastidiously brings her story of searching to us in the form of a lovely new memoir called The Night Sky: A Journey from Dach
...more
Vivian LeMay
Sep 13, 2013 Vivian LeMay rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Genealogy people, history lovers
"When I was thirteen years old, I overheard a conversation that would change my life." Maria Sutton, July 4, 1961

Every family has a history collected from the personal tales of each member. World War II must be the most horrifying story that history has to tell. Forty three million people were killed in that war. Maria Sutton, at age thirteen, decided to take on this mass of stories in order to find her father.

Maria's mother, a former displaced person from the Ukraine whose family was scattered
...more
Sandra Stiles
When I had received the request to review this book I agreed with the understanding I would not be able to get to it until around Christmas time. I was home sick today and decided to just check it out. I could not stop reading the book. The time Marie put into searching for her father and other family members is a testament to her family's perseverance in the face of what seemed like impossible issues. I know that a lot of what Marie learned was painful, yet she is very positive about what she h ...more
Elizabeth
This book is about the author's 43-year search for her biological father, who disappeared shortly after her birth in war-torn Germany.Maria and her sister Krys were raised in the United States by her mother's husband, Paul, who was nothing but loving to them, but Maria always had a gnawing desire to find her father and her uncle Wasyl and unravel her family's mysterious past in the Ukraine.

Maria's journey reads like a novel, and she effectively moves back and forth in time without it being annoy
...more
Mark
When Maria learned as a middle-aged woman that the man she knew as Father all her life actually wasn’t it devastated her. That she found out by overhearing her mother in conversation with a friend from the old country was purely accidental yet this former federal investigator made it her purpose in life to discover who her real father was.
She found out that like her mother he had been in the camps at Dachau and was with her afterwards in the displaced persons camp, that he was a Polish air force
...more
Kim
Anyone who has ever been curious about his or her roots and delved into family genealogy knows they’re bound to find a few surprises. My own husband’s genealogy search has produced information on countless relatives from the past with some of the most fascinating stories. Maria Sutton, author of The Night Sky, had other reasons for beginning her genealogy research. Her mother Julia’s family was torn apart by the horrors and atrocities that occurred both during and after World War II. As a produc ...more
Charles Weinblatt
Author Maria Sutton was born in a displaced persons (DP) camp shortly after the end of WWII. She immigrated to The United States at age three, in 1951. At age thirteen, she discovers that a man named Jozef Kurek is her real father. Lacking the correct spelling of her father’s name and his true birth location, her story is an incredible tale of perseverance, dedication and penetrating commitment to discover her biological roots.

For five decades, the author could not discover the true identity of
...more
Staci
Jan 18, 2012 Staci rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Staci by: Maria Sutton
Shelves: 2012-reads
My first thoughts after finishing: "This was a powerful and moving journey...well done!"

I like to read a memoir that speaks to me on some level and after perusing the information Maria sent me and doing a bit of research of my own, confirmed that this was one I had to read. I picked it up right after I finished The Lost Wife, which was a book that wounded me to the soul. I thought it fitting that I would read more about the affects of WWII on people who survived the war but now found themselves
...more
Eileen
This was an excellent book, her search for to find out who she was came close to amazing. Devotion would be a less then accurate term for her devotion to her search. Although she loved her adoptive father she had this great desire to find out who her biological father was. She had made up in her mind, as an unhappy teen, that he was a dashing war hero, who was handsome, and protected Poland until he had to surrender to the Nazis. The real story was not quite what dreams were made of but in findi ...more
Lori Anderson
Jan 14, 2012 Lori Anderson rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Holocaust memoirs
Shelves: memoir, wwii
Disclaimer: Giving Three Stars to this book does NOT mean I don't like it and does NOT mean it's not important.

I've read many, many books on WWII history and Holocaust memoirs. This particular book had a unique story, but to me, it seemed to drag and I found myself scanning. I feel so very much for the author -- finding her father not to be the person she thought him to be has to have been devastating. I did like when she talked about her relationship with her mother. So I liked the book, but it
...more
Judy Alter
An absorbing story of one woman's search to find her Polish biological father, separated from her mother in the displaced persons camps after WWII. Maria Sutton documents not only her emotions but the thousands of dollars she spent in research, trips to Germany, Poland, and Russia, overseas phone calls and mass mailings. What she finds is not as intersting as what she learns on her emotional journey. Her search does bring her a sense of family and fulfills a need for her--and for her aging mothe ...more
Sherrie
This is the story of a woman's passionate search for a hero, and the consequent discovery of human failings and triumphs. Maria Sutton's quest was a four decade-long journey. Ultimately, it is the kindness of strangers and long lost relatives, as well as the Internet that finally leads her to the final chapters of her book. This book is about one woman's quest to find her family. They are all separated during World War 2. Maria writes a wonderful story about her quest. I really enjoyed reading a ...more
Terri
Finished this and thought it was an excellent memoir. Read it in a day and a half. Uplifting, inspiring and informative. Highly recommend!
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5172031
Maria Sutton is the award-winning author of The Night Sky: A Journey From Dachau to Denver and Back. Her memoir is the culmination of her forty-three year search for a stranger who disappeared shortly after her birth in war-torn Germany. Without knowing the spelling of this stranger's name, nor his date and place of birth, Maria was able to find him - proving that with unwavering determination, an ...more
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