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Olga's Story: Three Continents, Two World Wars and Revolution--One Woman's Epic Journey Through the Twentieth Century
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Olga's Story: Three Continents, Two World Wars and Revolution--One Woman's Epic Journey Through the Twentieth Century

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3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  51 ratings  ·  13 reviews
When Canadian journalist Stephanie Williams set out to discover her Russian grandmother’ s long-lost history, what she unearthed was this stunning, sprawling portrait of a life lived on the grand stage of the 20th century.

Born in remote Siberia in 1900, Olga Yunter was the youngest of five children. As a teenager during the Revolution, she was a courier and arms-runner fo
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Hardcover, 358 pages
Published December 18th 2007 by Doubleday (first published 2005)
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Dem
Nov 30, 2014 Dem rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Readers who love Russian History
Recommended to Dem by: Good Reads Recommendation
A remarkable account of Olga and her family's life from 1900 in a remote frontier post in Southern Siberia.

I love Russian history and love the " Good reads book recommendations" as I am always finding something new to read. I especially loved this book as there are so many historical facts dates and interesting places mentioned and yet the story flows like fiction and this kept me engrossed in the book.

This is a an excellent description of Russian life and the terror of revolution and excile. Th
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Sahar
Wasn't at all as interesting and gripping as it could have been. The first 200 pages were muddled and kept going from here to there with ahrdly any flow. The last 250-300 pages were good and interesting. Not something i would recommend.
Emma
this is a fascinating story of Olga's life and history from Siberia, via China to the UK with the Russian revolution, WWI and WWII. Especially interesting as my maternal great grandmother and grandmother had a very similar experience....from Latvia, via Odessa, the TransSiberian railway into China...my grandmother married an Englishman there and lived in China until 1940 or so...she was captured by the Japanese and spent some years as a prisoner in the Phillipines before being liberated by the A ...more
Laura Edwards
Very interesting read. Once the revolution begins, the pace really picks up. Very interesting, tragic and inspiring. I was very sad to find out that Olga and Lydia never saw or contacted one another again after 1933. I can only imagine the hardships Lydia endured. Olga's were bad enough. If you are a fan of the Kate Furnivall "Russian Concubine" series, you might like this book, though it is non-fiction. The kind of book which makes me count my blessings once I've finished. I definitely recommen ...more
Stephanie
Wow what a story. I have to say that it was slow to start for me and I found some of the description of what was happening in Siberia/Russia at the start a bit slow and in some respects not detailed enough/the history wasn't well described, but the story really came to life when she moved to China. A fascinating biography through Russia and China in the 20th century - well worth a read.
Preston Fleming
Beautifully detailed description of life in pre-revolutionary Russia, the Russian Civil War and its aftermath from the perspective of someone lucky enough to escape. Olga was an ordinary woman who led an extraordinary life, having "lost everything" three times: when the Bolsheviks seized power in Russia, when the Japanese invaded Manchuria, and when the Communists took over China. One can learn much about life from this honestly told story, masterfully and lovingly crafted by Olga's granddaughte ...more
Erma Odrach
I found this book compelling. It's about the life of the author's grandmother, Olga Yunter, and how she survived two world wars and revolution in the first half of the 20th century. Born in Siberia in 1900, Olga was witness to the Russian Revolution of 1917, the Japanese invasian of China during WWII, and finally the communist takeover of China in the late 1940's. It's a bio filled with history and drama and poignantly written.
Christine
Well written book, full of history of the world wars. I found the history heavy at times but fascinating too. Olga's tenacity throughout her life is encouraging. The characters are well developed and there is even a family tree and map at the beginning to keep track of everyone - and the complicated names. I would recomend it but not a quick read.
Chrissy
I loved this book. It took me so long to read it, but once I got going, it was wonderful. I'm just so fascinated by the idea that one woman could have been involved and experienced through her immediate family with two world wars, two communist revolutions, and lived on three continents. This is a cool story.
Ellen
This narrative does indeed read like a novel. Olga story is extraordinary. I was amazed at Olga's life and her granddaughters talent and passion is she pieced the story together. I'll read it again for the details of revolution, war and exile.
Harriett Milnes
One of the reviews said it was sort of muddled for the first 200 pages. I was on page 44 and i was having trouble keeping the characters straight and, even more, bored with the characters, so I am pulling the bookmark.
Igna
I learned plenty about Siberia and did not realise that the Russians had to flee to China and live there to try and escape the communistic regimes take-over. Good read.
Chrissie
Wonderful epic story about one woman's experiences through two wars and life in Siberia. Another perspective to WW2. Better than fiction.
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