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The Endless Steppe: Growing Up in Siberia

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It is June 1941. The Rudomin family has been arrested by the Russians. They are "capitalists' enemies of the people." Forced from their home and friends in Vilna, Poland, they are herded into crowded cattle cars. Their destination: the endless steppe of Siberia.

For five years, Esther and her family live in exile, weeding potato fields and working in the mines, struggling for enough food and clothing to stay alive. Only the strength of family sustains them and gives them hope for the future.

256 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1968

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About the author

Esther Hautzig

26 books28 followers
Esther Rudomin was born in Wilno, Poland (present-day Vilnius, Lithuania). Her childhood was interrupted by the beginning of WWII and the conquest in 1941 of eastern Poland by Soviet troops.

Her family was uprooted and deported to Rubtsovsk, Siberia, where Esther spent the next five years in harsh exile. Her award winning novel The Endless Steppe is an autobiographical account of those years in Siberia.

After the war, she and her family moved back to Poland when she was 15. Hautzig reportedly wrote The Endless Steppe at the prompting of presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson, to whom she had written after reading his articles about his visit to Rubtsovsk.

Hautzig helped to discover and eventually publish the master's thesis in mathematics written by her uncle, Ela-Chaim Cunzer, at the University of Wilno in 1937.

Rudomin met Walter Hautzig, a concert pianist, while en route to America on a student visa in 1947. They married in 1950, and had two children, Deborah, a children's author, and David. She died on November 1, 2009, aged 79.

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5 stars
2,213 (35%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 647 reviews
Profile Image for Dem.
1,186 reviews1,097 followers
January 6, 2018
The Endless Steppe is an extraordinary and haunting story which reads like fiction but is based on first-hand family accounts and memories from the author. The story is heartbreaking and inspiring and while its shelved as a young adult novel certainly is an education and eye opener for any reader who wants an insight to the suffering and hardships of families transported to Siberia during the War.

Esther Rudomin was ten years old when, in 1941, she and her family were arrested by the Russians and transported to Siberia. This is the true story of the next five years spent in exile, of how the Rudomins kept their courage high, though they went barefoot and hungry.

Having read and loved Between Shades of Gray Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys I wasn't sure I wanted to read another book covering a similar story and yet this book keeping coming up in my recommendations feed and I am glad I didn't ignore it. Well written, descriptive and moving this book while short in pages it certainly captures the infamous climate and harshness of the Siberian steep in vivid details as well as telling a the authors story of surviving World War 11 in the labor camps of Siberia.
As Ester tells the story of her and her family's journey and life in the camps she does it in a very candid way never shielding the reader from the horrors they endure and yet I would have no hesitation in recommending this for teenagers or young adults as it is one of those books that is important in remembering the suffering endured by so many of those transported to Siberia.

A great Non-fiction read and a book I would recommend for adults and young adults alike.
Profile Image for Chrissie.
2,737 reviews1,469 followers
February 18, 2013
4 stars
An excellent introduction to children about World War II. It is written from the perspective of a Jewish 10-year old from Vilna. Vilnius, as it is called today, is now the capital of Lithuania. In 1941 it was part of Poland. The book is an autobiographical account of the author's childhood in Siberia.

I was impressed by the amount of history incorporated into this slim book: deportation of the Jews to Siberia, three years spent in a small village on the Russian steppes, the events of the war in Russia and finally "Polish" repatriation. It is all written tastefully for the ears of young readers. It is exciting: It is about getting friends, winning a school contest and a Siberian snowstorm. If focuses upon those themes that are of interest to young children: familial bonds and how they change as we grow older and become more independent, school and getting friends, clothes and hairstyles and how to "fit in", learning a foreign language, discovering literature and intellectual awareness, becoming one of a group, seeking acceptance and quite simply growing up...and that first boyfriend too. The book states what happens in the war but its main perspective is a child's life during that war. The events are related honestly; you don't always get the boyfriend you heart is set on or win the contest, do you?

The book radiates optimism and human resilience, but never is the truth shied from. Two examples: after the war, when the Jews returned, again in cattle cars, they are denounced. Even after the war, the Jews are not welcome! The second example is a woman in the Siberian camp who never had to work; it remained a mystery as to how she got food. An adult may guess why, but that is not discussed. Nothing is misrepresented, but neither are the details sordidly portrayed. The facts are stated and the story continues.

The language used by the author is simple, but actually beautiful in all its simplicity. Try this sentence: "Grandmother and I had this in common, we were 'very' people - either very sad or very gay, with nothing in between." (page 71) The story is exciting and there is humor.

I think it is wrong to state that this book is for adults. It isn't; its prime audience is children of about ten years of age. It is written for them and it is written beautifully. It is not overloaded with historical facts and dates or gruesome details. Why shouldn't a book be written just for this age group?! It is lovely and educational at the same time.
Profile Image for Hilary .
2,232 reviews398 followers
July 30, 2017
Esther is an 11 year old Jewish girl sent to Siberia in a cattle train with some of her family as they are accused of being capitalists. We enjoyed the descriptions of life in Siberia, the harsh, inhumane existence but also the beauty found in the wilderness, the hope, the acts of kindness and just how much small things can mean when you have nothing. It was told from Esther's point of view, it told of her need to fit in and how anything seemed more bearable with love and friends. Particularly moving as based on a true story. One of our favourite books we have read in the last year. Lots of interesting historical detail. We enjoyed looking for images of pimy boots, sapogy and fufaika.
Profile Image for Hava.
178 reviews
August 31, 2010
LOVED it. This was better than "Diary of Anne Frank," in my not-so-humble opinion. I had never even heard of this book until my sister handed it to me and told me to read it. It sat on my shelf for months and I kept ignoring it - it just seemed like it would be depressing, and I wasn't in the mood.

BUT! This book was wonderful. Moving, beautiful, funny, believable, heartbreaking...all rolled up into one. I read some of the other reviews of the book and was surprised to see that some said that it took them a while to get into the book, or that it was slow going. It almost made me wonder if I was reading a different book than them. I was hooked from the beginning. I could see everything in my mind, and imagine it all happening. My eyes moistened with tears as I read about her losing some money entrusted in her by her mother, and smiled for joy when she completed a knitting job and was given food to eat in return. I didn't find it depressing because Esther is an eternal optimist, and that outlook was reflected in her writing.

Two giant thumbs up! I'm only sorry I somehow bypassed this book as a child.
Profile Image for Leslie.
87 reviews22 followers
February 14, 2014
Somehow I ended up with a copy of The Endless Steppe as a child and I must have read it several times because it got stuck in my subconscious. For years I would think about it, and images would coming flooding back to me, about the day the soldiers appeared to take the family to Siberia, and the cold, desolation of the frozen tundra. Most of all, I would think about the grandmother who pushed back her cuticles every night in the labor camp, to keep her hands beautiful. A few months ago, I spotted a well-worn copy of the book at my local library book sale and snatched it up. Re-reading it was like catching up with a beloved old friend. I wish every young reader would be exposed to this book. Please spread the word, especially young girls who love to read. This is a little known classic, one of my all-time favorites.
Profile Image for Lyn Elliott.
687 reviews178 followers
December 4, 2016
I expected more of Endless Steppe than I got from it, found it simplistic and unreflective, when the story itself demands more.
Profile Image for Alex  Baugh.
1,954 reviews108 followers
April 3, 2012
One beautiful June morning in 1941, Esther Rudomin, 10, finds her happy, care free life in Vilna, Poland changed forever. Early in the morning, her family - father, mother, grandmother and Esther, are arrested by the Soviet Army. They are charged with being capitalists and sent on a six week long train ride in cattle car ride Siberia.

Arriving at a gypsum mine in Siberia, they are assigned their jobs - father to drive a horse and cart, mother to work at dynamiting the mine, Esther and her grandmother to work in the fields. The work is back-breaking, the food almost non-existent (mostly watery soup) and the summer heat unbearable in a place as endlessly flat as the Siberian Steppes.

Luckily, by the beginning of fall, the Soviet Union, the exiled Polish government and Britain were allies against the Nazis and amnesty was granted to the Polish deportees. No longer prisoners, they were allowed to leave the mine and live in the small nearby village.

But life in the village isn’t easy either. The family moves into the hut of people without much more than they have, and must share a small space with not room to move around it. But it is better than the mine and Esther is able to attend the village school. After a series of moves from hut to hut, the Rudomins are eventually able to get their own hut.

But life is still a struggle of obtaining food, having a means of heating the hut during the long, bitter cold winter and the gradual wearing out of the clothing they had brought with them and not money to buy more. And since so many people are bound together by the cold, the desolateness of the steppe and the struggle to survive, they are often helped by others, just as they help others when they can. When Esther’s father is forced to serve at the Russian front, the Rudomin women are devastated, but by now quite capable, they managed to find ways of surviving. And most importantly, they continue to have each other to lean on.

This is a wonderful, very appealing autobiography of Esther’s life from age 10 to 15. Hautzig has captured her childhood voice beautifully as she recalls her life - the reader meets a very indulged child and watches her become an accomplished, clever survivor. Yet, Hautzig has also shown herself not always in the best light - there is the bratty Esther, the whinny Esther and the willful Esther - giving a sense that she was indeed a real person, not an unrealistic paragon of courage.

My only problem with The Endless Steppe is that there is no explanation about why the Rudomin’s were arrested by the Soviets for being capitalists, but not the rest of the family, and why they weren’t rounded up by the Nazis because they were Jews.

Short History Lesson:
The answer is simple but maybe not well known. In 1939, the Nazis and Soviets signed a 10 year non-aggression pact called the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. The pact has a clause that divided Poland - the western part to Germany and the eastern part to the Soviets. In the summer of 1940, the Soviets began to secure eastern Poland. But, Hitler being Hitler, he decided to pull a fast one on the Soviets and disregard to pact and invade Russia. The Rudomins were arrested in that short space of time when eastern Poland was under Soviet control, for being capitalists because they owned a jewelry business.

This book is recommended for readers age 12 and up
This book was purchased for my personal library
Profile Image for SilviaG.
322 reviews
June 12, 2019
#LeoAutorasOct Este libro nos sumerge en las experiencias de la autora durante la segunda guerra mundial. Una historia muy dura de una familia judía polaca deportada a Siberia por los rusos. De como la vida te puede cambiar en un instante, y de cómo la naturaleza humana es capaz de sobrevivir y adaptarse a las circunstancias. Me ha cautivado la historia y su sencilla forma de explicarla en primera persona.
Profile Image for Morgan.
52 reviews
March 30, 2014
Read this book if you want to be blown away by beautiful, powerful writing. Esther was ten years old when her family was exiled to Siberia because of an accusation of being capitalists in Stalin's Soviet Union. Told through a childs perspective, The Endless Steppe gives an unique view on how life was like for Russians during the WW2 Era.
Profile Image for CindySR.
491 reviews
March 18, 2023
My aunt gave me this book when I was a teen and I haven't read it again until now. I remembered it to be much more stark than it actually is.

It's a true story of a displaced Polish Jewish family during WW2. (My aunt was a Polish Christian DP but her family left Poland and trekked west.) Esther's family was forced to live in Siberia. Starvation, filthy living conditions, harsh weather, all through the eyes and heart of an 11 -13 year old girl. But reading it now I can see her couarge, her sense of humor, and her humility. The ingenuity shown by the 3 generations of women in the family was really admirable.

I think middle school ages and up would love this true story. Recommended.
Profile Image for Vilmute Kocak.
145 reviews
March 22, 2023
Pačios autorės aprašyta vaikystė ir jos išgyventa istorija Sibire tremties laikotarpiu.Dešimties metų mergaitė ir jos visa šeima iš Vilniaus buvo ištremti į Sibirą.Gera knyga,patiko
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Daisy .
1,113 reviews52 followers
February 24, 2010
This is such a vivid, captivating story and it's beautifully written. Engrossing.
In spite of, or maybe because of the its subject matter, certain moments and details have a lot of charm and insight. It's in the voice of a ten year-old Polish girl but it's a memoir so its real perspective must be with the benefit of hindsight and survival.

p.2 What I ate for breakfast on school mornings was one buttered roll--a soft roll, not a hard roll--and one cup of cocoa; any attempt to alter this menu I regarded as a plot to poison me.

p. 59 The laughter that followed was cracked from disuse, Siberian laughter. But it was laughter. Much that we would think funny in the days to come would scarcely have caused the shadow of a smile at home in Vilna but we needed to laugh as much as we needed bread.

p. 100 On the way, I was distracted by a pattern in the snow; it looked something like hopscotch and I hopped through it the hopscotch way.

p. 135 The lecture that followed seemed to me--and perhaps to Father too--untimely, like correcting the grammar of someone who is trying to tell you the house is on fire.

p.147 With every sound I heard in the darkness, I felt the brutal arm of the law thrashing at my fragile back. Stealing in Siberia? If Siberia was the place thieves were exiled to, was there an even worse place for Siberian thieves?

p. 148 Moreover, stealing was not really to the taste of one who still clings to pride.

p. 164 But, I thought, if you were supposed to be generous, who are you supposed to be generous to? Only to those who don't need it? It was very confusing.

p. 185 If I had any sense I would have given up then, but I come from a long line of stubborn idiots.

p. 219 On the verge of tears, I wanted to say, But haven't you found out, lady, that when everything is strange, nothing in particular is? How is it you haven't found that out, here in Siberia?

(Read right after A Mountain of Crumbs.)
Profile Image for Tim Byers.
23 reviews
November 4, 2008
This gem sat on my book table for weeks before I finally cracked it open. It recounts a slice of history previously unknown to me--the Soviets, after they had devoured eastern Poland in the devil's pact with Hitler in 1939, decided to deport Jews to Siberia as slave labor. Young Esther tells the story, which is both survival and coming-of-age tale. Exile to the brutal wilderness of the steppe becomes salvation from an even more unthinkable fate had they been left behind (at one point, Esther describes her mother's anguish that on the day they were taken from their home: her brother shows up, the soldiers ask if he's one of them; wishing to spare him from her own fate, his mother denies he's part of the family; later, as news of the holocaust emerges, carries it as her life's largest regret).

What I loved about this story was that despite her terrible ordeal, the physical hardship unimaginable to me (no winter coat or boots, knitting with frozen hands on a sweater made of worn out material, for a rich woman who has outgrown it by the time it's finished), Esther remains a young girl trying to find her place among her friends at school. To do so, she must move away from her culture toward the generic Soviet-Siberian one.

Reads like what I'd imagine to find if Dostoyevsky had written a YA novel.
Profile Image for M.
437 reviews46 followers
March 26, 2012
The Endless Steppe is an autobiographical novel, written by a Jewish woman of Polish origin, Esther Hautzig, née Rudomin.
In 1941, when she was a mere child of ten, she was deported with her parents and her grandmother to Rubtsovsk, a city in Siberia, near Altai. This region became infamous for hosting labor/concentration camps for political enemies of the Soviets. The Rudomins were accused of being Jewish and capitalists. Hautzig described perfectly the anguish and despair of being suddenly kidnapped by the NKVD in the full sun, while nobody tries to help for fear of reprisals, and the alienation caused by traveling for weeks crammed in livestock cars.
Fortunately for her and many Polish deportees, a Russian-American pact saved them years of laboring in a Siberian camp. However, they couldn't still leave Siberia and so they suffered great hardships for the following four years. Somehow, though, little Esther is capable of laughing in the face of adversity and she never loses hope. In fact, she finds resources even for throwing a real birthday party. I was thankful to find a little humor in the book - otherwise it would have been a total downer.

This is a great companion book to Anne Frank's diary. I, for one, didn't know much about the horrors perpetrated by the Soviet leaders until very recently. I think my education focused too much on presenting the Nazi as the sole evil guys, but both sides had their share in the genocide.
So I think The Endless Steppe has much to offer to the reader, both in terms of education and entertainment. I can't really understand why it isn't more popular.
Profile Image for Heather.
133 reviews29 followers
February 24, 2009
I read this when I was young, and it has stuck with me since though I don't quite remember the plot, only the theme. I would love to reread this one day.
584 reviews25 followers
March 14, 2019
Read long, long ago and long forgotten. Good to be reminded of it on Goodreads. Powerful read based on a true story.
Profile Image for Julie Suzanne.
1,898 reviews70 followers
December 17, 2021
This sat on the shelf of my classroom library for years, untouched but on my To Read list. Recently, a friend recommended it as a great read and it fulfilled a challenge to read something I've been reading to read for years.

Hautzig's experiences as an exile in Siberia is incredibly readable and an excellent addition to any autobiography unit or Holocaust study. The only story like it I'd ever heard was Between Shades of Gray, although this story was much less harrowing and dramatic (although that was fiction). This is an often underrepresented population in the history books and literature based on this time period: Jews who were exiled before extermination began. It's a story about making the best of one's dreadful circumstances, creating something out of nothing, making a life no matter what, and adolescence.

The end of the story was much more understandable to me because I had JUST finished Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler's Shadow. I guess I've been on a mini independent study lately, and immersing oneself in different narratives from a particular time is so rewarding.

I'd recommend this to readers Grades 6 and up.
Profile Image for Ileana.
158 reviews14 followers
December 14, 2020
Esther Hautzig escogió relatar su experiencia como deportada en Siberia de una forma que me ha causado mucha admiración: no parece guardar rencor por todas las injusticias que les fueron inflingidas a ella y a toda su familia. Es más, su descripción de esa tierra tan inhóspita es tan encantadora que hasta me dieron ganas de conocerla.
Veo que muchos la critican precisamente por eso, por haber escrito sus memorias de forma ligera y optimista. Pienso que cada persona tiene derecho a contar (o no) su historia de la forma que ellos decidan. Si buscan detalles grotescos, no los encontrarán en este libro. Lo que yo sí encontré es la afirmación de que uno mismo es quien decide cómo sobrellevar las cosas que le suceden, por más terribles que éstas sean.
Profile Image for ambyr.
878 reviews77 followers
September 24, 2011
Simple and lovely. I have no idea how I missed this one as a child; I certainly read enough Holocaust literature, much of it overwrought. This would have stood out. She captures the child's eye view perfectly, all focused on the minutia of day to day--where will I find shoes? where will I find books? how will I make friends at this strange new school?--and almost but not quite oblivious to the terrible currents in the background.

When the end came, and Esther wanted to stay in Siberia and make a life there rather than face the great unknown, my heart broke for her.

The beginning was a little rough to sink into; young Esther is so privileged, and so oblivious to her privilege, that the whining starts to grate. But the author is clearly aware of how unbearable her child-self can be (which, to be clear, is no more unbearable than most child-selves; I've read my childhood diaries, I know how much I whined, and for far less cause), and she moves through it quickly. And it's important to have that glimpse of shining prosperity, to remind us what's been lost, before we plunge into the war years.

Because no review of mine would be complete without a complaint, though, I do want to bitch about the cover quotes. "Rare"? No. This is a remarkable common story. Hundreds of thousands of Polish Jews made Esther's journey and lived to tell the tale--far more than survived by staying in Poland and hiding in the attics or factories of their kindly gentile neighbors. But it's the latter stories we like to tell, in America, because they emphasize Christian goodness. If you want the stories of Jews who struggled through impossible conditions on their own, you often need to turn to unpublished survivor interviews and narratives. I am glad this book bucks that trend; I am glad this book was published, and widely so at that. But that doesn't make it a rare story.
Profile Image for Nafiseh Miraei.
46 reviews13 followers
January 15, 2018
سال 1941 روس‌ها استر ده ساله و خانواده‌‌ی یهودیش رو تبعید می‌کنند سیبری. این داستان واقعی پنج سال زندگیشون توی تبعیده. کنار روایت تاریخ در دل داستان، برامون از سختی‌ این شکل از تبعید، اردوگاه‌های کار، دوری از خونه، رفتن به مدرسه‌ی جدید و کار کردن وقت کودکی می‌گه، از این که آدم‌ تا کجا می‌تونه تنگ اومدن شرایط رو تاب بیاره و چطور تلاش می‌کنه برای بقا و ادامه دادن و امید ساختن. ویژگیش شاید روایت شدنش از زبان کودک خانواده‌ست. اگه با بچه‌های پناهنده کار می‌کنید حتماً بخونیدش. اگه در حوزه‌ی کودک کار می‌کنید، پدرید یا مادر، بهتون کمک می‌کنه ببینید بچه‌ها چطور دنبال راه حل برای مسائلشون می‌گردند و فرآیند مشارکت دادنشون برای حل یک مشکل چطوری کمکشون می‌کنه در عبور از اون.
بعد از خوندن داستان نمی‌دونستم باید از این همه قدرت تاب آوردن بشر خوشحال باشم یا ناراحت، ولی هر از گاهی وقتی توی صندلی تاکسی فرورفتم یاد استر و بافتنی بافتن میفتم و دلم نمی‌خواد بیشتر فرو برم، دلم می‌خواد بپیوندم بهش یا ازش بپرسم چطوری می‌تونی؟ به نظرم اگه خسته‌اید و درمونده هم بد نیست بخونیدش
Profile Image for Susann.
716 reviews41 followers
August 20, 2016
Picked this up during our latest heat wave. A fascinating true story about a Jewish Polish family deported to Siberia during WWII. Which would have been a terrible, terrible thing, if it weren't for the reality of what would have happened otherwise. I am impressed with Esther's ingenuity as her family struggles to survive and by her shifting feelings for the steppe and its people.

Years later, Hautzig was a publicist for Crowell Publishing. She had the clever idea of marketing Maud Hart Lovelace's Betsy's Wedding with wedding invitations and the like. She even put her needlework skills (so essential during her time in Siberia) to use by sewing a "Betsy" wedding dress.

Last read: 11-15-2006
Profile Image for Elizabeth .
1,012 reviews
November 10, 2015
Beautiful. Chilling. Depressing. Inspiring. Infuriating. Haunting.

This is the author's true story written for children. It was not around when I was a child but I'm so glad that I read it. I will forever be haunted by this true story of the author as a little girl when family were exiled from Poland to Siberia during WWII.
Profile Image for Alwynne.
585 reviews593 followers
August 16, 2020
Written for young adults but well-written and absorbing, and suitable for a broader readership; this is a semi-autobiographical account of a family's life after transportation to Siberia. Excellent both as a narrative and as a glimpse into the reality of everyday life in Siberian exile.
Profile Image for Dree.
1,599 reviews48 followers
May 7, 2022
This story is very much a child's impression. Her parents and grandmother hid much from her (which she does recognize as an adult)--the hunger, cold, school, moving, close quarters, outgrown shoes--are all just part of this weird normal for Esther, exiled with her family in Siberia during WW2. I can only imagine what the physically demanding jobs, cold, hunger, need for better housing, and their daughter and mother suffering did to their thoughts. As well as worry about the family members left in Vilna.

When Russia sends the family back to Poland after the war, they learn that they--who endured 4 years exiled as Jewish capitalists--are some of the few Polish Jews who survived. Her aunts, uncles, cousins, maternal grandmother--all were killed during the war. She does not specify if they were sent to concentration camps, starved in ghettos, were killed in attacks--but she probably never knew. And this is YA/middle grade, so such details might have been glossed over intentionally.

Profile Image for Rissie.
545 reviews53 followers
November 20, 2017
Interesting story of a Jewish family surviving WWII. In this case, they were sent to Siberia, which is not a story that I had heard before. It's incredible how much they struggled to survive, and yet (**spoiler alert**) at the end Esther feels sad to leave -- which is a shock to her mother and to the reader. I guess it shows that any place can become home when you have friends and family close to you.
Profile Image for Sonya Heaney.
Author 5 books35 followers
June 26, 2020
I have a first edition copy of this. I'm so happy to see it's back in print. An important read for a new generation who thinks communism sounds just great. This is an almost identical story to the story of the people of my grandmother's raion in Ukraine.
12 reviews1 follower
February 20, 2023
This is my favorite story about a decadent capitalist jewish girl sent to Siberia. Honestly I love this book my favorite part is when she knits the sweater <3
50 reviews
November 15, 2018
Jeg synes det er vanskelig å anmelde denne boka.
Jeg vet ikke om jeg skal lese den som en selvbiografi eller som fiksjon. Men jeg tror det er en bok i grenseland.

Handlingen er vanskelig å ta inn over seg. Og historien er annerledes enn andre bøker jeg har lest fra 2. verdenskrig. I starten tenkte jeg at den skulle være ganske lik Between Shades of Grey, men utover i boka gikk handlingen i de to bøkene forskjellige veier. Hovedpersonen og familien hennes i The Endless Steppe kjemper en kamp om å overleve. Det er hardt, men de gir ikke opp. De blir sendt til Sibir, midt i øde. De blir satt til å jobbe i en gruve, for å sove i et gammelt skolebygg og en liten brød bit. Etter hvert så får de et mer "fritt" liv, men det gjør ikke ting lettere.

Jeg vet ikke, jeg føler at boka var hard, men samtidig er jeg glad jeg leste den. For det er det jeg synes er veldig interessant --- å lese historier til "hverdagsmennekser" fra krigen. Lese om hvordan det gikk utover enkeltpersoner, ikke bare det militære, politiske og stormaktenes strid seg i mellom. --For det var faktisk mennesker det gikk utover(!) Sorry, dette er mer min mening generelt enn om boka, men det er en av grunnene til at jeg likte boka. Den forteller historien til folk og liv jeg aldri har tenk på eller hørt om. Vi lærer ikke om slike sider av krige på skolen.
Profile Image for Robin.
19 reviews4 followers
December 4, 2012
Extremely touching. There was a point in time when I became one with Esther, the main character. I will never be the same again. With an edge of darkness that keeps you on your toes, this book will change your life forever.

Synopsis:Exiled to Siberia
In June 1942, the Rudomin family is arrested by the Russians. They are "capitalists -- enemies of the people." Forced from their home and friends in Vilna, Poland, they are herded into crowded cattle cars. Their destination: the endless steppe of Siberia.
For five years, Ester and her family live in exile, weeding potato fields and working in the mines, struggling for enough food and clothing to stay alive. Only the strength of family sustains them and gives them hope for the future.

Characters: The characters of this book develop at an extremely intriguing rate that aid to the pity you feel for them. Just knowing that the hardness that the characters bear throughout this novel actually fell upon human beings, is devastating. I can only imagine the pain that the author went through when recalling all of the cruelty acted upon her, in the creation of this book. I gave the characters of this novel 4.5/5 BookStars!

Plot The plot of this book was very fast paced and informative, but not so much that you could not follow or that you were bored by it. It is an entertaining novel whilst still holding some elements of an interesting history class. I give the plotline of," The Endless Steppe,: 5/5 BookStars!

Content: I could not get over the extreme detail in this book. Every hardships that the characters faced was like a hard blow to my stomach. The explanation of the surroundings was also extremely astonishing. I give the content of this book 5/5 BookStars!

The only thing left to be said is, please check out this book. You will not regret it.
I gave this overall book 5/5 BookStars! I definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants to be graced with a story of great reason and streength!
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