The Year Slipped by Without Fanfare

Somehow the day passed and I missed mentioning it. I guess it’s because the year just flew by so quickly that I did not even notice that it has been one year since the publication of my book.

Looking back, the question is, did publishing this book about my father’s life in the Soviet Union during the Stalin era meet my expectations? Do I have any regrets sharing this story with friends, family, and strangers? If I did it again, would I change anything?

My answers are that I had few expectations. While I hoped that people outside my circle of friends and family would read it to learn about a little-known part of history, I was both pleasantly surprised and also a bit disappointed that more of the readers were strangers.

Because this was a personal account of what happened during those years between the Great Depression and the McCarthy era to my family, my expectations were that my readers would have been almost exclusively people who knew my dad or me. I also believed that such people would be more forgiving of my lack of professional writing ability, knowing that I had gone into the project with the primary goal of presenting the facts as I envisioned it and sharing my findings with them, not to write a best-seller.

I have considered writing another book, this time a fictionalized account of the story told through the eyes of my grandmother, imagining what she may have felt returning to the homeland of her family, including a mother’s fears of sending her son back home alone during the early stages of the Second World War.

But then I read Winter Garden, which touches on the horrors of the Siege of Leningrad, and I decided that I do not want to write something so sad yet. I would like to write another book, but I have just not decided on the topic.

I have no regrets about sharing this story with anyone and everyone, particularly because I believe my father always wanted his story told. No one was interested in all the details at the time. I stand by my story, even the letters I wrote to him because they show the thought process I had as I was writing the book. Perhaps I should have spent more time in painting highly descriptive pictures of the settings, people, and their feelings. Maybe I will do so if I write another book!

Beginning on Thursday, May 25 and continuing until June 4, I will be doing my second Goodreads Giveaway for people in the US, UK, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. For anyone who has not read Do Svidanya Dad and is living in those countries, enter the Giveaway. I won a book. You may too.

As someone who loves competitions with myself, I wonder if I can beat the number of entrants to my other Giveaway of 961 people.

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About kjw616

I am a genealogy detective. I have already written one book about my Irish family's journey from 19th century Ireland to the United States- a family history sprinkled with personal anecdotes. My second book was intended to be a similar story about my Russian ancestors. Instead, it turned into a tale of just my father's immediate family. It is the tale of what happens when 6 children from New Jersey are moved to the Soviet Union by their Russian-born parents during the Great Depression. It details who lives, who dies, and who is able to return to NJ during a time when leaving the USSR was not an easy endeavor, particularly during World War II and the Cold War. It is my hope that those interested in history during this time period will find this story fascinating as well as those fellow amateur family historians who will learn some of the tools such as ancestry.com, visits to the National Archives, and local libraries I used to uncover this story.
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