IRON MOUNTAIN - Iron Mountain author Ida M. Nord has announced the release of her latest book "Shards of War," now available at book stores throughout the U.P. and Northeastern Wisconsin.
"Shards of War" tells the story of two Russian families dealing with the effects of the Russo-Finnish conflict and the imminent German occupation of Russia in World War II. The Churnak and Jewish Kovalyo families have been lifelong friends, whose children have grown up together, befriended and confided in each other their entire lives.
Sophya Churnak heads her family following the death of her physician-husband, killed while helping those injured during the Russo-Finnish conflict. Her bond with the Kovalyo's strengthens as the threat of German invasion grows nearer - and the families vow to protect and look after each other.
The book provides a glimpse into Russian life and the hardships the country faces during this difficult time for all.
Though some might not have been personally affected by the events behind "Shards of War," its many themes are sure to connect to each individual reader in many ways.
Nord weaves themes of love, friendship, pain, and deception into a well-written work that has elements of humor and good-natured joking one moment and vivid imagery of the brutality that ensued, the next.
Nord makes it easy for the reader to follow along by providing a key of the many characters introduced in the nearly 300-page book, as well as brief historical summaries to keep the reader up to speed. The book also includes authentic photos of the region at the time and an interview with Nord, where she explains her inspiration behind this epic tale.
The book was inspired by Nord's Russian roots, as her father was born 56 miles from Moscow, before he immigrated to the United States.
"I loved my father dearly and was always interested in his roots: where he lived in Russia, his faith, what his house was like as a child - the memories he kept to himself," recalls Nord.
She said much research went into writing the book, which at first was about retracing her father's roots, but what she discovered was much more.
"The deeper I dug, I realized the story that rose from the ashes of that war was more than being Russian; it is about the heart-wrenching truth of a world that 'didn't want to know,'" she said. "The extermination of Jews, the murder of non-Jewish persons was 'unthinkable.' Even today, some insist, 'It didn't really happen.'"
"Shards of War" is Nord's final book, following the release of her previous books "The Bright Side of Ugly;" a series of 13 short stories about the people and places of the U.P., and "The Mayfly;" a suspenseful fictional story inspired by many still-unsolved U.P. murders.
"Shards of War" is now available for $18.95 at all U.P. and Northeast Wisconsin Book World stores, as well as the following independent stores: Canterbury Bookstore and Country Roads in Escanaba, Snow Bound Books and the NMU Bookstore in Marquette, Book World in Iron Mountain, Nordic Grocery in Felch Mountain, and other select locations. Book signings will be scheduled in the near future.