Today’s team review is from Frank.
Find out more about Frank here https://franklparker.com/
Frank has been reading The Thin Blue-Yellow Line Between Love & Hate by Anton Eine.
In the spring of 1941 my mother left London. She was accompanied by her mother and carrying me in her womb. She had spent much of the preceding 12 months working in Air Raid Precautions. She was present in London during the 58 days of the ‘Blitz’ in September and October 1940, when she not only saw the devastation caused by Hitler’s bombers but assisted with the organisation of shelters and providing food for families whose homes had been destroyed.
In the summer of 1943 my father was one of 50,000 aircrew involved in the bombing of German cities. He took part in the raids which generated a fire storm over Hamburg, as a result of which 2 million civilians are said to have fled that city. He lost his life when the bomber of which he was Flight Engineer was shot down during a raid on Mannheim in November 1943.
Since 1945 neither the UK or Europe has had first hand experience of such a conflict. Whilst many US Army, Navy and Air Force personnel participated in that conflict and many others since, North America has never been under attack. Two generations of citizens in what we usually refer to as the Western Democracies have no idea what it is like to be subjected to bombardment on such a scale.
Since February 24th 2022, the citizens of Ukraine have had to get used to daily bombardments. For the first weeks after that date many also had to suffer the brutality of occupation by an army of individuals whose behaviour, revealed once they were driven back, marked some as psychopaths.
Anton Eine’s book documents the first 100 days following the unprovoked attack. The story of his own escape from Kyiv, with his young family, to the relative safety of Lviv in the west of the country, is harrowing enough. He brings together the tales of many other families from around Ukraine, collected via email and the internet. He also provides much more detail about the terrorising of Bucha, and other towns and neighbourhoods liberated from Russian occupation, than were shown on UK television at the time.
The book has been translated into English and is shows Eine’s diversity as an accomplished writer adding to his stable of works which include science fantasy novels. In this book he talks candidly about the difficulty of shielding his 3-year-old son from news about the ‘good soldiers’ and the ‘bad soldiers’.
‘Bad soldiers’ is a sanitised version of what Eine calls the Russian army and their leader. In fact, the most striking thing about the book, is the visceral hatred of the Russian ‘Orcs’ that comes across in every paragraph.
It is plain that the damage caused by Putin’s ‘Special Operation’ extends way beyond the destruction of buildings and infrastructure and the unnecessary deaths of civilians, to the minds of the people, leaving a scar that it will take generations to heal.
Although, I did not finish the book, I would suggest that it is essential reading for anyone who has not experienced the realities of modern warfare. Which means every citizen under 75 in most of Europe and North America. For that reason I cannot rate it less than 5 stars out of 5.
A diary chronicling the hopes, pain and fears of ordinary Ukrainians collected during the current war. Frank, emotional and straight from the heart.
This book is about the first 100 days of fascist Russia’s perfidious and unfounded invasion of Ukraine. But it is not an account of the war and its battlefield engagements. It’s about people. About their feelings and emotions, their experiences, fears and pain, their suffering, hope and love.
I started writing this book one sleepless night in Kyiv when I had been kept awake all night by the roar of our aerial defense system and explosions nearby, listening out for approaching rockets and bombs and wondering whether I should take my wife and young son and run for the air-raid shelter. That night, I realized that I had a duty as a writer to act as a voice for those whose stories desperately needed to be told to other people in the world.
I wrote about what I saw and felt. About the stories, my relatives and friends shared with me. It became a chronicle, memoir, diary and confession. I set down our stories so that the whole world might know and understand what we have been through. So that the whole world might share our experiences of this war alongside us – in our trembling buildings, in our freezing cold basements, underground parking lots, bomb shelters and metro stations and in the ruins of our burning cities. So that the world might be given a glimpse into our hearts through the lacerated wounds that have been inflicted on them by this cruel and barbaric war.
I just can’t imagine the horrors the Ukrainians are going through. And yes, the trauma, PTSD, and physical wounds will last for a long time.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Very powerful Thanks, Frank.
LikeLiked by 1 person