Friday, November 4, 2011

Charlene Reviews: From My Mother by Margreet Dietz

ISBN #: 978-1456471347
Page Count: 204
Copyright: 2011
Publisher: CreateSpace


As experienced marathoner Nadia embarks on her biggest challenge yet, a 100-kilometre ultra run, her thoughts turn to her maternal grandmother, who emigrated to the Netherlands in the early 1950s as a young widow, escaping Czechoslovakia in the aftermath of a Communist coup d'etat. As Nadia struggles with unexpected obstacles in the longest race of her life, the parallels with her grandmother become clearer. However, Nadia also realizes that Oma, now 94, has been tested far more than her granddaughter likely ever will.

Charlene's Review:

From My Mother is a parallel story, focusing on the obstacles faced while running long distances, and the obstacles faced by the runner's grandmother as she faced emigration from her home in Czechoslovakia during Communist takeover. As she competes in her first ultra run, roughly 62 miles, Nadia thinks back on the stories her grandmother has shared, and reflects on how dogged determination may run in her family.

From My Mother is a very touching story of a matriarch that deeply ingrains survival into her family. Largely a book filled with a marathoner's mindset, all of the technical and running jargon do not detract from the story of a love between granddaughter and "Oma" that spans continents, and the hardships that molded the generations into persevering, strong women. The freedom Nadia feels as she runs also parallels the freedom her grandmother struggled so hard to find. This is a novel that successfully integrates heart and sport.

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