Thursday, December 8, 2016

Winter Sky by Chris Stewart

In a bombed-out Polish village during World War II a young resistance fighter finds that he is suddenly alone and trapped between two opposing armies. He is one of Poland's "Devil's Rebels" fighting desperately to save his homeland, but an injury has erased his memory and his only possession is a torn photograph of a couple he assumes are his parents. The woman appears to be holding the hand of a young child whose image has been ripped off. Could the child be him?

Caught in the crosshairs of the retreating German army and the advancing Russian forces, the village holds nothing but destruction and despair until a mysterious young woman offers a small glimmer of hope that may represent his last chance - news of a refuge train departing from a nearby town headed for American installations at the border. But complications arise when the resistance fighter is betrayed by his own countryman and hunted by German SS Officers who are determined to kill him before they retreat. Desperately searching for a home and family he can't remember he is persuaded to rescue two children who are doomed to die without his help.

As time runs out the former rebel is faced with an impossible choice. Standing at the crossroads of saving himself or risking his life for strangers, what would motivate a young man at the brink of salvation to make one more sacrifice?

I have been reading a lot of Christmas books lately but none like this one.  This book is not fluffy or even sweet.  It was actually really hard for me to read and I'll tell you why.  War is ugly and awful.  The devastation and loss pulls at my heart and just makes me sad.  This book depicts so much of the realities of war and I'll be honest in saying that I struggled reading it.  But, as with most of the most awful things in the world, you find stories of men and women who display courage and kindness.  They shine in the darkness that surrounds them.  That is what happens in this book.

This book takes us back to WWII and the less focused on Polish people.  A people caught in the cross hairs of the battle between Germany and Russia.  For one young man, a rebel resistance fighter, this is his own personal nightmare.  He is strong and he is brave.  He is fighting to stay alive.  It's an amazing tale of heroism and sacrifice.

This book is on the shorter side and didn't take me long to read.  I had a hard time putting it down because the story is so compelling, but I had to because my emotions were battered.  As a mother, a wife and a daughter, I cannot even begin to imagine some of the horrors described in this book.  But out of this book also comes the emotion of gratitude for what I have.  Much of what I have comes at a price that I didn't pay.  I am a recipient of freedom and prosperity because of many others and I am indebted and grateful.

Winter Sky is not your typical Christmas story, but it will bring to a better place in the end.  I'm so glad I had the chance to read it.

Content:  Violence

- I received a copy of this book, free from the publisher.  I was under no obligation to post a positive review.  All opinions expressed are my own.


  1. This sounds like one that I should pick up. So many of us that were born to baby boomers and the generation after take so much for granted not realizing it had a human cost or are only reminded once or twice a year on Rememberance Day. This isn't the typical Christmas read but we need something different now and again. A thanks for putting this on my radar.

    1. Thanks, Kimberly, for stopping by! I agree with you completely and I hope I never forget. I hope you get a chance to read this book!


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