Sunday, September 05, 2021



Antonia risks her life every day sneaking messages and refugees across the border to safety.  But when she is hiding in the forest behind her house, she witnesses her sister Lena and her nephews being taken at gunpoint by the Nazi’s.  She has to make the impossible decision, does she come out of hiding and go with her family to keep them safe or does she stay hidden and continue to fight.  Antonia comes out of hiding and goes with her sister and nephews.  When they arrive at the labor camp, the conditions are horrible and Lena’s son becomes very ill.  Antonia must devise a plan for escape, to save her sister Lena and her two nephews.  She spent so many years helping others and now, she is their only hope for their escape and survival.  

I thoroughly enjoyed this story, I cried and found myself cheering them on.  I was so enthralled by this gripping and powerful novel, I didn’t want it to end, yet at the same time I could wait to see how it was going to end. 

Thank you Chrystyna Lucyk-Berger for such a riveting and intense story.  I felt as if it was happening right in front of me. The hope, triumphs and tribulations that the people went through, was so descriptive, it made me feel such compassion for them. This phenomenal story is a must read and I highly recommend this book.




Author:  Chrystyna Lucyk-Berger
Publisher: Bookouture 
Publication Date: September 2, 2021 
Pages: 347 
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1944, Germany. Gazing through the barbed wire, Antonia makes a vow: she will not let her family die in this camp. She will find a way for them to escape, even if it costs her her life. The Nazis have taken everything from her, but they can never take away her courage… 

Resistance fighter Antonia risks her life every day, sneaking messages under the Nazis’ noses and smuggling refugees across the border. But when she’s in the forest behind her family’s farm and Nazi soldiers arrive, she faces a terrible choice. As she sees her sister Lena and her young nephews herded towards the trucks, guns pointed at their heads, she must decide: stay hidden, stay free and continue the fight, or step out of the trees and go with her family to protect them—no matter what lies ahead.

As she clutches her nephew’s little hand in hers, her other arm tight around Lena, she knows she has made the right choice. And as the truck rattles towards a brutal labor camp, Antonia’s only thought is of how to stay alive, so she can escape and rejoin her comrades in the resistance.

But conditions in the camp are unbearably harsh, and her older nephew soon falls ill, while Lena starves to give her children what she can. For Antonia, the only thing worse than watching her nephews suffer is seeing Lena realise that her child will die without help. She cannot let that happen.

All four of their lives now hang on the desperate plan she has made, but she will not let herself give up hope. She has spent five years fighting for the freedom of others – can she win it now for herself?


Chrystyna Lucyk-Berger was born in Minnesota in 1969. A first-generation American of Ukrainian immigrants, she grew up in the culture-rich neighborhood of “Nordeast” Minneapolis. Inspired by her second-grade teacher, her writing career began with short stories, then morphed into travel narratives, and eventually novels. She has worked as a journalist and as a managing editor for a magazine publisher before jumping the editor’s desk and pursuing her dreams of writing and traveling. In 2000, she moved to western Austria and established her own communications training company. She has won several awards for her short stories and novels and now primarily writes historical fiction.

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