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Return to Odessa



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Return to Odessa by Harold N Wiens
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A Mennonite baby named Raisa Friedrichsen is born as her mother dies in Blumenau, Ukraine: one of the last villages established in the historic Molotschna Colony. Her father, only sixteen years old, leaves Raisa to be raised by her grandparents, taking on the role of her brother. With schoolyard bullies harassing her with the truth, Raisa now known as Christina, finally leaves home to find a new life in Odessa. Befriended by a Russian officer who falls in love with her street singing, Christina finds acceptance, support and encouragement, only to lose it once more after a tragic incident. Returning home a widow with a baby, she enters into a second marriage with a devastatingly similar outcome. Finding herself a single mother of two teenage sons on the eve of the Russian Revolution, Christina must do what it takes to keep her boys safe. Finally escaping the clutches of Nestor Makhno, Alex and Nicholas, her sons, join a group of Mennonites immigrating to rural Manitoba, Canada.As the years pass, Alex and Nicholas become valued members of their church and community. Alex's son Jacob becomes intrigued with the family history, travels to the USSR on business and begins researching his maternal grandmother's story. As Jacob and his sister Stephanie, an aspiring opera singer, travel to Odessa, they cannot know how their paths will fulfil the dreams and aspirations of their grandmother Christina, who was not considered good enough to enter the Odessa Opera House, let alone perform in it.
Release date NZ
January 26th, 2017
Illustrations, black and white
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