Memoir / World War II / Former Soviet Union / Russian Jews / Orthodox Christianity
Paperback / 5.5″x8.5″ / 176 pp. / Bl/Wh Photos
Marianna’s search for Truth and hope is a deeply moving quest. She comes of age amid the influences of Soviet atheism, the ascendancy of natural science, the folklore and superstitions of the Russian people, the Jewish traditions of her father’s family, the Orthodox traditions of her mother’s family, and the witness of one brave believer.
Similar in style to The Diary of Anne Frank, Paper Poppies was first published in Russia to critical acclaim.
The story of a spiritual journey—through the acute observations of a crippled orphan during World War II. Here described are the myriad of beliefs that filled empty souls during the Communist years. And here is the story of one lost soul coming home to Christ in a way that defies description. In Marianna’s words, “Joyful faith, loving faith, trusting faith, faith with a reverential awe and not with the horror of a slave scared to death, appealed to me a lot more. It came to me in a dark and troubled period. It was like a window suddenly burst open, and warmth, the blue of the sky, and all the voices and colors of the world flooded into my inner darkness and narrowness. I met a look full of love, and a friendly hand was extended to me.”
Marianna chose to follow the faith of the first person who witnessed personally to her. Oh, the power of that personal word! For those who love Russia and seek to understand the struggle of the Russian soul, this book will allow you to enter that experience as no other.
“A good memoir brings a single life sharply into focus; when that life illuminates a turbulent historical context, the results can be enthralling… Paper Poppies is such a book.”
− Kathryn Atwood, Midwest Book Review
“The author’s delicate and vivid descriptions wrap themselves around the readers and take us through her steps of discovery on a historical journey from emptiness to fulfillment… [The] raw and straightforward style is graceful, rare and inspirational… As I read Paper Poppies, a sense of thankfulness emerged from within — thankfulness that Vekhova’s story will not be forgotten, thankfulness for her courage, her wisdom, her creativity and her sense of hope.”
− Nettie Bozanich, freelance writer
“Deeply moving … a magical memoir… Immensely healing. A fascinating glimpse behind the Iron Curtain [into] the ordinary lives of a Germanic/Jewish/Russian family caught up in terrible times, and how it all affected one little girl.”
− Rebecca Brown, Rebecca’s Reads