Another Way Over

A Novel of Immigration to America

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
384 Pages
Reviewed on 01/04/2022
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Author Biography

John Michalik had a long career as a lawyer, an editor for a major law book publisher, a law school dean, and as the CEO of two large membership associations in the legal profession. In his latest career iteration he returned to writing, beginning with the non-fiction book The Harriman Alaska Expedition of 1899, which was published in 2001. That has been followed by this debut novel, Another Way Over - a story inspired by his paternal grandfather's own journey of immigration to the United States.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

Another Way Over by John J. Michalik is the tale of a Slovak immigrant who travels to America on the brink of World War I in search of a better life. Inspired by Michalik's paternal grandfather's life story, the book follows Jan Brozek, son of a Slovak farmer, who's set to emigrate to the new world and settle down, so when his fiancee, Maria, arrives, they can start a new life together. However, things don't go according to plan as Jan begins to have conflicted feelings for a young noblewoman whose life he saves twice. Meanwhile, he's denied access through the New York City harbor due to an eye condition, leading him to seek a way through Argentina. Along the way, he encounters a myriad of people from all walks of life.

A slice-of-life story showcasing the power of perseverance and the inherent resilience of the human spirit, Another Way Over enthralls you from beginning to end. This is slow-burn storytelling at its finest. Author John J. Michalik's tale is an homage to those millions of immigrants who had to sacrifice everything and leave their loved ones behind in their pursuit of the American dream. The characters are well-fleshed-out, and they provide a sense of authenticity to the narrative that makes it riveting to read. Jan is a wonderfully complex yet likable protagonist who you can't help but root for. His complicated feelings for two different women in his life add conflict to his character, making him intriguing. If you love slice-of-life stories filled with heart and charm, Another Way Over is the book for you.

Jennifer Ibiam

Another Way Over by John J. Michalik follows the life of Jan Brozek and his adventures on the journey to a new world. After the Slovaks gained freedom from serfdom in the eighteenth century, they could own lands and cater for their families. However, they were still peasants and their economic situation was pitiful. Young Slovak men emigrated to seek greener pastures, and like them, Jan left for America in 1910. He left his family and betrothed Maria behind, and they agreed she would join him soon. Along the way, Jan rescued a baron’s daughter named Anna from a fatal accident. He saved her a second time, and sparks ignited between them. Will he keep his promise to Maria or bask in Anna’s love? Will Jan make it to America?

Another Way Over by John J. Michalik is a novel about Jan’s immigration to America and his travails. Inspired by the author’s paternal grandfather, this four-part book is emotional with depth. I loved the historical flavor, storyline, plot, and development. Some themes explored in the novel include kindness, determination, integrity, and loyalty. I felt like Jan lived in a time when the world was better, and there was enough kindness to go around. People cared about their neighbors, and they were always ready to lend a helping hand. Jan was also a kind man, attracting the same. He was witty, intelligent, and had integrity. Life and the journey were an adventure for Jan, especially on the ship. John is a talented writer, and I enjoyed this story.

K.C. Finn

Another Way Over: A Novel of Immigration to America is a work of fiction in the historical and interpersonal drama subgenres. It is suitable for the general reading audience and was penned by author John J. Michalik. In this moving novel that takes us back to the early twentieth century, we find ourselves following the story of Jan Brozek. He and his fiancée, Maria, wish to make a new life for themselves in America, but first, they must traverse the tense atmosphere of Europe as the greatest war in history brews beneath its surface. What follows is a harrowing and enlightening journey of changing destinies, matters of the heart, and the curiosities of life’s unexpected twists of fate.

Author John J. Michalik has crafted a work of fiction that truly captures the spirit of the period it’s set in but also does an incredible job of being highly relatable to modern audiences. The character work is outstanding, with Jan presenting a very realistic portrayal of an idealized young man coming to terms with the harsh realities of life, but also possessed of a strong inner fire and a zest for opportunity that we, as readers, hope will see him through dark and difficult times. Anna, a baron's daughter that Jan rescued twice, and Maria are both excellent foils for Jan’s journey but are also strong and thoughtful women in their own right. When you add to this the highly emotive atmosphere of a world about to head into the bloodiest war of all time, Another Way Over becomes a truly unmissable read.