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Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite
Full Circle: A Refugee's Tale by Joe Vitovec is a gripping historical novel that recaptures the horrors of World War II and the suffering inflicted on many people by the Nazi occupation, and the Communist regime that would transform Czechoslovakia into a place of oppression for many people. After his best friend is sent to a concentration camp by the SS Commander, Jan Neuman knows that the days ahead would become even darker, so he flees the country after the successful communist coup. But fleeing will not be an easy thing as he has many challenges, moving from Germany to France and to Italy, and finally to his adapted country, the United States. The reader follows Jan’s odyssey as he struggles to reconcile with his fears, his sense of guilt, and the nagging desire for revenge. The reader will discover the transformation that takes place within him and what happens when he decides to come back to his country when he thinks it is safe.
This is a heartbreaking story about war, racism, and man’s inhumanity to man, a story that describes the reality of post WWII Czechoslovakia in lyrical and compelling prose. Readers will love the way the conflict is developed, especially the internal conflict taking place within the protagonist. The story is beautifully told and it has psychological depth. Joe Vitovec articulates brilliantly on the themes of love, patriotism, war, and friendship. I also enjoyed the powerful political setting of Full Circle: A Refugee's Tale. This is a story that will bring tears to the reader’s eyes while taking them through the perils of war, a story with memorable characters, a gripping plot, and a realistic setting. It’s one of those books that haunt readers after they are done reading.