...Like Footprints in the Wind

A Generation Lost

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
388 Pages
Reviewed on 06/27/2013
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Pamela Atherstone is the great-granddaughter of German-Russian immigrants and an amateur genealogist focusing on Russians of German heritage. She is a member of the American Historical Society of the Germans from Russia and the Germans from Russia Heritage Society, as well as the Genealogical Society of Stanislaus County. She attends the Writer's Workshop at the Modesto Institute of Continued Learning (MICL) where she enjoys combining her love of family with her love of horses in the stories she writes. She is a mother and grandmother. A lifelong Californian, this is her first novel, and she is currently working on a continuation to this story. She lives in the Central Valley of California with her husband, Jim, and her horses and dogs.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Alice Recker for Readers' Favorite

In Pamela Atherstone's novel ". . . Like Footprints in the Wind" the saga of a family torn apart takes us from unrest in a German-Russian village at the hands of Stalin to their separate destinies. Under Stalin's rule families are uprooted overnight and forced on a journey of unimaginable consequences. Johannes and Katerina pack items they feel can't be left at home and along with their four young children and their two teenage daughters, they begin a trek that ultimately is destined for Siberia. On the treacherous trip Katerina must find a respectable gravesite to bury her baby, Rosina. Eventually they are loaded onto cramped and windowless boxcars and after many days reach their destination. The family is quickly separated and this is the ultimate dagger in the hearts of each of them. Only one daughter is saved and Anya's quest is to find the rest of her family.

Pamela Atherstone's ". . . Like Footprints in the Wind" is a riveting story of a dark phase in history few of us recall. She has the unique ability to tell the tale of the dislocation of German-Russian families in a way that brings home the cruelty of leaders toward their own people. The family Atherstone depicts is like any loving and hard-working family. Their individual destinations end the similarities. Atherstone's talent for telling a story brings the reader to admire the unusual way this particular family learns to cope and the realization of how many others endured unspeakable hardships. My hope is Pamela Atherstone continues her stories to both enlighten and to entertain us all. I look forward to more books coming from this author.

The Novel Lady

Beautifully Written!
By The Novel Lady on March 12, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition
I don't even know where to begin with writing this review of ...Like Footprints in the Wind by Pamela Atherstone. It was absolutely AMAZING! This novel has not had the coverage it deserves! With the number of books I read (which is A LOT of books)... many of which are on the New York Times Best Seller List... all I can say is that this book rates right up there with some of the BEST I have read!

Although this is a work of fiction, it reads like non-fiction. It is so chocked full of historical information, but written so beautifully and with so much description and so much heart that you get pulled right into the story, feeling every heartbreak and moment of fear and anxiety and heartfelt warmth and love. Wow! I cannot say enough about this book! I loved it!

We have all heard about the Nazi concentration camps and the tormented lives of the Jewish population in Germany, but very few of us have heard of the Purge of the Kulaks in Russia, where under Stalin's rule, hundreds of thousands of Russian-born farmers whose families had emigrated from Germany were removed from their property and taken to labor camps in Siberia.

This story follows the lives of the Jahlne family as they are forced to leave their farm to travel by horse and wagon with other German families only to later be transferred to cattle cars on a train. Here, they are subjected to overcrowded conditions, starvation and brutal interrogations by the NKVD. Upon reaching their destination of the town of Onega in western Siberia, the family is separated with Johannes taken with the other men to one labor camp and his wife, Katerina, and two oldest daughters, Magdalena and Karolina, being taken to another labor camp. Their youngest children are left to fend for themselves, with only Anya being "adopted" by an elderly woman.

Pamela Atherstone writes with so much emotion and detail that I found myself not only reaching for a tissue, but actually sobbing!

This story isn't just about the devastation these German families endured. It is also a story about the strength they had in their love of family and their faith in God.

Beautifully written by an author I plan to watch in the future.