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Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite
My Three Countries: A Journey from Privilege to Slavery to Freedom by Anna Melgaard is a biography that is bold, charming, and thoughtful; a memoir of one woman’s journey from a privileged class to being stripped of everything and forcefully shipped with many others for hard labor in the Soviet bloc after WWII, and her gritty, daring escape from slavery to freedom. Meet Anna Untch who was born in Romania, experienced all forms of suffering, including starvation, slave labor, illness and despair repaying what the Germans owed from WWII, against her will. It is interesting following this tale filled with emotion as she rejoins her sister and boldly makes her way to the US. But the escape could be deadlier than the horrors left behind. And will the two sisters ever see their family again?
This is a very engaging story, told in a captivating voice that draws out the sympathy of the reader. The narrative is emotionally moving, beautifully told, and, in spite of the grim nature of the story and the darkness that accompanies the protagonist, the humanity of the characters comes out brilliantly. Although this is a story with themes of forced labor and modern slavery, it is one of hope and courage; it explores the daring of a woman who redefines her path and sets out to conquer her freedom. The historical setting is wonderfully done and the emotions of the characters explored in a way so that the story feels real and utterly engaging. This is a tale of struggle and success, riveting and punctuated with risky adventures. My Three Countries: A Journey from Privilege to Slavery to Freedom invites readers to dare, to believe in themselves, and to fight for freedom. It’s a work of pure delight.