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Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite
Ten Cultures, Twenty Lives: Refugee Life Stories by Daina Jurika-Owen is a powerful book that explores a socio-political phenomenon — the refugee problem. In this spellbinding, eye-opening book, the author shares the lives of refugees who, after numerous tribulations and gruesome experiences, arrive in the US and settle in Abilene, Texas. They come from different cultures and backgrounds, men and women, driven away from their homeland by war. They come from Cuba, Rwanda, Liberia, Bhutan, Congo, and other places. They are people leaving behind a whole culture and way of life to search for a place of refuge, but there is more to these stories than that. These are stories that open a whole new world to readers, allowing them to touch the very soul of the refugee and feel the conundrum from a whole new perspective.
Daina Jurika-Owen does a wonderful job in bringing these stories — both heartbreaking and inspiring — to readers. This is a book about courage, about the dreams of millions of people fleeing their countries, but it is also a book about the long road to freedom these people have had to travel. The book answers the question: What does it feel like to be a refugee? Readers are introduced to compelling characters and powerful stories that will bring tears to their eyes and inspire a deep sense of pathos in them. It is a compelling indictment of war and violence and man’s inhumanity to man. I couldn’t help thinking about a powerful video documentary as I turned from one page to the next, encountering the characters and their tenacity and grit as I read through Ten Cultures, Twenty Lives: Refugee Life Stories.