This remarkable novel, hidden from the English-speaking world for more than 50 years, begins with the Red Army invasion of Belarus in 1939. Ivan Kulik has just become headmaster of School Number 7 in Hlaby, a rural village in the Pinsk Marshes. Through his eyes we witness the tragedy of Stalinist domination, where people are randomly deported to labor camps or tortured in Zovty Kazarny prison in the center of Pinsk.
Wave of Terror is a novel about the effects of the Soviet invasion of Belarus in 1939 on a small Ukrainian village in the Pinsk marshes as seen through the eyes of a young school teacher named Ivan Kulik. Liberated from their uncaring Polish landlords, the village is first happy, but later finds they are faced with an even worse threat from Stalinist oppression.
Originally written in Ukrainian and published as Voshchad’ (Incipient dawn) in Toronto in 1972, this edition was translated into English by Erma Odrach, the author’s daughter. The story is based on Odrach’s personal experiences and was written to expose the horrors of Stalinist Russia, but now reads as historical fiction.
Theodore Odrach’s purpose for writing this novel was to expose the atrocities of the Stalin regime. This book is an account of true events witnessed and experienced by the author himself. I found this book really fascinating . Theodre Odrach was a talented author, I admire his courage and tenacity and the translation by his daughter is wonderful.
The novel is best at portraying the people and their behavior as they struggle to adapt and survive under changing and unjust conditions. Particularly well done is Ivan’s infatuation with the lovely Marusia, and her uncaring response as she tries hard to adjust to the new Russian social environment that Ivan disdains.
I would certainly recommend this book , as a very intelligent and truthful read, the characters all human with their courage and weakness, optimism and failure.
I thank Erma Odrach for interpreting her father’s work in English and pursuing publication.
I recieved this book from “Library Thing”s Member Giveaway event.