December 24, 2015
Hello readers! Welcome to our Tour Stop for
Broken Stone by Gabriele Goldstone
presented by Rebelight Publishing!
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Mama is dead, Baby Emil is dead and Stalin’s new rules are breaking up the family. Papa must stay behind and hide as 12-year-old Katya and her three younger siblings find their way to freedom in East Prussia. With Mama’s sister, Aunt Helena, they board a train and flee for a new home with an aunt and uncle they’ve never met—relatives who don’t want them.
But when they reach the border, Soldiers won’t let Aunt Helena cross. That forces Katya to take responsibility for her siblings. What will life hold for Katya, her two sisters and her brother when they arrive in East Prussia? How long before Papa can rescue them?
Thanks so much for taking the time and spending time with us here at Chapter by Chapter!
The world’s over-run with books. It’s rather humbling, so I appreciate your time and interest.
Describe your book in 140 characters or less (like a Tweet)
With a broken stone clenched tight in her hand, twelve-year-old kulak-orphan Katya flees the Soviet Union for an uncertain future in 1930s Germany.
What was your inspiration for writing this book? Was it in a dream? A thought while taking a walk?
It started around a Christmas dinner. My mother shared an anecdote about her life and I knew it had to become part of a story.
Tell us about the main character(s).
Katya is twelve years old and her family is kulak—enemies of the Soviet plan to collectivize the country. Returning from Siberian exile where her mother died, she’s filled with shame about her shaved head, ugly clothes and homelessness. Plans are made to let the children leave the country. Katya pins her future happiness on her father, who’s promised to join the children when he gets the necessary travel documents. By the end of the book, Katya has discovered that she must be responsible for her own happiness.
Do you have a favorite quote or specific part in the book that you really love?
I like chapter 22 when she realizes that books have power and that she too, has power. I also like the opening chapter where she’s reunited with her family dog.
Was there a specific part in the book that you had an especially difficult time writing? If so, why?
The ending was challenging. It took me awhile to get it right. I didn’t want Katya to give up, and yet I wanted her to throw away the stone…without bitterness. I wanted her to stop being a victim of circumstances beyond her control. I just realized now as I’m writing this, that the Serenity Prayer can apply to this character’s growth.
What sort of projects do you have going on right now. Any new books coming out?
I have a third book in this historical fiction trilogy. This continues to explore the 1930s before the Second World War. Unlike the war itself, I don’t think it’s been explored enough. I’m extremely curious about how the people of Germany were able to nurture something as ugly as Naziism. The research is so interesting.
It was great having you on the blog today! We hope you’ll decide to stop by again someday, and we wish you much success!!
Thank you. Your efforts to promote books is appreciated. Reading is an important tool in understanding ourselves and our world. Peace to you and your readers.
FOLLOW UP TO:
Katya knows all about Stalin’s big plans; she learned of them in school. But those plans mean little to her until the secret police arrest Papa and seize their family farm. With Mama and her younger siblings, Katya is shoved into a crowded train headed for a forced labour camp in Siberia. Torn from everything she has ever known, Katya faces cold and hunger, and the ever-present threat of lost hope. As she clings to a single red stone from the fields of her homeland, she questions life. Where is Papa? Will she ever see him again? And what will become of Katya’s family?
Inspired by a true story, Red Stone explores the trauma and heart¬break suffered by many families in the Soviet Union during the 1930s when Stalin seized individual property and villainized property owners as kulaks.
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