2 out of 4 stars
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I am Not a Polish Bastard by George Yourchyk tells the story of a family who lived through three different wars. The focus is mainly on Yuri and his attempt to prove that he is not a bastard.
The story is touching in many ways, and I can't help but admire Yuri's resilience. He does not allow the things he goes through to break him. Instead, he shows gratefulness for every help he receives and fights hard to help those he loves.
Yuri shows remarkable strength for someone who experiences so much loss and pain at a very young age. The book takes us through several years of the young man's life and shares with us his pain and grief — and his joys as well.
The book was incredibly detailed, and I was able to understand what was happening; how circumstances affected Yuri's life, his thoughts, and reactions to them. It was a realistic and relatable tale. As a result of how the story was narrated, I connected with the book and its main character. For instance, I cheered when he was finally able to eat sandwiches after months of eating only pea soup. I also shared in his disappointments, disillusionment, sadness over the loss of two of his closest friends, and heartbreak.
Sadly, the book was difficult to read because it was poorly written. It had no structure, and the time gaps could be somewhat confusing to the reader. Sometimes, there were excessive and unnecessary repetitions of sentences, and some of the details were inconsistent.
The book was also riddled with poor grammar and wrong sentence structures. It kept switching between direct and indirect speech patterns and even between present tense and past tense. Many times, punctuation marks were omitted, entire words were missing from sentences, and words were misspelled. These issues were too distracting as they always took my attention away from the story while I tried to make sense of the sentences. Hence, the book took me a long time to read.
If you could look past the book's poor grammar, you'd see a lot of things to admire about the main character, Yuri. His commitment to family despite the way he was treated was remarkable. He kept doing everything he could to make things easier for them and helped in any way he could. Even when he stopped living with them, he kept going back to see them and make sure they were okay. Although it was a fictional tale, I learned a lot about dealing with some life issues.
Overall, I give the book two out of four stars. I recommend the book to anyone who loves family-focused historical fiction novels.
I am Not a Polish Bastard
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