3 out of 4 stars
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The Journey tells the true story of Sergei Ivantchev, M.D., an immigrant who sought asylum in Canada with his family. It gives a detailed account of his struggle to survive the vicissitudes of life. Not much is known about the real struggles or the stories of immigrants. I, for one, never knew anything about them beyond what I read on the internet. This book is the closest I've come to getting a first-hand narrative of immigrants' dilemmas. The book also teaches a lifelong lesson on steadfastness and having faith. If you need something to strengthen you through any struggle, pick a copy of this book. It is as motivating as it is interesting.
I enjoyed reading this book to a large extent. It was interesting and captivating. The author told his story as if he was having a conversation with me. Every event was very detailed. While reading, I could see the narrative play in my mind's eye. I could also almost hear the author speak.
The author invited me into his world, and it was a pleasure taking a tour through it. Some of the events stirred up certain emotions. One of them was when customs officials in Moscow said they would have to leave his daughter, Victoria, behind as she didn't have a picture in her passport. I tried to imagine what I would have done in that situation. It takes a certain degree of expertise to convey feelings or emotions to the reader successfully. This I can only describe as excellent emotional writing. I commend the author for this.
However, as much as I enjoyed reading the book, I had certain issues of concern to me. One of them was that the book contained many errors that dampened my reading flow and slowed my reading pace. The errors were so many that I was noticing on after every two pages. This left me wondering if the book was ever edited at all. I'd suggest thorough, intensive, and professional editing for this book.
Another issue I had with the book was how the author quoted some sentences. When he starts a quote, the quotation mark starts it but is not seen in the subsequent quotes. Take, for instance, this sentence cited from the book:
It took me reading this sentence four times to know who was speaking at a particular time. I hope this issue is looked into.'The sergeant looked at my passport and saw that it was red, the former Soviet Union-style, but when he opened to the visa page for Cuba, noticed a round stamp with an eagle and asked. "What kind of stamp is that? Eagle?" I don't recognize such a stamp.'
All in all, I'd rate The Journey 3 out of 4 stars. As much as I enjoyed reading the book, the issues I had with it justified the rating. I would have given it a rating of 3.5, but that would contravene the guidelines. I would recommend the book to people interested in knowing more about immigration struggles and people looking for motivation to help them through the challenges of being an immigrant.
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