Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Endless Steppe by: Esther Hautzig

The year is 1941, and Europe is at war. To Esther Rudomin, though, life continues to go on. Wars and bombs stop at the gate of her peaceful, loving house. But, the day that Esther's grandfather wasn't out in his garden, she knew something was wrong. That day Esther's perfect world exploded. It was the day she didn't water the lilac bush.

Esther lived a happy existence in her big, beautiful home in Poland. Then Russian soldiers invaded her home. Along with hundreds of other Polish citizens Esther and her family were forced into a dirty, hot cattle car. And so began the long, heart wrenching journey across Russia to a place they would live for the next five seemingly endless years: Siberia! Once in Siberia, Esther's mother is forced to work on a blasting crew, her father to drive a cart, and Esther and her grandmother are forced to work in the fields. The family struggles with sickness, hunger, and the lack of daily provisions. The basic necessities they had once taken for granted were now novelties. The camp has no friendly faces and Esther longs to have her old life back, a life of safety.

In "The Endless Steppe," Esther Rudomin Hautzig (the author) recounts her own childhood in Siberia. It is a story depicting the life of a some-what spoiled girl stolen from her comfortable home and forced into a life of hardship and hunger.

My favourite characters are Esther and Esther's grandmother. Esther is a brave girl trying to survive in her hostile surroundings. Esther's grandmother likes to rule over everyone and be in control. She is very strong, even when she is separated from her husband.

Imagine, being without proper clothing or food, being forced into hard labor, and having all that was familiar to you taken away. These are just some of the hardships that Esther had to endure.
This story would be enjoyed by all ages.

9/10 stars


  1. Very interesting! I'll have to remember the title if I ever come across the book sometime. :)

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