Historical fiction

The Memory Keeper of Kyiv by Erin Litteken

The Memory Keeper of Kyiv by Erin Litteken

Dual timeline and Historical fiction were once my main reading staple. I have, in recent years, shied away from them for several reasons. I only tend to pick one up if it features a period or war that I have not yet had a chance to read about.
This was a timely arrival. I saw it around the same time that Ukraine was in the news, and I wanted to know more. I find it easier to absorb information via this medium than any other.
What I realised after reading this was that the events occurring right now are things that played out almost similarly in days past.
The dual timeline is split between the US in the present day and 1930s Ukraine – our central protagonists are a granddaughter/grandmother pair, respectively.
The grandmother is starting to lose her memory and is more prone to accidents at home. At the back of her mind, she wants to share her past with her family, something she has not done before. The information is revealed in the form of a neighbour assisting our present narrator in reading a diary since the latter is not familiar with Ukrainian.
The story was harrowing but left me feeling like this could have been a single point of view. The current perspective did not add much to the tale except to show that even though there was a relatively happy ending after struggles, there would always be some hurdles at some point.
The story painted a picture of a country in turmoil and the suffering of the common man.
I would recommend this to fans of the genre and someone on the lookout for books based in this time and place.
I originally received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience.


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