Ukrainian Portraits

Diaries from the Border

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Pub Date 01 Sep 2023 | Archive Date 15 Dec 2023

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Description

At the outbreak of the war in Ukraine in February 2022, Canadian author Marina Sonkina flew to the Ukrainian-Polish border to volunteer in a refugee camp using her knowledge of Russian and some Ukrainian. The suffering on a massive scale was beyond what she could possibly expect. "Putin's destruction of Ukraine left me with dismay and utter helplessness. The world order as we knew it, after WWII, was unraveling in Europe in front of my eyes, and I could do nothing about it. Evil always shouts loud; goodness is quiet. But when I came as a volunteer to a transition refugees centre at the Polish-Ukrainian border, I saw an outpour of good will on an unprecedented scale. This book is a celebration of magnanimity that lives in the heart of each of us and comes forth when called upon. It is also a homage to the millions of destitute Ukrainian women, faced with the daunting task of rebuilding their lives and the lives of their children with patient courage, moral grace, and faith in the ultimate victory of goodness over evil."

At the outbreak of the war in Ukraine in February 2022, Canadian author Marina Sonkina flew to the Ukrainian-Polish border to volunteer in a refugee camp using her knowledge of Russian and some...


Marketing Plan

Promotional campaign (Canada) with a local focus (BC/Vancouver). Pitches to print and radio/tv media. Focus on national media and on the Ukrainian community. Readings across BC. Submissions to literary festivals on the West Coast. Pitches to major US media. 

Publicity by Guernica & River Street Writing

Promotional campaign (Canada) with a local focus (BC/Vancouver). Pitches to print and radio/tv media. Focus on national media and on the Ukrainian community. Readings across BC. Submissions to...


Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781771838542
PRICE $17.95 (USD)
PAGES 120

Available on NetGalley

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Average rating from 4 members


Featured Reviews

Marina Sonkina emigrated from Russia and knows how life or death can hinge on a single event, like Putin’s decision to invade a sovereign nation. In her case, had Stalin lived a matter of weeks longer, Marina would not have traveled to Poland in 2022 to help Ukrainians fleeing the war or write a book about it. Indeed, it is likely she would not be alive. The trains were staged to deport Jews to Siberia before Stalin’s death. She, a toddler and Jewish, would have been on it.

During her stay at the border, Marina helps many navigate a forced evacuation, most with little more than what they can carry. She encourages them to trust that Europeans want to help them, that they don’t think of them as swine, won’t steal their children for personal slaves, as Putin’s poisonous propaganda warned. She knows they will find empathy and support, returning to Ukraine one day with an empiric understanding of life in Western democracies.

This diary is a quick read and puts names and faces to those whose lives Putin is piteously destroying.

Thank you to Guernica Editions and NetGalley for providing this eARC.

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This book is written like someones diary of their experiences working with refuges on the boarder of Ukraine — the stories she heard from the refuges —boils the blood — and makes you feel helpless — and makes you wonder what you yourself would do when faced with such situations . An example and narrative of history as it happens — we have to ask ourselves — why do we allow history to continue to repeat itself. It was wonderful though to read about the work that volunteers did and the stories heard from the refuges on the borders of Ukraine.

Thank-you for Netgalley and Guernica Editions for this ARC . This is my honest review.

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This is abook about the war that is devastating a european country, Ukraine, while Europe (and the world) stands by, watching (a familiar attitude, may I add).
Sonkina transfers us at the Polish border, at the beginning of the war and presents to us the people that are affected by it; immigrants looking for safety and a temporary home till they are able to return. I found the personal stories of the people she met very touching and heartbreaking, and her efforts to console them a tad naive. I do agree with her, and hope that Ukraine will prevail, but I wanted to read less of her own thoughts and more of the people in the camps.
An interesting read overall.

Thank you, NetGalley and Guernica Editions, for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.

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