Wednesday, October 5, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: The Night Sky: A Journey from Dachau to Denver and Back By Maria Sutton

This is the true story of Maria Sutton's forty-three year search to find her ancestors, a search repeatedly hampered by her mother's reluctance to help, the loss of records during World War II, and the painfully slow government officials Maria had to deal with.

Maria came to the United States in 1952 when she was four years old with her mother Julia, her father Paul, and her sister Krystyna who was a couple of years older than Maria. The Catholic Charities helped them settle in the Denver area.

Julia Czeczerska had been born in the Eastern Europe town of Galicia which had been ruled by Russia, Austria, Ukraine, and Poland. Since she was Slavic, Hitler considered her inferior and she was placed in forced labor when Germany invaded.

At the age of thirteen, Maria overhears her mother and friend her mother had known from the German displaced persons camps talking and she subsequently learns that Paul is not her real father. This led to Maria's lifelong search for her father and her other ancestors.

Julia doesn't seem to want to help with Maria's search, but as the years go by, she offers more help. Eventually, she is more and more appreciative toward Maria for the information she learns.

The Night Sky is a true story, but it is written in a way that keeps you wanting to learn more. It is hard to put the book down. For that reason, I don't want to say too much so that you will enjoy reading the book as much as I did. Just keep in mind that there is much more to the book than Maria finding her father. This is an interesting look at history and gives insights into World War II and how it has affected people since. The author researched her material and added much more than a story about her own family.

I lived during the war, safely here in Texas, with only a few of my relatives serving in battles. I was aware of the treatment of Jews, but I learned from reading The Night Sky that the Slavic people were also murdered and persecuted by the Germans and the Russians. I recommend this book to all who want to read an interesting story while learning more about an important time in the history of the world.


  1. Thanks, Sid, for bringing this book to my attention. It's on my TBR list, as I love books on WWII.

    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

    I've also read your books.

  2. Good to hear from you Linda. You'll like this book.