Authors: Keefer, Janice Kulyk
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
From the acclaimed author of The Green Library, a haunting memoir of family and home, both lost and found, of longing and belonging
Janice Kulyk Keefer was born in Canada, a country that for her immigrant family meant a land as free as the future itself. But she was also born into the history of her family's homeland, receiving both the gift and the burden of a past that often seems "an equal spill of beauty and blood." Now she has set out to build a bridge of words between contemporary Canada and the ancient village of Staromischyna, once part of Poland, now in Ukraine.
Honey and Ashes is novel-like in its sweep of personal and public history, and its ability to draw us into the complex mysteries of family. It moves from an extraordinary wealth of stories about life in Staromischyna and Depression-era Toronto, to an absorbing account of how the complex, troubled histories of Poland and Ukraine shadowed these stories, and it ends with a difficult journey back to the actual place where the stories began. It is a breathtaking book that will touch all those who feel compelled to search the landscape of memory for a glimpse of their true selves.
I stand over a river, looking over the water to a distant shore. When I was a child, I crossed this river as though water were as natural an element to me as the air I breathed, the earth under my feet. But now I know the strength of the river's current. Were I to step into these waters, they would tug me upstream or down, anywhere but across; anywhere but where I long to be. --from Honey and Ashes