Tag: Harrowing

Dalia Grinkeviciute – Shadows on the Tundra | Review

Title: Shadows on the Tundra

Author: Dalia Grinkeviciute

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 208

Rating 4.5/5



This book almost didn’t exist, but I’m glad that it does. Grinkeviciute was 14-years-old when the Soviets deported her from her native Lithuania during the 1940s, and she found herself essentially in a work camp in Siberia with people dropping dead left and right around her. She escaped, was caught, and managed to escape again, eventually writing these memoirs and burying them in the back garden in case the Soviet state discovered them. They were eventually found several years after her death.

As you can imagine, that means that it’s a pretty dark read with its fair share of harrowing scenes, and for me it was a lot of the little details that really hit me hard. For example, because they were struggling to survive on the tundra, the ground was frozen solid with permafrost even in the middle of summer, which made it difficult for them to dig graves. One woman was found frozen solid five months after disappearing and when they rolled her over, fresh blood leaked out of her nose. The fact that she survived is nothing short of incredible.



Click here to buy Shadows on the Tundra.


Frances Hodgson Burnett – The Secret Garden | Review

Title: The Secret Garden

Author: Frances Hodgson Burnett

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 276

Rating: 4*/5


Frances Hodgson Burnett - The Secret Garden

Frances Hodgson Burnett – The Secret Garden


I read this book as a teenager. We had to read it for GCSE English and I’d completely forgotten about it until recently when I saw a few people talking about it on YouTube and decided to pick myself up another copy.

This is the point at which I admit that I haven’t re-read it in full since I read it as a kid, but I did flick through it to refamiliarise it with myself and the first thing that jumped out at me was the same thing that I really remember from it: the imagery. Of course, the story line itself is touching, heartwarming and occasionally even harrowing, but the main thing that I remember is Burnett’s stunning use of language and how it really brings the story to life.

I think that’s why it’s a classic. There’s something timeless about the story and the language that transcends time and makes it just as enjoyable now as it would have been back when it was first published. When we were reading it for school, I used to get in trouble for reading ahead of the class because they were far too slow for me. I think that says a lot.

All in all then, I have a lot of time for this book, and I’m hoping to carve out a window in my schedule in the future to give it a re-read. Sure, it takes a little dedication, but that’s a good thing. Commit yourself to it and fall right into the story.


Frances Hodgson Burnett

Frances Hodgson Burnett


Click here to buy The Secret Garden.


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