Like a River from Its Course by Kelli Stuart | Review

Like a River from Its Course by Kelli Stuart 

An epic novel exposing the ugliness of war and the beauty of hope. The city of Kiev was bombed in Hitler’s blitzkrieg across the Soviet Union, but the constant siege was only the beginning for her citizens. In this sweeping historical saga, Kelli Stuart takes the reader on a captivating journey into the little-known history of Ukraine’s tragedies through the eyes of four compelling characters who experience the same story from different perspectives.

Maria Ivanovna is only fourteen when the bombing begins and not much older when she is forced into work at a German labor camp. She must fight to survive and to make her way back to her beloved Ukraine.

Ivan Kyrilovich is falsely mistaken for a Jew and lined up with 34,000 other men, women, and children who are to be shot at the edge of Babi Yar, the “killing ditch.” He survives, but not without devastating consequences.

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Like a River from Its Course
by Kelli Stuart

Published by: Kregel Publications (June 27, 2016)
Genre: Fiction / Historical Fiction / Adult Fiction
Source: Library
Buy Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble



The list of adjectives descriptive of Kelli Stuart’s debut novel, Like a River from Its Course, is lengthy. Really lengthy: grim, heartbreaking, intense, gripping, raw, brutal, evocative, and many more. Too many to list here.
In an effort not to take away from Stuart’s hours upon hours of research before and during writing her novel, I’ll stop here to share with you how amazed I was at the accuracy of her details and facts of everyday life in Ukraine during this horrible period in its history. Stuart must have read through some terrifying and nauseating accounts of what happened to these innocent people.
Not only is her research meticulous, her writing also brings to the page hope, love, respect, and support for one another. Lyrical in spots, despite the horrors, we experience new life for some, death for others, and yes, hope for the youngest among the survivors.
I will not say that I shed no tears for I did. So many scenes and emotions touched my heart. In those experiences, I thought of our world today and how many innocents are hurt or killed daily for no justifiable cause, and an equal number likely starve in some part of the world for lack of care and compassion from their governments.
Without repeating any of the well-written words in the synopsis and giving anything away, I join the voices and reviews of many giving Kelli Stuart’s Like a River from Its Course a 5-star rating.

Author Kelli StuartKelli Stuart is a writer and a storyteller at heart. A graduate of Baylor University with a degree in English Professional Writing, and a minor in the Russian language, Kelli has honed her skills in the written word through editing, ghostwriting, blogging, and traveling the world. Kelli has a gift for languages that puts her at ease in other cultures, allowing her to view this creative life from the vantage point of mothers worldwide.

Kelli is a noted blogger and the writer behind the wildly popular blog Minivans Are She has traveled extensively, constantly honing her craft at weaving words into tales as she experiences life and the world. Kelli has written for, and represented, such brands as 5 Minutes for Mom,, Disney, American Girl, The MOB Society, Extraordinary Mommy, God Size Dreams, Short Fiction Break, and (in)courage. Kelli has also served as editor-in-chief for the St. Louis Bloggers Guild and as a board member for the St. Louis Women in Media.

In 2004, Kelli co-authored the book Dare 2B Wise: Ten Minute Devotions to Inspire Courageous Living (joint published between Focus on the Family and Simon and Schuster) with best-selling author and well-known speaker Dr. Joe White, director and owner of Kanakuk Kamps. In addition to editing numerous manuscripts, Kelli has worked steadily as a ghostwriter, helping others share their messages with the world.

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Learn more about Kelli on her website and on social media:


 Next up on Thursday: The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny.

Happy Reading!


2 thoughts on “Like a River from Its Course by Kelli Stuart | Review

    1. Kelli, I meant to email you that it was going to be posted yesterday but something got in the way of my memory! Today I’ll be posting my review to Amazon, Goodreads, and Barnes and Noble. Let me know if there’s anywhere else it should be shared.


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