4.5 stars. Back cover blurb says: "[this book:] is an unforgettable novel about love and loyalty, homeland and belonging". I really enjoyed the story, even though it was pretty bleak throughout, with very few moments of lighter relief. I certainly found myself thinking several times of how grateful I am to have such a comfortable lifestyle, whereas the family in the book endured a relentless struggle to survive in the harsh conditions at the beginning of the last century. It was a fairly quick and compelling read; I found myself picking it up at odd times just to read another chapter or two.