26 May 2010

Delving into Mark Wansa's "The Linden and The Oak"

I've been trying to post something new at least once a week, more frequently if events warrant.

But I've been traveling over the weekend and haven't had a chance to offer something fresh. In the course of my travels, I've spent a few hours on airplanes.

That block of time locked in an airplane -- with layovers in Atlanta -- offered me the time I needed to get into Mark Wansa's novel "The Linden and The Oak."

This isn't a complete review of the book. I'm only about half-way through the 535-page novel about Carpatho-Rusyns in the homeland. I know the traditional method is to finish it and then ponder it. Consider this a review-in-progress about a read-in-progress.

I met the author last year at the Carpatho-Rusyn Society anniversary in Pittsburgh, and found him to be a pleasant, soft-spoken man. His personality gave no hint at the work he obviously did in researching his novel. Yes, it's fiction, but for any of us with ties to a Rusyn village in Northeast Slovakia, with family stories of World War I, this book makes those family stories we all share come to life.

His main character, Vasyl Rusynko, could have fought alongside my own grandfather, Petro Cuprišin, in the Austro-Hungarian Army.

I'm hitting the road again on Thursday, taking a brief trip to Brussels. Two trans-Atlantic plane trips will provide the time I need to finish the book. 

I'm really looking forward to my trip. But I'm almost as excited to finish Mark Wansa's fine book.

I've included a link to Amazon if you're looking to buy a copy.

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