The Turk and My Mother by Mary Helen Stefaniak

Reviewed by Jayne S (Library Staff)

This historical fiction novel begins in Croatia right before the start of World War I. Agnes and her mother-in-law are left behind when Agnes’ husband travels to Milwaukee in search of the American dream.

The war starts and the couple has no way to communicate. Agnes takes in a prisoner-of-war, the Turk, to help with farm work and the multi-generational saga begins told by Agnes’ son, George.

The grandma tells the old country stories to George and his older sister. It includes the tales of Agnes and the Turk, grandma and the blind gypsy, Josef in Milwaukee, and Marko, who goes to war and vanishes. George continues with his own family recollections in Milwaukee to the current day.
I liked the time periods of the book. The challenges of the immigrants in the Midwest were very interesting to me, since my Czech grandpa was starting out alone in Chicago about the same time.

I recommend this book, I enjoyed it.

Located in Adult Fiction (FIC STEFANIAK)

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