Then Sings My Soul
David C. Cook, Mar 1 2015, $14.99
In 1994, Nel Stewart flies from her home in Santa Fe for her mom Catherine’s funeral in South Haven, Michigan. Though rationalizing that she thought her twelve year older frailer dad Jakob would die before her vibrant caretaker mom, Nel still feels guilt. Thus she vows to take care of her father, who recently broke his hip and as she learns firsthand suffers from dementia.
Jakob feels remorse and shame for his actions as a child decades ago residing in the Russian Empire village Chudniv and during his family’s desperate fleeing to the west. Thus he wants his daughter to stay with him, but also wants her to go back to her artsy life in the southwest. With packages arriving from Europe, Nel learn bits of her paternal Ukrainian heritage and persuades her hesitant father to tell her about his past especially this Uncle Peter she never knew existed.
Then Sings My Soul is a fantastic novel that rotates between the late and early twentieth century. The 1994 subplot is a well-written family drama. Nevertheless; it is the historical segue that mesmerizes the audience; as Jakob looks back to when he and his family fled across Europe praying God (no atheists in the foxholes) guided them safely to Rotterdam. He felt the Lord abandoned him, but now looking back over the years wonders whether the Lord accompanied him for his entire life.