history, memoir

The Night Sky

Author: Maria Sutton
Publisher: Johnson Books
Genre: Memoir
ISBN: 978-1555664466
Pages: 240
Price: $24.95

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In a chance conversation at the age of thirteen, Maria Sutton overhears something that changes her life. In that moment, she discovers that the man she always called father is actually her step-father, and that her real father is someone else. But when she questions her mother, answers come reluctantly.

Over the next forty-three years, Sutton goes on a quest to find this mysterious man who once captured her mother’s affections. Digging back through World War II, displaced persons camps and agency records, she endeavors to locate her father. Over the years, she builds up his image in her mind, hoping to find a dashing Polish soldier she can be proud of, but as she digs deeper, she discovers things about him she’d rather not know. Her quest ends in Germany, when she finally locates him.

The Night Sky is a fascinating look at the history of Polish citizens forced into concentration camps and slave labor by Hitler. As a backdrop to the author’s search, we learn about how these people tried to survive the horrors of World War II, and what happened to them after the war. The author’s musings on her father’s whereabouts and character are heartfelt, and the reader will feel moved by her search. This is an enjoyable read for all those who love history and genealogy.

Reviewer: Alice Berger