Be the first to review this item and earn 25 Rakuten Super Points™
Fragments describes the experiences of a mother and son during the first three years of World War II. In Poland, eleven-year-old Heniu (a nickname for "Henry") and his mother Rena face news of the impending German advance. They leave their comfortable apartment hoping to find safety with relatives, but instead join masses of displaced refugees fleeing eastward from the advancing German armies. At the eastern frontier, now under Soviet occupation, they are arrested along with others and sent to the Siberian camp, unwitting participants in Stalinist Russia's attempt to populate Siberia with civilians. Isolated from both the war and civilization, they lead a spare existence, marked by the fierceness of the Siberian taiga, the whims of their Russian hosts, the competitiveness of fellow inmates, and sometimes, by life-sustaining windfalls. Along the way the boy Heniu observes human degradation and nobility, even happening upon his life's vocation. He provides detailed observations of human behavior at every stage, capturing unvarnished personalities and quirks, conveying an unusual story about a part of history that most are unfamiliar with.