Book Review “The Memory Keeper of Kyiv” by Erin Litteken


War Story Fiction


350 pages

Publisher : BOLDWOOD


The Memory Keeper of Kyiv

In the 1930s, Stalin’s activists marched through the Soviet Union, espousing the greatness of collective farming. It was the first step in creating a man-made famine that, in Ukraine, stole almost 4 million lives. Inspired by the history the world forgot, and the Russian government denies, Erin Litteken reimagines their story.

In 1929, Katya is 16 years old, surrounded by family and in love with the boy next door. When Stalin’s activists arrive in her village, it’s just a few, a little pressure to join the collective. But soon neighbors disappear, those who speak out are never seen again and every new day is uncertain.

Resistance has a price, and as desperate hunger grips the countryside, survival seems more a dream than a possibility. But, even in the darkest times, love beckons.

Seventy years later, a young widow discovers her grandmother’s journal, one that will reveal the long-buried secrets of her family’s haunted past.

This is a story of the resilience of the human spirit, the love that sees us through our darkest hours and the true horror of what happened during the Holodomor.

May we never forget, lest history repeat itself.

A share of proceeds will be donated to DEC’s Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.

Purchase Link –


The Memory Keeper of Kyiv is a very timely and poignant story that truly tugs at your heartstrings. The fact that I read this whilst there is another war in the Ukraine really brought everything into perspective for me. The awful atrocities that people are having to endure made this a tough yet thought provoking read.

This is dual time line story and it works superbly well. We get to experience the life of those in the Ukraine in the 1930’s. The Holodomor is something that I have never heard of and boy what a brutal way to treat the communities. The story of Katya as a young girl during this dreadful period is a strong story. Through the atrocities there is also a beautiful story of family and love. Protecting each other no matter what the outcome might be. We also get very close to the present life of Cassie who, as a widow now wants to try and uncover the life of her grandmother after finding her journal. She can not read it but she is determined to uncover the past.

This is absolutely a strong and impressive debut novel. My heart broke many times with tears a plenty. The writing has a strength that pulls you in to the lives of Katya and Cassie. The style is compelling and tells a story in history that many people do not know about. I would urge anyone to read this troubling yet outstanding book. A beautifully sad and life affirming read.

Author Bio –

Erin Litteken is a debut novelist with a degree in history and a passion for research. At a young age, she was enthralled by stories of her family’s harrowing experiences in Ukraine before, during and after World War II. Her first historical fiction title, drawing on those experiences, will be published by Boldwood in June 2022.  She lives in Illinois, USA with her husband and children.

Social Media Links –  



Bookbub profile:

With Thanks for the Advance Copy for my Honest Review to….

Rachel Gilby

Erin Litteken

Boldwood Books


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