A book launch event May 22, 2016 from 3 to 6 pm at the Polish Museum of America in Chicago

DonnaUrbikas 72 dpi Full Color (1)Donna Solecka Urbikas has written a truly unique story of growing up with a mother and sister who had been deported from what was eastern Poland at the start of WWII to labor camps in Siberia and Russia. She grew up in the Midwest during the golden years of the American century. But her Polish-born mother and half-sister endured dehumanizing conditions during the war. War and exile created a profound bond between mother and older daughter, one that Donna would struggle to find with either them.
At four o’clock in the morning of February 10, 1940, Janina Slarzynska and her five-year old daughter, Mira, were taken by Soviet secret police from their small family farm and sent with hundreds of thousands to labor camps in Siberia. So began their odyssey of hunger, disease, cunning survival, desperate escape across a continent, and new love amidst terrible circumstances.
After the war, Mira, Janina, and her new husband—a Polish Army officer who had helped them escape the Soviet MSM cover artUnion—are haunted by the past. Baby boomer Donna, born in postwar England and growing up in 1950’s Chicago, yearns for a “normal” American family. In this unforgettable memoir, Donna recounts her family history and her own survivor’s story, finally understanding the damaged mother who had saved her sister.
Donna Solecka Urbikas had careers as a high school science teacher and environmental engineer. She is now a writer, realtor, and community volunteer, and lives in Chicago with her husband. They have three adult children.
More information including a book trailer, interview, and events can be found on http://www.daunutaurbikas.com
A book launch event is planned for May 22, 2016 from 3 to 6 pm at the Polish Museum of America, 984 N. Milwaukee, Chicago, IL. RSVP donna@danutaurbikas.com

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