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A Single Desperate Prayer

"A heart wrenching memoir of a young girl’s upbringing in a Crimean ghetto."

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LoveReading Says

LoveReading Says

A heart wrenching memoir of a young girl’s upbringing in a Crimean ghetto. In ‘A Single Desperate Prayer’ by Ludmila Ritz we follow Ludmila’s early life, from first having to go round asking her neighbours for vinegar so her mother can make heroin, to begging on the streets for money, food and clothes to keep her family, mainly her little sister fed and the abuses she experiences at the hands of the adults around her. This is a heart wrenching memoir that shows some of the darkest things that children in this world are born into, but as we read, Ludmila focuses on her love for her sister, her desire to keep her with her and keep her as safe as she possibly can while still only being a child herself. This is a poignant early life account, told in a colloquial first person present tense, as though child Ludmila has come from the past to recount her experiences. The present tense of the writing makes it even more impactful and evocative. You aren’t given many hints about what the future holds, but you find joy in moments with Alyona and watch as she rediscovers hope through a newfound Christian faith. From where this narrative ends you know that there are more big changes to come, hopefully for the better, as Ludmila finds that the “single desperate prayer” of the title starts to come true. As her prayer included seeing Alyona again I did feel that perhaps this book ended slightly too early, I expected some update on whether the sisters were reunited but it may be that the author plans to cover this in another book. You are however left with a bright feeling of hope, as Ludmila’s world is changed and a new sister enters her life. This thought provoking read emphasises the importance of hope and faith in a world that feels dark and insurmountable. The writing is vivid and moving and you can’t help but root for Ludmila throughout.

Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

LoveReading Ambassador

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