Welcome to my first audiobook listen-a-long! Today we will be discussing The Silence of Trees by Valya Dudycz Lupescu and published by Wolfsword Press. This novel begins Nadya, the main character, in the Ukraine during World War II. It then alternates to Nadya as an elderly woman living in Chicago with her husband and family. I announced the listen-a-long in April and am glad this day has finally arrived.
Here are the pertinent details about the audiobook:
Audiobook Publisher: Iambik Audiobooks
Narrator: Xe Sands
Audiobook Length: 9 hours and 58 seconds
If you haven’t listened to this audiobook and would like to, you can purchase a digital download for just $6.99. Through the end of today (5/3), you can also download the Kindle version of this book for free (this offer is no longer available) I thank the eBook for helping me spell some of the words I needed for my questions below. Thank you, Wolfsword Press!
The Silence of Trees Discussion Questions
Please feel to answer any of the questions that you’d like. Do not feel obligated to answer them all. If there is something you’d like to discuss that isn’t found in these questions, please do ask in the comments.
- Let’s talk first about the story itself. What were your overall impressions? Did you have a favorite passage or section? Was there anything that didn’t work as well for you?
- Nadya is an interesting character. She is forced to make many life-altering decisions alone and at an early age. How did you feel about the decisions she made after visiting the vorozhka? Had she made other decisions, how do you think her life would be different? Would it have been better?
- The customs, stories, and superstitions from Nadya’s life in the Ukraine are very important throughout the novel. I particularly loved the section about painting the pysanka. Did you have a favorite custom or story from the book? Why is it that Nadya places importance on these stories and spirits such as the domovyk into her old age?
- When Nadya and Pavlo’s granddaughter announces that she’s dating a German man they are enraged and hurt. They raised their children in the traditions of the Ukraine and don’t understand why any family of theirs would want to be linked to someone whose grandparents murdered their families. How much do children and grandchildren owe those who have gone before them? Is there something to be said for carrying on family traditions for their own sake?
- Xe Sands narrates The Silence of Trees. How was your experience with her as narrator? Did her style and accents work well for you?
- Did any of the novel’s theme or scenes stay with you after you finished?
- Would you be interested in another listen-a-long? If so, is there anything I could do differently to make it a better experience?
Thanks to everyone who listened to this book with me. I am looking forward to the discussion!
Update: The comments will contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.