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Thiessen, Dick.

Winnipeg, Kindred Press, c1985. 148pp, paper, $9.95, ISBN 0-919797-46-6. Distributed by Kindred Press, 4-169 Rfiverton Ave., Winnipeg, Man., R2L 2E5.

Grades 9 and up
Reviewed by Esther Hutchison

Volume 14 Number 4
1986 July

Isaac and Liese Wiens began their married life in Russia in 1926. They were a devout rural couple, with little thought of politics. As the new order began to impinge on their daily life and to conflict with their values, Isaac felt a spiritual call to take his family to a promised land, "beyond those mountains." This began a series of journeys, as he led his family, and other families from their village, out of Russia into China, then to settlement in Paraguay, and finally to Canada. Through it all, they were supported by their faith, and given aid by the Mennonite church.

Although there must have been many adventures and dramas in the course of the exodus, this earnest biography brings a few of them to life. Except for their dramatic flight from Russia, the incidents are narrated in a rather dry and pious manner, e.g.,

The farmers prayed. Only devine intervention could stop the ominous disaster. Finally, slowly, with help from the outside, the problem was solved. Once again God had provided for His people. Once again they had much reason for thanksgiving and praise.

The biography is meant for general interest and is without index or bibliography, although the sixteen chapters are titled. The only illustration besides the cover is a formal portrait of the couple in retirement, not likely to attract young readers.

The author, a former high school teacher, is a graduate of Waterloo University and Mennonite Brethren Bible College. He has known the Wiens family for a number of years. This is his first book.

I was especially disappointed in this book because I am sure that there is a dramatic story here. Unfortunately, much of it remains untold. Of limited interest for schools or public libraries, this book might find a place in an inspirational collection.

Esther Hutchison, Spruce Grove, Alta.
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