A Home Called Your Own: A Journey Across Six Generations
Riverview Press, Nov 13 2012, $15.00
In one week, Steve Hanna was to leave Baker City, Oregon to attend school as an exchange student in Madrid. His dad tells him, his younger brother and their mom the story of their ancestors the Belohlavy family who sent one member married Vaclav, who left behind his pregnant wife, from Nepomuk, Bohemia to American over a hundred-twenty five years ago. Vaclav did send for his wife and during WWII, Great Uncle Leonard tried to visit them but was shot by Nazis. Now dad wants his oldest son to fulfill the Pact by visiting the Bohemian descendants. Steve prefers to enjoy Spain, Morocco and Europe, but not visit in a remote village in the Czech Republic to fulfill the family Pact handed down through generations. He ignores the Pact at first, but eventually seeks his roots.
This is an intriguing memoir that has at its heart the captivating late nineteenth century Pact though most of Mr. Hanna’s European adventure has nothing to do with the family odyssey. Still his time in Spain and elsewhere is interesting (especially to students and parents) as he showcases the good, the bad and the ugly of being an exchange student in a foreign land. However, it is the Pact that makes this a fascinating read.