Based on the diaries of a real life person, Push Not the River tells the story of Lady Anna Maria Berezowska. Anna’s tale is one of coming of age in a tumultuous time in Polish history.
When the young Anna is orphaned, she is sent to live with her Aunt Stella, Uncle Leo and cousin Zofia until she is old enough to claim her inheritance. While there, she meets their neighbor Lord Jan Stelnicki and they quickly fall in love. But Zofia has already set her sights on Jan. Her jealous interference leads to devastating consequences for both Anna and her Aunt Stella.
The events of Anna’s life occur against the larger events happening in Poland. Concerned about the events of the concurrent French Revolution inspiring the peasants to do the same to the Polish aristocracy, a new constitution is passed. This gives the peasants more rights and benefits. But some of the greedy aristocracy are not happy with the concessions, fearing an eventual loss of their own power and wealth. At the same time, Poland is being threatened by it’s three powerful military neighbors, Austria, Russia and Prussia. These nations see Poland as ripe for the plucking and are eager to claim Polish land for themselves. Continue reading “Book Review -Push Not the River”