The Silence of Trees

Reviews & Critical Acclaim for THE SILENCE OF TREES:

“Few book reviews start with a foot rub but, really, more should. In one of the most thrilling scenes in Valya Dudycz Lupescu’s first novel—exciting for its unabashed passion and feminism, and most important for the new story it promises to start even thirty pages from the book’s end. . .”
~KRISTIN THIEL, Book Review for
The Nervous Breakdown
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“Before starting this book, I wasn't familiar with either Valya Dudycz Lupescu or Chicago's Wolfsword Press. But I'm happy to have that corrected, because I want to read more of Lupescu's work, and Wolfsword Press will probably be publishing it. The Silence of Trees wasn't entirely successful for this reader (for reasons I'll get to), but the lovely prose and the mix of mythic Ukrainian matter with a contemporary setting won me over.”
~CHARLES DE LINT, Books To Look For,
The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction
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“Valya Dudycz Lupescu seamlessly weaves Ukranian folklore and traditions into the events of the book. It is an engaging read to be savored and reread as you discover the stories within Nadya's story. The house spirits and tree spirits become as real as the other characters in the book. Ms Lupescu's writing is lyrical and moving in its simplicity, when giving voice to Nadya and her remembered dead, who have been silent too long.”
The Romance Reviews
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“The opening of The Silence of Trees describes a Ukrainian legend about a magical flower that can grant wishes. Though there are many folktales recounted in the novel, this specific one captures the spirit of the work as a whole. Valya Dudycz Lupescu’s novel is one of secrets, magic, and revelation. It tells the story of Nadya, a girl whose life is torn apart by war but eventually takes a turn toward the ordinary.”
~ADRIAN SOBOL, Book Review for
Aurora Literature Examiner
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“I loved this novel.  Nadya’s story – both past and present - is engrossing.  Her experiences are both a poignant reminder of the destruction and disruption of lives during World War II, and of the resilience of the human spirit.”
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“In The Silence of Trees, Nadya, the astonishing matriarch, war survivor, and narrator, weaves a remarkable life centered on fate, love, luck and choice while honoring the ghosts of her past. Her voice is an important and unforgettable addition to the post-war immigrant experience in this highly impressive and exquisite debut by novelist Valya Dudycz Lupescu.”

–IRENE ZABYTKO, author of The Sky Unwashed 
and When Luba Leaves Home

“Valya Dudycz Lupescu presents us an impressive novel debut with The Silence of Trees, in which she conjures a captivating story of the heroine, Nadya, across more than fifty years of secrets, truths, tales told and untold, quiet sacrifices, as well as memories of a difficult personal history she left behind in Central Europe. While letting go of her ghosts during her final years, she came closer to what was painfully lost to her and her people, even closer to the many small measures of happiness awaiting her . . . Will she embrace a present that renews and honors a heavy past? Like an enchanting tapestry of Ukrainian magic and folkloric images, this is a thoughtful and beautiful work.”

–FIONA SZE-LORRAIN, author of Water the Moon 

“Lupescu weaves a magical tale in two senses: first, from the perspective of the craft of writing and, second, from that of sheer entertaining storytelling. It is the rare book that can bring the reader into the mystical side of folk religion without engaging the fantastical. Lupescu has done so. She has given us a window onto Ukrainian folk traditions that elegantly reveals the complexity of spirituality as it intertwines with politics, economics, folk traditions and formal or institutional religion. The story is captivating. The holocaust and the attempted demolition of the Ukrainian people is not an easy subject but Lupescu deftly frames her contemporary story against those shadow times without losing sight of the hopefulness, the determination and the spiritual faith of the survivors evidenced in their struggle to sustain their culture in America. This is a story that may make one laugh and cry, but, in the end, inspires readers to remember there are many ways of “knowing” and many perspectives on the notion of truth.”

President, Groundwork Research & Communications
Associate Researcher, Center for Media, Religion and Culture,
University of Colorado, Boulder