The Broda Salt Cabin
Owl Publishing (2021)
Reviewed by Amy Lignor for Reader Views (10/2021)
“Riveting” is the perfect definition for this book! Although going into it, I had no idea what to expect. I came out of it feeling the same way I did when an author named Pam Jenoff appeared on the scene and introduced a WWII book entitled, “The Kommandant’s Girl.” Not only was that as mesmerizing as this was, “The Broda Salt Cabin” took things one step further, adding not only WWII and that evil to the mix, but by also delving into the tragedy that was the Greek Civil War.
Our main character here is Danae. A young lady, Danae most certainly does not deserve a future that includes war, being locked in jail and charged with being a communist and being hurt by men so that she must live on the street, with her little girl, no less, and survive murderous monsters on a daily basis.
It’s WWII, the Germans have arrived in Greece, and communist guerillas are a step away from seizing Danae’s country; America – Churchill and Truman – are working diligently to make these nightmares go away. Living in Broda, Macedonia, Danae’s very first true love is with Nicholas. Meeting at a wedding, Danae falls in love with this stranger, and although they know nothing about each other, their love runs so deep that it cannot be denied. Nicholas delivers some salt she is carrying to a cabin near Broda; hence, the Broda Salt Cabin—this cabin becomes almost an icon that stands for their love.
This incredible love affair and marriage occur during a god-awful time. It is during their wedding ceremony that masked men enter the church and open fire on their guests. The attackers are pro-Bulgarian collaborating with the Germans and despise the Greeks. Danae and Nicholas are patriotic Greeks, yet none of that matters when her beloved Nicholas falls into the evil hands of the collaborators and is eventually killed. Danae’s life is thrust into turmoil. Feeling like there is nothing to live for, she even jumps into his grave at the funeral and pallbearers throw dirt on her, as if they wish to bury her on top of her husband’s coffin.
But that is only the beginning. It is after Nicholas’s death that Danae’s own father finds a husband for her in another village. A marriage that unleashes everything from murder to imprisonment to the true evilness of humanity.
Was her true love a secret agent while alive? Was the other man fighting for the Greek guerillas? You will have to read in order to find out. What is a fact is that Danae is broken – by men’s words and promises, as well as by war and hideous people in power. As she find herself a single mother living on the streets of a strange village, Danae must fight to protect herself and be the protective mother she truly needs to be.
But do not think for a moment that this poignant, emotional tale ends there. In fact, it is when Danae immigrates to Canada that a whole new ‘chapter’ of her life begins to emerge. When an odd encounter with a mysterious man comes about, a photograph ends up in Danae’s possession that uncovers a shocking secret that will stun Danae and readers alike.
This author, A.H. Nedani, was born in a war-torn Greek village and came to Canada at a young age. This novel is supposed to be based on a true story. As a reader, I give thanks to A.H. Nedani for fulfilling her goal and sharing this amazing tale with all of us. 5 Stars!