PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewOne might ask why Verzemnieks puts Ausma through the pain of it all. (Indeed, she asks this herself.) Why is knowing the story so important to her? Describing the feeling of arriving in Latvia, Verzemnieks says it was like her 'DNA is singing.' It’s a more vivid way of saying, in the current idiom, that she 'identifies.' Maybe that’s all the explanation necessary in our age of genetic and genealogical fascination. Who doesn’t want to know where they come from? And since Verzemnieks writes so well, who wouldn’t want to accompany her on her journey? ... Verzemnieks is too intelligent and humane a writer to fall into the nationalist trap, and her inquiry into the past confronts the uncomfortable aspects of Latvians’ participation in the war — their murky role as front-line soldiers in Hitler’s army and their culpability as persecutors and murderers of Latvia’s Jews — but it is impossible to read her book without drawing present-day analogies.