Jim brings tales of Ukraine back home

Gatton Star - - NEWS - Do­minic El­some do­minic.el­some@gat­ton­star.com.au

IT WAS the story of an early 1900s mutiny on a Rus­sian bat­tle­ship that first drew Lai­d­ley au­thor Jim Ni­cholls to Ukraine – but his jour­ney led him to far more won­drous dis­cov­er­ies.

Mr Ni­cholls will launch a new book this month based on his re­cent jour­ney through the coun­try, tak­ing read­ers along for the ad­ven­ture through a land of “in­trigue and mys­tery”.

The ac­com­plished au­thor said his jour­ney from the cap­i­tal in Kiev to the port of Odessa on the Dnieper River left him “gob-smacked” at ev­ery cor­ner – and said the breadth of cul­ture and his­tory that lies just be­low the sur­face was in­cred­i­ble.

“I was as­tounded at what they have suf­fered over cen­turies,” Mr Ni­cholls said.

“But de­spite all that, these peo­ple are the most wel­com­ing, happy peo­ple you’d ever meet.”

He ex­pressed his sad­ness that most peo­ple as­so­ci­ated Ukraine with the long-run­ning civil war rag­ing in the east, de­spite the di­verse coun­try be­hind the head­lines.

“The war in the east, it’s still just wag­ing away,” he said.

“You wouldn’t know – you would not know that this was hap­pen­ing,” he said.

“It’s not as though there’s tanks on ev­ery cor­ner and sol­diers with big guns, there’s none of it – life just goes on.”

The book Ukraine – Notes from a frac­tured land will be launched on Fri­day, Novem­ber 23 – at noon in the Lai­d­ley Li­brary and at 2.30pm at the Gat­ton Li­brary.

Mr Ni­cholls will pro­vide a short talk and books will be avail­able for pur­chase.

Books will also be avail­able at Lai­d­ley Newsx­press and Das Neu­mann Haus.

A per­cent­age of in­come from book sales will go to­wards sup­port­ing the Lai­d­ley RSL Sub-branch’s wel­fare pro­grams.

PHOTO: DO­MINIC EL­SOME

WHAT A TALE: Lai­d­ley au­thor Jim Ni­cholls jour­neyed to Ukraine ear­lier this year and chron­i­cled his trav­els in a book to be launched later this month.

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