Tag Archives: Camel from Kyzylkum: A Memoir of My Life Journey

Camel from Kyzylkum: A Memoir of My Life Journey by Lara Gelya Review 

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Author Lara Gelya shares her journey of immigration, family, and hope amidst a journey of struggles and loss across multiple countries in the book “Camel from Kyzylkum: A Memoir of My Life Journey”. 


The Synopsis

Camel from Kyzylkum is a memoir about immigration, family, and the late twentieth century. It touches on themes of hope, struggles, and loss, and shares the inspiration for reaching again and again for a better life. A compelling testament to people’s choices over time, it focuses on freedom and self-determination, no matter how much work and risk are involved.

Travel from Ukraine to the Kyzylkum Desert of Uzbekistan, from the Soviet Union to Austria, then Italy, and eventually America, all while following Lara’s journey to find her truth and her future. Through it all, family, friends, and work shape her life, and a lengthy professional career leads to her eventual retirement on the shores of sunny Florida.

The Review

The author’s story was so moving to read. The balance that was struck between matter-of-fact storytelling and heartfelt experiences was felt throughout this book so clearly. The imagery and tone the author managed to bring to life in the book kept me as a reader hooked to the story being told.

Yet it was the book’s themes and the heart for which the story was told that really captivated me. The themes of hope, the American Dream, and overcoming adversity were well represented here. In today’s world, the author’s story of growing up and coming from Ukraine when it was part of the Soviet Union is far more relevant than ever before, and the author’s story not only highlights the way life was back in those days but mirrors the political and struggling situations that so many are stuck in now. 

Yet the author’s hope in writing this for her family and friends to understand more about her journey to the United States over 30 years ago was so captivating to get lost in and made for an emotional read.

The Verdict

Gripping, engaging, and thought-provoking, author Lara Gelya’s “Camel from Kyzylkum: A Memoir of My Life Journey” is a must-read memoir and nonfiction read. Suppose you enjoy stories that share the classic, ideal American Journey for immigrants while also providing a unique perspective and personal experience from the author’s life. In that case, this is the book for you. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today! 

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Born in Ukraine and going to school there, Lara Gelya went on for the next 20 years to the Kyzylkum Desert of the Republic of Uzbekistan, working at geological sites and expeditions of the Mining Industry. At that time Ukraine and Uzbekistan were parts of one country—the Soviet Union.

In 1989 Lara left the Soviet Union, lived in Austria and Italy before she, at last, found her way to the United States in 1990. Starting her life from ground zero again, and trying on so many hats, she was able to make a lengthy professional career that led to her eventual retirement on the shores of sunny Florida.

When she isn’t writing or making her videos and pictures, Lara spends most of her time reading, gardening, cooking, traveling the world, wandering through nature, or catching her favorite shows.