A Shoemaker struggles to survive in an oppressed society. Can he outsmart the brutal regime before he becomes the next victim?
In 1950s Yugoslavia, master cobbler Frank Katana must make a harrowing decision: stay and face certain death, or flee to Canada and leave everything he knows and loves behind. But in a new country, Frank must navigate the struggles of building a new life and the ache of longing for his family, his true love and his homeland in this heart-wrenching story of survival and sacrifice.
My father, Frank Katana, escaped communist Yugoslavia on foot over sixty years ago and found his way to Canada, where he started a shoe empire.
He left everything behind to escape from a brutal regime. He believed he would have a better life for himself and his family if he could have the opportunity to thrive in a free country. This story is a glimpse into his life on the farm, his challenges living under the communist dictatorship in Yugoslavia, and his dramatic escape to freedom in Canada.
The Soul of a Shoemaker is a fascinating story, an homage, and a retelling of my father’s journey to Canada with absolutely nothing in his pockets and how he built something spectacular. Born early in 1932, in the Croatian part of Yugoslavia, to parents who were farmers, Frank Katana apprenticed with shoemakers after the devastating war.
“I was the only one who could never really adapt to the farm life. I was always looking for something easier than farming. I always wanted to achieve something on my own, whether in Austria or somewhere else.”
The somewhere else would be Canada, but not without the kind of horrifying close calls once so familiar to people who attempted to leave Eastern Europe and so unknown to most Canadians.
The painful memories of escape and resurgence in the new world are still there, but so is the drive that made it possible.
The Soul of a Shoemaker has to be one of the most moving and inspirational memoirs I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Susan Cork is the author of The Soul of a Shoemaker and throughout her book, she shares the life of her father Frank Katana, and his experience fleeing communist Yugoslavia in the 1950s and building a successful shoe empire in Canada. Throughout The Soul of a Shoemaker, Cork poignantly shares her father’s story and the result is a poignant piece of literature that will charm, inform and move its readers from beginning to end and that is why this tale should not be missed!
The Soul of a Shoemaker will take the reader through the experiences and life of Frank Katana, Susan Cork’s father. Katana, living in Yugoslavia during a communist regime, was faced with a decision, to stay and face certain death or flee to Canada and start his life anew. Katana chose to flee to Canada but with this decision his life is turned upside as he must leave his country and all the ones he loves behind. However, after reaching Canada, Katana worked extremely hard and began a shoe business which grew to be successful. Katana’s story is full of inspiration and shows how you can accomplish anything in life and overcome hardships and reach success.
Frank Katana’s story told by his daughter Susan Cork, is an exceptional one that will speak volumes to many readers, especially to those that have had similar experiences to Katana. The story, although at times heartbreaking is still an inspiring one because Cork shares how her father overcome his circumstances and still excelled. That is why Katana is a truly incredible man and Cork does a wonderful job of telling his story beautifully and honestly which is also excellently well-written!
The profoundness of The Soul of a Shoemaker is sensational, and many readers will feel a host of different emotions while reading this book. Cork effortlessly inspires thoughts and feelings in her readers through her literature and telling her father’s story and compels them to read from beginning to end. I found myself reading The Soul of a Shoemaker at an alarming rate because it was captivating as well as absorbing; Cork’s incredible literature will have you turning the pages frantically, and I adored how she was able to do this.
Overall The Soul of a Shoemaker is an informative, well-written memoir with words that flow beautifully throughout and so I have no choice but to award this stunning book a brilliant five stars. If you are a reader who loves memoirs with poignancy and history, then The Soul of a Shoemaker will make the perfect read for you, so do not miss this book!
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P.S. Below I have attached some links about the author and this wonderful book so if you would like to learn more about the author and the book then please have a browse. Thank you so much again for reading book lovers!