From my Mother

General Fiction

By Margreet Dietz

Publisher : M. Dietz (through CreateSpace)

From my Mother

ABOUT Margreet Dietz

Margreet Dietz
Margreet Dietz is the author of four non-fiction books, A Hundred Reasons to Run 100km, Running Shoes Are a Girl’s Best Friend, Powered From Within: Stories About Running & Triathlon and A Work in Progress: Exercises in Writing. She has also written a book of poetry, Sunshine on a wo More...


For Nadia, an experienced marathoner, running is a quest for truth, her personal truth—helping her understand who she is and how she fits in the world.

Things she has never understood about who she is, or could be, slowly but surely become verifiable and indisputable facts as she runs. By better understanding herself, she connects to the universe and mankind, and the eternal question: Why are we here?

A brief and mysterious phone call by her maternal grandmother, Oma, gives the 40-year-old plenty of food for thought as she embarks on her biggest challenge yet, a 62-mile ultramarathon on Canada's West Coast.

Oma, now 94, reveals clues to a secret from the time she fled with her only child, a baby daughter, into the forest to seek shelter from the brutalities in the Second World War in Sudetenland, the part of Czechoslovakia annexed in 1938 by Germany.

Her grandmother immigrated to the Netherlands in the early 1950s as a young widow, escaping Czechoslovakia in the aftermath of a Communist coup d'etat.

Though close to Oma while growing up in the Netherlands before moving overseas as an adult, Nadia reflects during the race on the hardships her grandmother endured and the impact it made on the way she lived.

Realizing she knows far less about her roots than she always thought as the miles—and unexpected challenges that put her at odds with longtime boyfriend Tony—pass under her feet, Nadia also sees that the freedom she feels as she runs parallels the one her grandmother struggled so hard to find.

Thinking about Oma's life helps Nadia gain perspective and courage as she recalls stories and clues of family lore to join them together in a full picture while the race unfolds.

More info and reviews
"In honor of those who came before us, we try to understand their plight. From my Mother is a novel following Nadia, as she faces a major marathon, looking back into her family's history and struggles to survive. She thinks of her grandmother who fled a communist revolution all those years ago, and looks to understand her, and the struggles we face through generations. From my Mother is a strong pick for world fiction collections."

— Micah Andrew for Midwest Book Review

"I was quite taken back by how much this book actually moved me. It is a very touching and genuine story of love and survival from one generation to the next. I wasn't too crazy about the running aspect, but I quickly got over it, because the story-lines, (ultrarun and grandma Oma), meshed and flowed so well. I may not be a fan of running, but I felt like the two topics crossed-over and worked nicely together. The technical runner's language didn't distract from the stories of the two women, but made it stronger. Margreet Dietz is talented with words, and her experience with ultrarunning makes this a must-read for runners/athletes of all levels. It is a very motivational book, full of emotion - a marathon of words - that take the reader through the highs and lows of a family's past and present."

— Allizabeth Collins for The Paperback Pursuer

"From My Mother is a very touching story of a matriarch that deeply ingrains survival into her family. Largely a book filled with a marathoner's mindset, all of the technical and running jargon do not detract from the story of a love between granddaughter and "Oma" that spans continents, and the hardships that molded the generations into persevering, strong women. The freedom Nadia feels as she runs also parallels the freedom her grandmother struggled so hard to find. This is a novel that successfully integrates heart and sport."

—  Charlene Mabie-Gamble for Literary R&R

"Over the duration of a 100 km marathon, Nadia reflects on the life of her Oma (grandma), the hardships her loved one endured and the impact it made on the way she lived.

"Miles pass under Nadia's feet, her goal is merely to reach the finish line, not necessarily to win . . . for accomplishing the goal is a victory in her book. It allows her time to dwell on her family's history, dig deep into the root and the result, pull tidbits of clues and join them together to create a full picture of those things that had been so vague.

"Oma is cranky, to say the least, at her age. She lives in an apartment in a senior complex, having moved from a house she rented for many years. Paranoia (probably from the trials she faced in her younger years) has set in heavily. The local police are on speed dial as she frequently lodges complaints against her son-in-law, who she feels is surely trying to get her out of the way so he can have her inheritance. Of course, this is not the case and those around her try to be patient and understanding.

"Nadia's journey of 100km is one in which her physical strength is pushed but also her heart and mind.

"It was not difficult to get wrapped up in this story, feeling the ups and downs both in the race and in Nadia's life. It brings to mind that, as stated in the book, our feet may be busy but our minds are still free. I loved that! I highly recommend this book to everyone, especially those who are into marathons and so on."

— Brenda Ballard for Readers Favorite