"Absolutely devastating. But really beautiful, too."
Today, I'm honoured to review
The Warsaw Sisters,
by Amanda Barratt.
Here's the publisher's blurb:
On a golden August morning in 1939, sisters Antonina and Helena Dąbrowska send their father off to defend Poland against the looming threat of German invasion. The next day, the first bombs fall on Warsaw, decimating their beloved city and shattering the world of their youth.
When Antonina's beloved Marek is forced behind ghetto walls along with the rest of Warsaw's Jewish population, Antonina turns her worry into action and becomes a key figure in a daring network of women risking their lives to shelter Jewish children. Helena finds herself drawn into the ranks of Poland's secret army, joining the fight to free her homeland from occupation. But the secrets both are forced to keep threaten to tear the sisters apart--and the cost of resistance proves greater than either ever imagined.
Shining a light on the oft-forgotten history of Poland during WWII and inspired by true stories of ordinary individuals who fought to preserve freedom and humanity in the darkest of times, The Warsaw Sisters is a richly rendered portrait of courage, sacrifice, and the resilience of our deepest ties.
There were times I wanted to close the cover and not read another page, but at the same time, I just couldn't put this book down.
Amanda takes us from the absolute start of the war until just past its ending. Month by month, season by season, we relentlessly follow the journey of our two heroines. No pain is hidden from us, their witnesses.
Even more gut-wrenching is the realization that these fictionalized stories are rooted in real history. The narrative is made up, but the truth of the war in Poland is not. For many families, these stories are their family history. I have no doubt the echos still resonate.
And at the same time, this is a book of family, hope, and redemption.
This is my first Amanda Barratt novel, but it won't be my last. I truly loved every page - her writing, her characters, her storytelling, and her historical details were riveting, compelling, and even in the darkest moments, breathtaking.
The Warsaw Sisters isn't an easy read, but it is a worthy read.
I highly recommend it!
Amanda's site has lots of resources, including FREE kits for book clubs!
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.