Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Winter Guest
by Pam Jenoff

Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Pages: 352
Format: ARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Life is a constant struggle for the eighteen-year-old Nowak twins as they raise their three younger siblings in rural Poland under the shadow of the Nazi occupation. The constant threat of arrest has made everyone in their village a spy, and turned neighbor against neighbor. Though rugged, independent Helena and pretty, gentle Ruth couldn't be more different, they are staunch allies in protecting their family from the threats the war brings closer to their doorstep with each passing day. 

Then Helena discovers an American paratrooper stranded outside their small mountain village, wounded, but alive. Risking the safety of herself and her family, she hides Sam—a Jew—but Helena's concern for the American grows into something much deeper. Defying the perils that render a future together all but impossible, Sam and Helena make plans for the family to flee. But Helena is forced to contend with the jealousy her choices have sparked in Ruth, culminating in a singular act of betrayal that endangers them all—and setting in motion a chain of events that will reverberate across continents and decades.
 


Kritters Thoughts:  A set of 18 year old twins are holding it together for their three younger siblings, but not without the strengths of each other.  Their mother is at a hospital in the city and their father is gone, so they must do whatever it takes to keep this family together.  Helena finds an American soldier who crash landed in "her backyard" and she helps nurse him to health and helps him with his mission.  Throughout all of this she learns the truth about her and her family and realizes that their safety may be in danger.

I loved Helena and Ruth as twins and sisters.  I loved that they were foils of each other and that you couldn't have one without the other.  They challenge each other and I loved their interaction most in this story.

I loved how there is a prologue that sets up that someone is alive and is about to recount a story that changed their life.  Semi spoiler - I loved that there is an epilogue that wraps up the story and gives you clues because when the historical part of the story ended I was gutted because I couldn't believe that was where we were going to end it.

I want to keep reading Pam Jenoff's backlist and get caught up on all of her books!


Side note:  I read this one after the World War II book The Diplomat's Daughter that I am reviewing here on Thursday and I had to read a few books in between these because it was a little too much of World War II back to back. 


Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Book Expo America.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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