Thursday, June 3, 2021

Review: The Warsaw Orphan by Kelly Rimmer

The Warsaw Orphan
by Kelly Rimmer

Publisher: Graydon House
Pages: 416
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  In the spring of 1942, young Elzbieta Rabinek is aware of the swiftly growing discord just beyond the courtyard of her comfortable Warsaw home. She has no fondness for the Germans who patrol her streets and impose their curfews, but has never given much thought to what goes on behind the walls that contain her Jewish neighbors. She knows all too well about German brutality--and that it's the reason she must conceal her true identity. But in befriending Sara, a nurse who shares her apartment floor, Elzbieta makes a discovery that propels her into a dangerous world of deception and heroism.

Using Sara's credentials to smuggle children out of the ghetto brings Elzbieta face-to-face with the reality of the war behind its walls, and to the plight of the Gorka family, who must make the impossible decision to give up their newborn daughter or watch her starve. For Roman Gorka, this final injustice stirs him to rebellion with a zeal not even his newfound love for Elzbieta can suppress. But his recklessness brings unwanted attention to Sara's cause, unwittingly putting Elzbieta and her family in harm's way until one violent act threatens to destroy their chance at freedom forever.

Kritters Thoughts:  Just when I think I have read all of the World War II books and I knew everything about all of the people affected by this war, I read another one that gives an unique perspective that makes me see it from a different view.  

Two young people live in two different worlds that are mere miles apart.  One is living in the Jewish ghetto in Warsaw and the other is living in a nice apartment on the other side of the wall.  Their lives will intersect and they will impact each other more than either could imagine.  Roman is living in the Jewish ghetto with his family, but he himself is only half Jewish and could pass as he doesn't have the typical physical traits.  Elzbieta is living "free" in Warsaw with a family that has taken her in and she waits to help in any way she can.  

I have read a few books that feature moments in a Jewish ghetto, unsure if it was Warsaw particularly, but no book has had so much of the book take place there and really shown the living conditions that took place and the misinformation that was spreading about life in the ghetto or the life of those who were leaving it.  I appreciated the way the author really presented life and it felt very real, almost too real and hard to read.  

And the other big lesson I learned from this book was the life in Poland after the Germans left.  While the people were glad they (the Germans) left, life under Soviet control wasn't any better if not worse for many.  I was really unaware of this whole moment in time for Poland and it was eye opening to see that life was just fine after the Germans left at least not for Poland.  

This was another one of those really hard to read World War II books, but worth it to learn something new in an entertaining way.  

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

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 66 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from HarperCollins.  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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