This is an extremely well-written, harrowing and emotional story that will stay with me a long time.
Kelly Rimmer knows how to create the most endearing, realistic, root-worthy characters. I have read much of her backlist and have always found myself completely wrapped up within her characters lives and situations. This novel was no different.
This book tells the story of two families fighting to survive in Warsaw during WWII. The dual narrative is executed brilliantly and immediately drew me in. My heart ached for the characters within the first few pages of chapter 1 – that’s how strong this authors writing is. There are several gut wrenching scenes that will forever be embedded in my mind and as hard as they were to read, they were essential in telling these characters stories and showing the true devastation of the times.
My one tiny critique is that I found there were small sections of the book that felt drawn out. My intense connection wasn’t consistently held throughout and my attention did slightly waver.
This novel is an important and eye-opening look into this devastating time in our history. I hope this author continues to write these unforgettable historical fiction novels. If you haven’t read, The Things We Cannot Say, by this author, I strongly suggest you do – it’s my favourite historical fiction book by her.
Young Elzbieta stumbles upon her neighbour Sara’s resistance activities, smuggling children out of the Warsaw Ghetto in Poland and placing them in Catholic foster families. She wants to help, but she is young, inexperienced, and naive. She convinces Sarah to let her become involved in the activities. She meets a young Jewish boy, Roman, who lives in the Ghetto with his family and needs their help. I loved that the story centers around the young characters who brought a strong, courageous perspective from a younger point of view with their curiosity and creative minds
The pace is slow, with some hard-hitting dark scenes that crushed my heart, and I can’t stop thinking about it. At times the slower pace stalled the story for me and broke that tension and emotional pull I wanted to keep me turning the pages. A lot is going on here that felt a bit much for this exhausted reader, and I would have liked to have seen the story tightened up a bit. However, it’s an extraordinarily emotional story that explores the human spirit with these memorable characters, and I highly recommend it!
We received copies from the publisher through Edelweiss!