Thursday, May 27, 2021

The Warsaw Orphan by Kelly Rimmer

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.

From Nazi occupation to the threat of a communist regime, The Warsaw Orphan is the unforgettable story of Elzbieta and Roman's perilous attempt to reclaim the love and life they once knew. 

Expected publication: June 1st 2021
 by Graydon House
4/5 stars

The Warsaw Orphan is a heartbreaking story told from the POV of both Elzbeita and Roman.  Teens caught in the war that destroyed so much, shattered lives and wiped out generations of families.

Both Roman and Elzbeita have strong personalities, are so determined in their quests making me forgot their ages (14 years when the book begins). A part of me struggled with that aspect, but on the other hand the war caused a lot of people to grow up before their time.

The author didn't hold back in her descriptive story and what wasn't verbalized was definitely felt.

I missed the author notes - this was an arc so hopefully the finished copies will have them.  I would have loved to known what was based on fact vs. fiction.  Part of me feels much of this book is not made up, how can so much bad be consciously imagined?  But rather this was a true reflection of what took place and that in itself will stay with me for a long time.

The Warsaw Orphan was an emotional reading, depressing at times. It showed a side of the war in Poland I haven't visited before. But it also showed the strength and determination of those that fought back and survived.

My thanks to the publisher (via Netgalley) for a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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