Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Book Review: The Warsaw Sisters by Amanda Barratt

If you are a fan of historical fiction that doesn't not shy from the hard truths, the book "The Warsaw Sisters" by Amanda Barratt is one to add to your list. The book follows twin sisters Antonina and Helena in Warsaw during the German occupation after the father and only parent leaves to join the Poland army. 

Written from the alternating perspective, readers follow each sister, alike but yet so different, as they experience the struggles of their city, neighbors and drastic changes to their own young adult lives during occupation, extreme food shortages, bombings, and more. Each sister faces difficult questions of when to stand up for something at the risk their lives vs keeping their heads down to survive. 

After Antonina's special young man is persecuted for his Jewish faith and eventually forced to live in the ghetto with rumors of deportation, she becomes part of a group of brave women sheltering Jewish children to get them to safety. Helena's desire to see her beloved city free, becomes part of an underground army, passing dangerous messages and training for the day they will fight. Each doing her best to protect the other from what they believe won't be understood. Secrets abound and almost cost the sisters everything they hold dear.

I was quickly pulled into the story of these amazing sisters. The author did the hard job of including the realistic heart-wrenching details of the life or death choices made during wartime. As a reader, it was hard to hold onto hope for the characters as their experiences became bleaker. Reading of hope in terrible circumstances, bravery in face of unthinkable odds, and love when surrounded by loss makes this a story to remember.

I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for a review. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own.

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