Monday, February 20, 2023

WITHIN THESE WALLS OF SORROW by Amanda Barratt, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney


"Beyond the window, out of sight, the shots continue. No one counts them. They come one after the other, one after the other. Numberless. . . "

"There are no miracles. But perhaps in doing what we can there is the hope of one. Even when there seems to be none."

"There is evil and there is good and there is the space between. We are given free will to choose where we stand.

"There are two kinds of pain. The first is physical, measurable. The second is so deep, so great one feels no pain at all. The body cannot register it, the mind cannot comprehend it."

"God, where are you?"

Obviously this novel can stand on its own merits, unequivocally, without review. Perhaps more importantly is our response, for by reading it we grant honor and respect to those who lived it, altogether being handed a challenge to emulate those who did indeed, unknowingly at the time, participate in a miracle; a family pharmacy was allowed to remain open in the middle of a Krakow ghetto in German occupied Poland. The men and women who bravely refused to live in the "between" did make a difference, however small, to relieve and in some cases prevent, the atrocities of war.
As the author so eloquently writes in her end notes, "One might be tempted to wonder what significance the actions of Pankiewicz and his colleagues held when set against the magnitude of such a tragedy. . .but every act affirming common humanity, every risk to preserve a life, every moment in which decency and compassion were extended to an individual mattered. Not on a vast scale, perhaps, but on a human scale."

"It is all of us who choose not to stand in the space between . . . We are the legacy."

"Only the forgotten can truly understand what it is to be remembered."

*I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher. The opinions stated above are entirely my own. 

BackCover Blurb:

Zosia Lewandowska knows the brutal realities of war all too well. Within weeks of Germany's invasion of her Polish homeland, she lost the man she loves. As ghetto walls rise and the occupiers tighten their grip on the city of Krakow, Zosia joins pharmacist Tadeusz Pankiewicz and his staff in the heart of the Krakow ghetto as they risk their lives to aid the Jewish people trapped by Nazi oppression.

Hania Silverman's carefree girlhood is shattered as her family is forced into the ghetto. Struggling to survive in a world hemmed in by walls and rife with cruelty and despair, she encounters Zosia, her former neighbor, at the pharmacy. As deportation winnow the ghetto's population and snatch those she holds dear, Hania's natural resiliency is exhausted by reality.

Zodia and Hania's lives intertwine as they face the griefs and fears thrust upon them by war, until one day, they are forced to make a desperate choice . . . one that will inexorably bind them together, even as they are torn apart.

Amanda Barratt's meticulous research and lush, award-winning writing shine once again in this moving look at a group of unsung heroes who fought for hope and humanity in the most harrowing of times. 

Kregel Publishing, January, 2023
Available in digital ebook and paperback:
Buy WITHIN THESE WALLS OF SORROW at Amazon, Christianbook .com, or Baker Book House







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