Tuesday, November 7, 2023

THE WARSAW SISTERS by Amanda Barratt, Reviewed by Paula and Winnie #ReleaseDay

 A Novel of WWII Poland

As always, Ms. Barratt takes an important event, a heart wrenching tragedy, and allows us to live the journey along with the characters.

“The soul can shatter in silence as well as in tears.”

“I had learned God is nearest in our shattered places.”

This is a tale of two sisters who bravely fought in different ways under the oppression of invaders in WWII Warsaw. Once close, twin sisters Antonina and Helena got separated as a result of the evil occupation by the Germans. “War left everything in fragments. Even bonds that should be unbreakable.”

Based on extensive research, real events and historical persons, Ms. Barratt shows perseverance and hope in the midst of despair, without glossing over the facts. The author brings home the harsh reality of the Poles who were made an example of by unspeakable acts of savagery during wartime. It is raw, sometimes brutally so, but this is a story that needed to be told so that we never forget what depravity human beings are capable of. Yet she also champions the souls who fought for their fellow citizens and their beloved city, while also showing their imperfections.

Thought-provoking for sure. Be prepared for emotions to surface.
*I won a complimentary copy of this book from Library Thing Early Reviewers. I was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.* 5 stars and an underlying faith thread

“I know only that my father taught me if a man is drowning, you cannot simply stand on the shore and pity him. You must dive into the water and try to pull him out, even if you cannot swim, or else how can you call yourself a human being?”

With a setting in Poland during the years of World War II, Amanda Barratt’s book, The Warsaw Sisters, paints a stunning and heart-wrenching picture of the Polish people and their resistance efforts against the German occupiers. Well-researched and beautifully-written, Barratt doesn’t shy away from the horrors of the war and the brutality of the occupation. Based on true accounts of heroic men and women, this story shows the courage of ordinary and extraordinary citizens of Warsaw. The two sisters, Antonina and Helena, chose different ways to assist others and resist against the Germans. They each did what they could to fight for freedom and alleviate the suffering of others, despite the danger to themselves.

“But there are some acts which are justified by no cause, despite what any man may tell himself. It is out of such things that wars are born, and it is the innocent whose suffering is laid on the altar of victory.”

“To live without hope of freedom is not to live at all.”

The characters are well-drawn, realistic, and compelling and drew me into the story quickly. Amid the horrors and heartaches the characters endured, the author added inspiration, faith, and hope for the future, and the assurance that God is with us even in our deepest trials.

“For in the moments when it seemed no heart could bear such emptiness, I had learned God is nearest in our shattered places.”

This book spotlights once again why Amanda Barratt is one of my favorite historical fiction authors. Her meticulous research and brilliant storytelling skills make her stories compelling must-reads. I recommend this book to those who enjoy outstanding historical fiction.

*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Revell. All opinions are my own.

BackCover Blurb:
On a golden August morning in 1939, sisters Antonina and Helena Dąbrowska send their father off to defend Poland against the looming threat of German invasion. The next day, the first bombs fall on Warsaw, decimating their beloved city and shattering the world of their youth.

When Antonina's beloved Marek is forced behind ghetto walls along with the rest of Warsaw's Jewish population, Antonina turns her worry into action and becomes a key figure in a daring network of women risking their lives to shelter Jewish children. Helena finds herself drawn into the ranks of Poland's secret army, joining the fight to free her homeland from occupation. But the secrets both are forced to keep threaten to tear the sisters apart--and the cost of resistance proves greater than either ever imagined.

Shining a light on the oft-forgotten history of Poland during WWII and inspired by true stories of ordinary individuals who fought to preserve freedom and humanity in the darkest of times,
The Warsaw Sisters is a richly rendered portrait of courage, sacrifice, and the resilience of our deepest ties. 

Revell Publishing, November, 2023
Available in digital ebook, paperback, and hardcover at Amazon, Christianbook. com, or Baker Book House

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