The Warsaw Orphan: A WWII Novel
In Warsaw 1942, teenager Elzbieta Rabinek’s sheltered upper-class life is upended when she discovers her neighbor hiding Jewish children in her closet. Elzbeita makes the heroic decision to join the fight against the Germans, and her new path leads her to Roman Gorka, a Jewish boy struggling to keep his family alive in the Warsaw ghetto. Roman’s family is confronted with an unimaginable choice: risk his infant sister’s life by keeping the family together, or give her up to a family that could take care of her outside the ghetto. Elzbieta and Roman’s choices, and their love for one another, take them on an epic story of survival, heartbreak, and resilience.
A beautifully written and well-researched story, The Warsaw Orphan was inspired by true stories from war-torn Poland (and is apparently a companion novel to Rimmer’s The Things We Cannot Say, which I have not read but am now hoping to try out soon). It is gripping and heartbreaking, and an emotional homage to the real-life heroine who saved thousands of Jewish children during World War II.
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