Thursday, November 30, 2023

The Warsaw Sisters by Amanda Barratt REVIEWED

 About the Book: 

A richly rendered portrait of courage, sacrifice, and resilience

On a golden August morning in 1939, sisters Antonina and Helena DÄ…browska 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 knows she cannot stand by and soon becomes a key figure in a daring network of women risking their lives to shelter Jewish children. Meanwhile, 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 them apart--and the cost of resistance may prove greater than either ever imagined.

My Thoughts:

"So faith is all that is left to us, then."  (p. 321)

When I reached the end of this novel, I could feel the gut punch of trauma and loss in my heart and soul.  I could feel the lost desperation that Helena felt in that moment as her heart broke open under the weight of battle and loss and hopelessness.  This novel revealed a battle within a battle that I was unaware existed in the broader scope of WWII.  The author tells the story from the viewpoint of two sisters who, unaware of what the other chooses in the heat of battle, decide to fight for their home with the heroic bravery that breaks the reader's heart over and over again.

War makes heroes out of ordinary people, and rips heroes out of our hearts and into eternity before we are able to comprehend the loss. Antonina and Helena are very close as sisters before ward comes to their homeland.  Antonina chooses to become involved in the war effort for very different reasons that Helena, but, over time and as the war intensifies, their love for each other bears them up under excruciating circumstances.  That anyone survived this experience is a miracle, and the survival of these sisters is something very tenuous...and I won't reveal anything more.

This book is a beautiful tribute to heroes that I never knew existed. My hopes and dreams for the future was and is strengthened after reading this story. I can't encourage you strongly enough to add this to your reading list!  You won't regret it, and you'll probably feel compelled to share it with others!  I did! 

About the Author:

Amanda Barratt is the bestselling author of numerous historical novels and novellas, including The White Rose Resists (a 2021 Christy Award winner) and Within These Walls of Sorrow. She is passionate about illuminating oft-forgotten facets of history through a fictional narrative. Amanda lives in Michigan. Learn more at