Book Review: The Warsaw Sisters

13 Nov

Some books are really hard to review. They elicit feelings that are difficult to put into words. The Warsaw Sisters by Amanda Barratt is one such novel. I’ll do my best in the review that follows, but for now just know that this is a must-read. Very highly recommended.

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.

Amanda Barratt is the bestselling author of numerous historical novels and novellas including THE WARSAW SISTERS, WITHIN THESE WALLS OF SORROW, and THE WHITE ROSE RESISTS. Her work has been the recipient of the Christy Award and the Carol Award, as well as an Honorable Mention in the Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards.

Amanda is passionate about illuminating oft-forgotten facets of history through a fictional narrative. She lives in Michigan and can often be found researching her next novel, catching up on her to-be-read stack, or savoring a slice of her favorite lemon cake.

To connect with Amanda, visit:

My Impressions:

The Warsaw Sisters is a WWII-era novel by talented author Amanda Barratt. This book, as her previous books, is extremely well-researched and written. Set in Warsaw from the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany until the end of WWII, it does not sugarcoat or mask the privations of war, the cruelty of the Nazi regime, or the crimes perpetrated against the people of Poland, especially the Jewish population. It’s a novel of survival of spirit and faith in the midst of extreme physical and emotional stress. I had to pause in my reading of the book in order to take a few breaths of relief even as I wanted/needed to keep turning the pages. I had to find out what happened to sisters Antonina and Helena and their beloved city. The two main characters are what give this book heart and soul. Although twins, the two are so different, yet their determination to have purpose in the midst of tragedy spoke of the Polish people of the time. I knew little about the capital city of Poland during WWII, but Warsaw became almost as beloved by this reader as it was to Antonina and Helena. Not the buildings, but the people who stood against evil oppression in small and large ways — each making a difference. Antonina and Helena take similar stands, yet apart from each other. Secrecy was necessary for the clandestine work they undertook, as well as to preserve the safety of those they held dear. I ached for them as the once close sisters grew further apart. There is much loss in this book, as history will attest. Yet love, hope, and faith in a God who never leaves remains.

The Warsaw Sisters is a powerful novel. The writing style is stunningly beautiful, the characters will remain in the reader”s heart, and the strong message of God’s presence in the midst of terror is hard won. I cannot praise this book enough. You’ll find that you need to talk about it, so consider it for your book club. Very highly recommended.

Very Highly Recommended.

Great for Book Clubs.

Audience: Adults.

(I received a complimentary copy of the novel from the publisher. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

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