I had planned to read the Nightingale by Kristin Hannah for this challenge, but a book popped up on my Audibles list that intrigued me and I had a credit, so I switched it up!
The Girl from Krakow by Alex Rosenberg was GREAT! I will say I would have struggled to get through it if I had been reading it as all of the Russian & Polish names & words would have been difficult to pronounce. I’m a bit of a stickler for being able to pronounce words correctly, even in my head, so I would have been doing a LOT of Googling for pronunciations. This is where listening to it is an amazing option!!
I’m going to give you the Amazon.com blurb on it because without it, what I say won’t make a lot of sense.
It’s 1935. Rita Feuerstahl comes to the university in Krakow intent on enjoying her freedom. But life has other things in store—marriage, a love affair, a child, all in the shadows of the oncoming war. When the war arrives, Rita is armed with a secret so enormous that it could cost the Allies everything, even as it gives her the will to live. She must find a way both to keep her secret and to survive amid the chaos of Europe at war. Living by her wits among the Germans as their conquests turn to defeat, she seeks a way to prevent the inevitable doom of Nazism from making her one of its last victims. Can her passion and resolve outlast the most powerful evil that Europe has ever seen?
In an epic saga that spans from Paris in the ’30s and Spain’s Civil War to Moscow, Warsaw, and the heart of Nazi Germany, The Girl from Krakow follows one woman’s battle for survival as entire nations are torn apart, never to be the same.
This is the blurb I read, and given the first part of book i was excitedly expecting “The Secret” to play a bigger role. It doesn’t! So from that perspective it was a bit of a let down. I was expecting a bit more cloak & dagger then the book delivered.
That being said, it IS an epic saga that delivers a realistic touch of life from the mid 1930’s through the end of WWII. The story is told mainly through the eyes of Rita, but through Gil we get a vivid glimpse at the Spanish Civil War and the life of a doctor at War.
I enjoyed this book for a number of reason, but one of the biggest things it reinforced was a reminder to me that “Jewish” doesn’t always equate with “religious”. This hit home as it was a discussion that a friend and I recently had about the Holocaust and Religious Persecution.
This is great selection if you have any interest in European History and WWII! I would give it a solid 4 stars out of 5