Warsaw Orphan by Kelly Rimmer

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: The Warsaw Orphan

Author: Kelly Rimmer

Book Series: Standalone

Diversity: Jewish MC, Adopted MC

Rating: 4/5

Recommended For…: historical fiction, young adult books, world war 2

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publication Date: June 1, 2021

Publisher: Grayson House

Pages: 416

Recommended Age: 17+ (Starvation, Antisemitism, Mentions of rape/sexual assault, Rape TW, Pregnancy, Violence, Gore, Death)

Synopsis: In the spring of 1942, young Elzbieta Rabinek is aware of the swiftly growing discord just beyond the courtyard of her comfortable Warsaw home. She has no fondness for the Germans who patrol her streets and impose their curfews, but has never given much thought to what goes on behind the walls that contain her Jewish neighbors. She knows all too well about German brutality–and that it’s the reason she must conceal her true identity. But in befriending Sara, a nurse who shares her apartment floor, Elzbieta makes a discovery that propels her into a dangerous world of deception and heroism.

Using Sara’s credentials to smuggle children out of the ghetto brings Elzbieta face-to-face with the reality of the war behind its walls, and to the plight of the Gorka family, who must make the impossible decision to give up their newborn daughter or watch her starve. For Roman Gorka, this final injustice stirs him to rebellion with a zeal not even his newfound love for Elzbieta can suppress. But his recklessness brings unwanted attention to Sara’s cause, unwittingly putting Elzbieta and her family in harm’s way until one violent act threatens to destroy their chance at freedom forever.

From Nazi occupation to the threat of a communist regime, The Warsaw Orphan is the unforgettable story of Elzbieta and Roman’s perilous attempt to reclaim the love and life they once knew.

Review: For the most part I really enjoyed this book. I really like the time period that this book is set in so it’s usually really easy to please me, but I really like the focus of the book. I like how the book is duel POV and we got to see a fictionalized story of the movement to save the Jewish children and the fictionalized account of people who survived the ghettos and were able to tell the story and collect the history from that time. I also felt like the book had really well developed characters for the most part and that the world building was pretty well done.

However, I do have some critiques about the book. There is a part towards the end where Emilia’s character has something drastic happened to her and it entirely changes her character. If about 30% left in the book I don’t think that the offer did well to redevelop Emilia’s character after that event. I also didn’t agree with the direction that the book went, because while I do know that a lot of women were forced to do what Emilia had to do at the end of the book, there were also alternatives that the character could have done and at the character seemed to want to do and I’m saddened that those weren’t even brought up as an alternative even though those methods have existed for centuries before this time period even begins. I also didn’t like that the book didn’t have an epilogue, I really felt that that was stolen for me as a reader because I felt so invested in these two characters. There was a plot point in the first part of the book that, towards the end was resolved but was never mentioned how it was resolved and it just leaves the reader with lots of questions. And lastly I felt like the plot was really solid until about 30% away from the end of the book, and then it became a bit of a jumbled mess. I think that the last 30% of the book could have been better in a separate book, maybe a sequel. But the book had a nice flow with the first plot point and then it was so rushed in the second plot point that it felt way too rushed for me as a reader and I didn’t connect with the story as I was in the beginning.

Verdict: It was good but it lacked at the end for me.

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