About Me I am a retired librarian and I now support books and authors through my reviews.

I have always loved to read and I was able to share that love through my work as a public librarian for 22 1/2 years. I now promote literacy by reading, and then writing reviews. I love to support authors by sharing my reviews with others!

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Within These Walls of Sorrow: A Novel of World War II Poland by Amanda Barratt

Within These Walls of Sorrow: A Novel of World War II Poland

As superbly written as it is haunting in its truth. --Kate Breslin, best-selling author of For Such a Time

Zosia Lewandowska knows the brutal realities of war all too well. Within weeks of Germany's invasion of her Polish homeland, she lost the man she loves. As ghetto walls rise and the occupiers tighten their grip on the city of Krakow, Zosia joins pharmacist Tadeusz Pankiewicz and his staff in the heart of the Krakow ghetto as they risk their lives to aid the Jewish people trapped by Nazi oppression.

Hania Silverman's carefree girlhood is shattered as her family is forced into the ghetto. Struggling to survive in a world hemmed in by walls and rife with cruelty and despair, she encounters Zosia, her former neighbor, at the pharmacy. As deportation winnow the ghetto's population and snatch those she holds dear, Hania's natural resiliency is exhausted by reality.
Zodia and Hania's lives intertwine as they face the griefs and fears thrust upon them by war, until one day, they are forced to make a desperate choice . . . one that will inexorably bind them together, even as they are torn apart.

Amanda Barratt's meticulous research and lush, award-winning writing shine once again in this moving look at a group of unsung heroes who fought for hope and humanity in the most harrowing of times.

An unflinching tale that implores readers to stop and see, not a massive crowd of people, but individual hearts and souls. This book will linger in your heart and mind long after you've read the final page. --Amanda Cox, Christy Award-winning author of The Edge of Belonging


This stunning story, set during the German occupation of Poland during World War II, chronicles the plight of the Jewish people who lived there and the brave Polish citizens who dared to help them. Author Amanda Barratt shares a tale of the special friendship that develops between a young Jewish girl who is sent with her family to the ghetto and a female Polish pharmacist who works inside the ghetto. Barratt once again proves her remarkable talent for combining historical facts and fictional detail and delivers their story in a way that I will never forget. There are scenes that left me emotionally drained but there are also moments that renewed my spirit. Emotionally drained by the evil, ugly, and terrible atrocities that existed during this time but spiritually revived by the love, hope, strength, and courage that were able to prevail.

I was captivated by this powerful book, and it now has a place on my keeper shelf! I also consider it worthy of being added to the reading lists and syllabuses of classes that cover World War II history. Within These Walls of Sorrow is a stunning depiction of a time that must never be forgotten and a reminder that we must always be on guard!

"There is evil and there is good and there is space in between. We are given free will to choose where we stand. Evil thrives when good men choose the space between."

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and publisher. There was no obligation for a positive review. These are my own thoughts.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars 


ECPA best-selling author Amanda Barratt fell in love with writing in grade school when she wrote her first story—a spin-off of Jane Eyre. Now, Amanda writes romantic, historical fiction, penning stories of beauty and brokenness set against the backdrop of bygone eras not so very different from our own. She's the author of over a dozen novels and novellas including The White Rose Resists: A Novel of the German Students Who Defied Hitler and My Dearest Dietrich: A Novel of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Lost Love.

Amanda lives in the woods of Michigan with her family, where she can be found reading way too many books, plotting her next novel, and jotting down imaginary travel itineraries for her dream vacation to Europe.

Visit her Website or follow her on Facebook    Twitter     Instagram  

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