Before starting this book I knew it would be a heartbreaking read and I was right. In the Warsaw Ghetto gripped me right from the beginning. For those of you who don’t know, I am a huge history buff and I love everything to do with history and learning as much as possible. So let’s have a look at my In The Warsaw Ghetto A.R.C book review.
Book: In The Warsaw Ghetto
Author: Glenn Haybittle
Publication date: July 30th 2019
Genre: historical fiction, world war 2, holocaust, fiction, war
Rate: 5 STARS
Contains violence, sexual themes, murder, sexual violence, discrimination and prejudice.
Gifted | This book In The Warsaw Ghetto was gifted to me by Netgalley in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Ala Silberman is training to be a dancer when the Germans invade Warsaw. Together with almost half a million other Jews, Ala and her family are forced into the ghetto, where she struggles with feelings of guilt at her comparative privileged circumstances. Then Ala’s enigmatic teacher forms a dance company with the intention of putting on a performance for the ghetto’s residents.
Max Silberman, Ala’s uncle, is a bachelor, who still carries the flame for the girl he knew at university. She married someone else and he hasn’t seen her for over a decade. When he meets her in the ghetto and discovers she and her two children have been abandoned by her Catholic husband all his dormant hopes are incongruously revived amidst the squalor and destitution surrounding him.
In the Warsaw Ghetto tells the deeply moving story of Ala and Max’s struggle to preserve their aspirations in the midst of the inhumane conditions of the Warsaw ghetto, until the deportations to the death camps begin and the Jews organise themselves into a fighting force determined to oppose the Nazis
First thoughts and emotions
At the beginning of the story, we meet our two main characters and we can sense their loom over what is happening with Hitler. Although I know what happened during this time period I still felt dread and fear for them both.
This book was tense, dark and something I believe should be read by anyone who loves history. Although this book is a work of fiction and isn’t historically accurate it gives so much context into what the Jews went through during Hitler’s reign of power within the Third Reich.
This story is broken up into three parts. It is fast-paced and full of suspense. Right from the beginning, we become aware of the threat Hitler has on both Ala, Max when we meet them and all of the Jews. This story moves very quickly which makes sense because Hitler’s take over was very very quick in Poland during his reign which is factually correct.
Throughout this story, there are many twists and turns that leave you breathless waiting to see what happens next and when I think I have the plot figured out it changes again and leaves me guessing.
Within this story, we meet many many characters, some lovely and another horrible who I really didn’t like. We first meet Ala a young 18-year-old girl who dreams of being a dancer, she is young, innocent, sensitive, kind, curious, empathetic and so much more! Ala is such an easy character to connect with but seeing some of the decisions she makes to save herself I kind of turned off her character a little bit but I can’t hold it against her because desperate times means desperate measures. Not many people can judge her for what she did because they haven’t been in those sort of situations.
The second character we meet is Max and he is very alike to Ala. He is stubborn, lonely, kind and very compassionate as we follow his story throughout this book. We see him turn from being a lonely man who seemed to wallow in self-pity over losing the love of his life into a great father figure and protective happy man even under the horrible circumstances and the situation he and everyone else is in.
There are many other characters that we meet that don’t hold much significance in the story except for a few other small characters like Marcel. I have never come across a character who I hated as much as I hated Marcel. He was so forceful, crude and would not take no for an answer. Although he did some nice things in this story I still could not see through his flaws.
Final Thoughts And Emotions
My heart went out to each and every person within this story. Although I loved this story and loved the insight it gave me to the treatment of the Jews during the time of Hitler’s reign of terror. In the Warsaw Ghetto truly broke my heart and I know it will stay in my heart and mind for a very very long time. Once I finished this book I needed a few days away from reading to think about this book and make sure I didn’t burst into tears.
This is a must-read 5-star book. It is so important to remind everyone of what happened during this horrible time. I believe that this time period should always be remembered. This is a must-read if you are a history or just love reading historical fiction. Although this story isn’t very relatable to my life it is still a hugely important story that pulls at your heartstrings and tear ducts.