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May 25, 2024

The Goddess of Warsaw by Lisa Barr ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

This beautifully written and well-researched book takes the readers back to the horrors of the Warsaw Ghetto during WWII when the Nazis were determined to rid Warsaw of any Jewish people. After reading the way that the Jewish people were forced to live, it's still hard to imagine that there could be so much hatred in the world.

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book cover of historical fiction novel The Goddess of Warsaw by Lisa Barr
May 2024; Harper; 978-0063382619
audio, ebook, print (368 pages); historical fiction

Los Angeles, 2005.  Hollywood’s latest heartthrob wants to make a movie about the life of the famous Golden Age movie star Lena Browning. She quickly finds out how little she knows about Lena's past and that before she was the famous Hollywood star, she was, Bina Blonski, a Polish Jew whose life and family were destroyed by the Nazis.

In 1943, Bina and her husband were sent to the Warsaw ghetto with thousands of other Jewish people.  Because Bina was beautiful and blond, she could pass as an Ayran.  She becomes a spy and makes numerous trips outside the ghetto for food, guns, and medical supplies. Her husband is content with gathering information about the day to day lives of the people in the ghetto and writing it so that future generations know the truth of what was going on.  Bina isn't content with his way of resistance and wants to spend her time actively helping other people right now and working with the Resistance.

After the war, she makes her way to Hollywood where she becomes a star.  Even though it seems as if she has put her past behind her, she still wants revenge on  Nazis who escaped justice after the war.  She never stops in her pursuit to make sure that they have not really escaped their pasts because she still remembers and will make sure that they receive the punishment that they deserve.

This book is so well written and researched that the reader feels like they knew Bina/Lena and witnessed all that she did to help her fellow members in the Ghetto.  We all were taught about the brave men who won WWII but for many years there was very little written about the brave and strong women who did their part and more to bring freedom back into the world.  The author gives us one of those strong women who represents countless strong women who worked and died trying to save other people.

If you read WWII fiction, this is a book that you don't want to miss to get a glimpse of what life was really like in the Warsaw Ghetto and to understand how impossible it is to forget your past and to strive to get revenge on the people who hurt you and your family.  This was another stellar book by Lisa Barr.

Buy The Goddess of Warsaw at Amazon

Susan Roberts grew up in Michigan but loves the laid-back life at her home in the Piedmont area of North Carolina where she is two hours from the beach to the east and the mountains in the west.  She reads almost anything but her favorite genres are Southern Fiction and Historical Fiction.   

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