Cover Image: Daughters of Warsaw

Daughters of Warsaw

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

"Daughters of Warsaw" by Maria Frances is a captivating journey through dual timelines, weaving the heart-wrenching realities of WW2 Warsaw with the complexities of modern-day USA and Poland. Frances fearlessly confronts the horrors of the ghetto while highlighting themes of resilience, family, and love. From start to finish, the narrative grips readers with its poignant portrayal of hope amidst adversity. A powerful and compelling read that I highly recommend to anyone seeking a deeply moving historical fiction.

Was this review helpful?

Heartbreakingly beautiful. These two women were a pleasure to get to know and understand. The story was beautifully done and easy to connect with.

Was this review helpful?

A very interesting dual timeline historical fiction, based on a true story. Zofia, in the 1940's helping children escape the Warsaw ghetto and current day, Lizzie, who had a miscarriage and in her search to recover emotional delves into her family's past and it's secrets. Very healing for Lizzie. Well written story that held my attention through the last page.

Was this review helpful?

I absolutely loved this story! I didn't want to put it down to sleep! I can't wait to read more by this author!

Was this review helpful?

"the most difficult struggle of all was the one within ourselves, and that if we became accustomed to the conditions we found ourselves in, we might lose the ability to discriminate between good and evil.This painful state of being – the fear, the anguish, the uncertainty – was the price we had to pay for knowing what was good."

This book was a real tear-jerker, eh?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The book opens up in modern day Seattle to a woman facing emotional turmoil after suffering another miscarriage. Away from her husband and in her mother's attic, she comes across a photograph that unlocks so many questions about her great-grandmother, the young girl and woman in the picture with her.
What unfolds thereafter is a poignant tale of empowering female strength, resilience, bravery, betrayal, healing, a search for the truth and overcoming the absolute terror and brutality that human beings can inflict upon each other.
I read this book in one day, I was not able to put it down despite it being such an emotional read. The author was able to successfully transport me to the streets of Warsaw- both in the past and the present.
Told from two different POVs and dual timelines, I was completely engrossed in the stories of these two women. I loved how the author tactfully works in some of Poland's culture and explains what some things are. As a reader who isn't familiar with Polish history, I really appreciated that. Some things I will definitely be researching later.
Maria was able to really capture the true atrocities that Polish Jews faced in the Ghetto on paper.
She didn't shy away from the horror and inhumanity these people had to endure, yet she did it in such a skillful way.
The countless scenes where Zofia and others were risking their lives to ensure the safety of these children, had me on the edge of my seat. I felt every ounce of anxiety, fear, grief, anger and in rare moments happiness, that these characters felt. I was that captivated.
I got goosebumps when it dawned on me that Lizzie was completing the work of her great-grandmother and reuniting two sisters separated by war and hate.
I cannot stress enough how much I enjoyed this read and I highly recommend it.



A special thanks to Netgalley, Avon Publishing and Maria Frances for my eARC of this book.
All opinions are entirely my own and I am leaving my review voluntarily.

Was this review helpful?

I love historical fiction books set during World War II and it takes a lot for me to give a five star rating. I adored this book from start to finish. I never knew about the ordinary polish people who risked their lives to help the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto. This has been one of my favourite books of the year.

Was this review helpful?

There is so much I don’t know about this time in history. The more novels I read the more I learn. Thanks to the author for a little more Education on what it was like back in this time for the Jewish people. A heartwarming and heartbreaking story.
Thanks for the advanced copy.

Was this review helpful?

I was contacted by Avon Books Uk to read and review “Daughters of Warsaw”, to which I would like to thank, as well as to the NetGalley team. All opinions are my own.

When I first started “Daughters of Warsaw”, I was far from imagining how much I would enjoy this book. The beginning is somehow slow, which makes sense as we advance in the narrative as we need the well achieved setting to fully understand the mind of our main characters.

In this book, we meet Zofia, a young woman who helps taking young children out of the Jews ghetto in World War II, showing humanity in a time when humanity was a rare presence.

I’m not gonna lie, some events where a little bit predictable, but, overall, after the setting (which takes the first half of the book), there’s a captivating narrative where we as readers must know what happens to these characters. I don’t know how much of these are actually based in real life events, but I would like to think that even in such a dark time as this one was, someone had the courage that Zofia and Irene presented and the humanity to go beyond their comfortable life in order to help others.

I would, for sure, recommend for the historical fiction lovers out there.

This review will also be available on my Goodreads and StoryGraph accounts and, later on, on my Instagram profile @cat.literary.world

Was this review helpful?

With its dual timeline, Daughters of Warsaw is a well written historical novel. As Zofia helps Irena Sendler smuggle Jewish children out of the Nazi-imposed Warsaw ghetto, she finds herself becoming more emotionally involved in the project. Current day Lizzie finds herself wanting more background on a photograph found of her great-grandmother which leads her to Warsaw. Recommended reading.

Was this review helpful?

The opening of this novel takes us right to the heart of Lizzie's world in Seattle in the present day. She is a broken woman who has suffered yet another miscarriage. Unable to deal with her own world she begins to tidy a space in her Mother's attic that she can use as her space. As she searches through the stuff she begins to piece together her grandmother's story in 1940s Warsaw. Back then her Grandmother, Sophie, is a young woman working in the social work department. Through the invitation of her friend she enters the world of Irena Sendler, who has begun smuggling Jewish children from the Warsaw ghetto. Soon Lizzie needs to go to Warsaw to find her Grandmother's story and to find her own story. As she pieces together the history, she finds that her Grandmother is a hero of the resistance.
If you like to read read stories which penetrate all human emotions, then this is a story for you! Once I started reading I could not put this book down. It never ceases to amaze me just what resilience that WW2 generation had. We can learn a lot from these people. I loved being part of the story, if only for a few days.
Thank you net galley and Avon publishing for allowing me to read this book in exchange for this honest review. Thank you to Maria Frances for bringing these characters to life.

Was this review helpful?

The download date was unfortunately missed, I would be happy to re-review if it became available again. I have awarded stars for the book cover and description as they both appeal to me. I would be more than happy to re-read and review if a download becomes available. If you would like me to re-review please feel free to contact me at thesecretbookreview@gmail.com or via social media The_secret_bookreview (Instagram) or Secret_bookblog (Twitter). Thank you.

Was this review helpful?

Oh what a beautiful story this was. Alternating between present day Seattle and 1942 Warsaw, this was a gripping, powerful and wonderful story of multi-generational trauma and ultimately the most profound joy. I found it incredibly moving. Really brilliant. I had not heard of the author and will be looking out for more books by her - she's a very talented writer.

Was this review helpful?

Daughters of Warsaw is an exceptional historical novel by Maria Frances which I enjoyed very much. Set in both 1942-1945 and the current day, Zofia's character plus several others in the resistance were strong and determined while fearful of what could happen. The horrors of what the Jewish people crammed into the Warsaw ghetto were put through is the stuff of nightmares. A recommended read for fans of the genre And/or fans of Kristin Hannah’s book The Book of Lost Names. This is a wonderful book that will have you questioning if you are brave enough to take the risks to do what’s right. Even if everyone else is against you?

Was this review helpful?

Wow! Will stay with you!

This is a fascinating, heartbreaking, but heartwarming dual time-line book about the efforts to save the Jewish children in Poland during WW2, inspiring by a real life heroine. Definitely a must read!

Thank you to the publisher who lent me an e-arc via Netgalley. This review is optional an my own opinion.

Was this review helpful?

Daughters of Warsaw is a dual time narrative about the courage and fortitude of the Polish people during WW2. The two timelines are Zofia a social worker in Warsaw during WW2 and Lizzie in the contemporary timeline who returns back to her family after several personal problems. One day Lizzie discovers photos of her great-grandmother Zofia and it leads to some shocking revelations.

This is a tale full of bravery, courage, determination and family bonds about a time that we must never forget. This is a tale of the many brave people who risked and sacrificed their own lives to help others. This book was inspired by Irena Sendler, a heroine of the Warsaw Ghetto working with the Polish Underground Resistance to help Jewish children escape.

Was this review helpful?

Irena Sendler's tireless efforts to rescue Jewish children from the Warsaw ghetto are the centerpiece of this dual timeline novel. I was enthralled. The 1942-45 timeline was riveting. Zophie works closely with Irena to provide relief for those in the ghetto and smuggle as many out before it is too late. Her great granddaughter Lizzie begins looking into her family history while in mourning over her inability to carry a baby to term. A visit to Warsaw lends clarity and some unexpected answers. If you loved Kristin Harmel's "The Bookod Lost Names," you will also love this new release.

Thank you to Avon and NetGalley for a DRC in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

Having recently visited Poland I was keen to be able to read this ARC. I wasn't disappointed. Very moving from Maria Francis.

Was this review helpful?

This is an absolutely heartbreaking yet heartwarming story set during the second world war. It's told over dual timelines and is so powerful and beautifully written.

Was this review helpful?

I can't remember the last time I cried so much while reading a book. There was so much devastation within the pages. I am amazed that the people of Warsaw were able to rise from the ashes.

I found myself obsessed. The author's words grabbed me. I wanted to know more and more. I wanted to read about the heroism and dedication. The more I learned the more crushed I became. The more I read the more I needed to discover truths. I found those truths. I was horrified. Daughter of Warsaw guided me in ways I had not been before.

The determination of resistance workers left me in awe. Daughters of Warsaw helped me create a picture in my mind of the dedication of those trying to save the Jewish children in the ghetto. The Jewish people lived in such squaller.

One of the reasons I read World War Two historical fiction is to attempt to understand why and how it happened. I find myself at a loss. The horrors, the atrocities. I am left speechless over the strength they must have had to go on as they did.

Maria Frances has taken the dry words of history textbooks and humanized them. She has taken what many have tried to brush under the rug and brought it into the light. She has put faces to names. She has built the ghettos in my mind in away that they will remain forever.

We all need the horrors brought to life so we don't need to repeat them. Our imaginations should be enough to make sure it never happens again. Too make sure we must read more, learn more.

Was this review helpful?

This cannot be anything other than 5 stars for me.

It's emotional and heart breaking but, at the same time, full of bravery and hope. It's beautifully written with the author painting the pictures of the characters and their situations so well that it felt I was watching it on a screen.

Although this is historical fiction, some of the characters are real people which makes it all the more powerful.

A must-read for historical fiction lovers and those who are interested in the resistance during this horrendous period.

Many thanks to the author, Avon Books UK and NetGalley for enabling me to read and share my thoughts of this powerful and emotional book.

Was this review helpful?