Inspired by the Heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto
by Michael Reit
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 08 Oct 2021 | Archive Date 30 Sep 2021
Michael Reit, The Book Whisperer
From the bestselling author of "Beyond the Tracks" comes another sweeping WWII tale...
We mustn't let darkness win.
Natan Borkowski has it all. In line to take over the successful family business, his future is set.
Julia Horowitz lives in poverty. The daughter of a shoemaker, she dreams of a different life—a different world.
Everything changes when Hitler’s armies invade Poland. Natan’s future is ripped away by the flick of a switch of a Luftwaffe pilot. When the smoke clears, Julia and her family find themselves locked within the walls of the newly-formed Jewish ghetto.
On opposite sides of the wall, Natan and Julia’s lives are not so different anymore. As the Nazis unleash a reign of hunger, terror, and death across the city, they must now decide what’s more terrifying:
To die on their knees, or go down fighting?
Based on true events, Warsaw Fury is a story of love, courage, and resilience in the face of unimaginable evil.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 33 members
This book was completely a page-turner that I couldn't put away until I finish reading this story. I loved how Michael finely weaves both stories, Natan and Julia, his two main characters into the reality they were facing in Poland during the German Occupation. I felt as if I was seeing through their eyes, facing their same feelings as their country had been invaded by the Nazis. I applaud the intent of bringing this kind of stories into public awareness, and it resonates even more during these times when were still going through a pandemic, which is not a war or occupation, but we can identify with the main characters as they face the reality they knew is no more, and these two youngsters face it with bravery and courage, adapting to their convoluted new normal and joining the fight. I liked how the author represented both the struggles of civilian Poles and Jewish Poles, especially when the latter were facing growing antisemitism in Polish society back then. And even when Natan and Julia were fictional, I really liked how the real characters were intertwined and the locations were accurately portrayed, which show how committed the author was to represent the story and make it as historically accurate as possible it could be. The narrative is quite fluid, there is certain bit of exposition at the beginning but not too much so we can easily get acquainted with the characters as we follow their stories. I agree with the author - we should never forget the atrocious stories related with the extermination camps. However, these stories of resistance are so important in order to remind us all how in times of struggle and oppression, there is always something we can do or many different ways we can help and make a difference. Totally recommend this book!
A great novel about the uprising in Warsaw in WW2. Although this is a work of fiction, the novel is historically accurate. Thank you to #NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Great book on the Polish resistance. The characters are great and the story flows perfectly. This would be a great series fo focus on the different people that are part of the resistance group.
Nathan Borkowski was the son of a businessman. Julia Horowitz was the daughter of a local shoemaker. Each wanted to continue their education past high school but those dreams would be taken away from them as the Nazis invade their hometown of Warsaw. The invasion changed everything. There was a curfew, rationing, and Jewish people were put into a segregated area of town. Frustrated by all of the injustice, Natan and Julia decide to fight by working for the Civil Guard of Warsaw, undermining the Nazis. The story of their devotion to country and heroism is inspiring. How much will they lose in this horrifying war? The arrogance of the SS and the resilience of the Varsovians are a vivid contrast. There is so much horror but what touched me the most was the description of the Nazi indifference to the suffering of the Polish people. This is an excellent portrayal of the Polish aspect of WWII. I highly recommend this book.
In my heart's call, I believe Michael Reit's splendiferous tale is the fitting ode to the patriotic fight, and dedicated resistance the Poles gave Hitler and his marionettes. Is there any other way I could describe this book? I cried with them, found my heart getting crushed on seeing the hardships they had to find themselves in, swear at the barbarism displayed by the Nazis, overwhelm my emotions in fury at the thought of things that could have been different had the allied forces kept their words, and above all, saw my heart swelling in admiration at the sheer bravery shown by the Poles, standing on their own legs, proving their loyalties to their country till their last breath. To start with, there were a lot of things I loved about this book. The first has to be Michael's writing with this impeccable sense of flashing those horrendous image through his words, making my heart weep with every pulse that stopped due to the Nazi's inhumane response. The second credits goes to the women and the men who inspired me, highlighting the purpose to live and to fight for things that were worth it. Let it be Kasia, Julia, Aga, Natan, Toni, Mordechai, Tomasz, Jerzy, Mischa, Maczek, Ludwik, Konrad and other people out there, they all stood out for their hunger for revenge with a cause. To go down fighting for everything that was worth it. And then, there was this expressive patriotism when the author pens the words, and they were true to the emotion, not overtly cliched, nor forced. Personally, I loved this book pretty much, and as I finish it, I look front up in the skies, and bow my head towards the impressive resilience the Poles displayed, admiring their fight, and marveling their determination, all the while wondering, just the way the author did on why their resistance didn't get the attention from history they deserved. My heart goes to those fierce warriors watching over their country they fought so hard to stay with glory, and though I wouldn't know what they went through, my heart goes out for all of them, for their sacrifices, and the hardships they had to face, with nothing but stolen childhoods to stare. Historical, Romance, and war fiction lovers! This book is so worth it!!! PS: Thanks NetGalley for this precious ARC! Deciding on getting a paperback done too :) "As long as they drew breath, they had a chance. And with that, they fought. They were all in thi together. It didn't matter if you were a fighter, a civilian, or a Jew: You were a Varsovian, a Pole. And they'd fight until the bitter end."
Set during WWII in Warsaw, this riveting and tragic Historical Fiction is about despair, anguish, courage, resilience and hope. The author fortunately does not gloss over brutal details; though difficult to read, they are incredibly important, not just superficially, but on a deep level. And what makes this book chilling is that these and other heinous events happened to real people. So many were teenagers. Their heroism and fortitude is beyond my comprehension. Natan Borkowski works at his family's successful Borkowski Leather Works factory which he will take over one day. His dreams are crushed when Germany occupies Poland and the number one priority is survival. There is nothing else. He wants to do what he can to help in the effort so unflinchingly joins the Resistance. He discovers he is capable of so much more than he had imagined as he finds himself in impossible situations. Julia Horowitz works with her father in his small shoemaking shop. Like Natan, she has aspirations. She desires to become a lawyer. Her life is also turned upside down when Germany invades and she goes from poverty to near starvation. She cannot do nothing as she watches her beloved city and people crumble. Her independent spirit and quick thinking serves her well as she trains and learns how to best use her giftedness. Her fearlessness is unreal. Horrors abound but these young people continue to stand up for what they believe in, no matter what the cost. The author describes the ghetto uprising including the role of the Gray Ranks, treatment of Jews, sympathizers, propaganda and defeat of Poles (Jewish and civilians) and Germans. We also learn more about smuggling and couriers, both crucial to the war effort. Michael Reit has a special writing style, a powerful way with words that is refreshingly unique. I like how he describes the lives of each of the two characters individually and then brings them together with a common goal. If you are seeking a remarkable Historical Fiction book to ponder, do pick up this book. It is truly well worth your time. My sincere thank you to Michael Reit, Beyond Words and NetGalley for the privilege of reading this marvelous book. It is not an easy read but a very eye opening and important one.
Fighting for Freedom A heartbreaking story of the young heroes of the Warsaw Uprising in the Jewish Ghetto where the Nazi's had imprisoned the Jewish people during WWII. It tells the terrifying story of the horrific events that took place in Poland during WWII. The cruelty of the Nazi's and the absolutely devastating acts performed by them on the Polish people, especially the Jewish Poles. The story is about the resistance in Poland and the young people that made up that resistance. Putting their lives on the line, some of them as young as thirteen and most not over twenty. Young people that have lost their loved ones to the cruelty of the Nazi's and wished to fight back. Their survival, their fight, the heroism and courage they showed. How some of the Polish non Jewish put their lives on the line to help their Jewish friends and neighbors. Although many of the Polish were either complacent or shunned the Jewish poles, there were those brave souls that stepped in and extended a helping hand to them in their fight against the Nazi's. This is a story that runs through the ghetto, the city of Warsaw and the sewers beneath. A story of young heroes that should never be forgotten. A story of a love for freedom and for country and a fighting spirit that refused to die. The story was inspirational and historical. It was of some of the brave young people of Warsaw and their fight for freedom. The story was heartbreaking, tear jerking, and filled with the spirit and enthusiasm of the young. It was definitely a good read and one that would inspire anyone. I would definitely recommend this book. Thanks to Michael Reit, The Book Whisperer, and NetGalley for providing me with a complimentary copy of the book for my honest review.
Warsaw Fury by Michael Reit is an emotional, suspenseful telling of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and the fight to drive the Germans out of Poland. Even though we know the outcome of the battles, the characters, especially Julia and Nathan, inspire us to root for them and worry about whether they will survive. The action and losses make you breathless as you read this book. Highly recommended.
A captivating WW2 read about the Polish resistance movement. It took a little while for me to really get into it, but then it got rolling. Definitely a good way to learn a little bit more history from this era...
An excellent account of a stunning piece of heroism in the dark days of World War II Poland. I have read several accounts of the Warsaw Uprising and this account provides a level of detail of the tactics, strategy and battles which is not often provided by authors wishing to cover this topic. The characters and relationships are well developed, engaging and very human but the author does not fall into the trap of sacrificing the action for the sentiment. Instead, a balance is offered. I was bracing myself for the ending and pleased with how it was handled - I won’t spoil it here!
Warsaw 1939 through 1944 This harrowing story based on true events is an exhausting read, so well written it is like walking next to the characters and facing: rage, horrors, death, starvation, homelessness and most of all the Nazis. I admit to rarely put down a book but with this one I had to do so a few times in order to take a breather and let my heart slow down....What a great novel about despair, courage, resilience and hope. The novel is divided into four sections and the cadence in the narrative makes the book a page-turner. From the beginning till the conclusion tension is a constant. First the story introduces us to the main characters Natan Borkowski and Julia Horowitz and weaves both stories with skill. They live in deferent neighborhoods till the day Hitler’s armies invade Poland and unleash a reign of terror and death across the city. Julia and her family end up in the newly-formed Jewish ghetto and Natan see himself on the opposite side of the wall but their lives are quite similar...What to do....die or fight...they chose to fight...Then the story runs through the ghetto, the city of Warsaw and even brings us down beneath the streets and into the smelling, dirty sewers... Most parts the author describes the ghetto uprising in detail including the role of the Gray Ranks, the members of the resistance, the struggle of the civilian Poles especially the Jewish people who were the target of brutal atrocities but mainly the loyalty of the Varsovians toward their country: to go down fighting till their last breath...and too many did. I enjoyed the characters and we cross many extraordinary young people in this heartbreaking and tear jerking story....what a great read.
A WELL-CRAFTED STORY OF COURAGE, HOPE AND FIGHTING FOR WHAT'S RIGHT This is my second book by Michael Reit, and I am more than intrigued. He knows how to craft a story, he does his research and he doesn't mince words. Those qualities are sure to bring me back for his next book as well. 👍 What I Liked 👍 Theme: One of the things I adore about Reit's books are his themes. Though he dapples in romance and love, they are not his central themes, which I find very refreshing. This is a book filled with hope, endurance, courage and justice. These themes carry the book and are made even more heartbreakingly beautiful when coupled with the realistic portrayal of the horrors experienced by the Polish resistance fighters. Characters: Julia and Natan are two characters that are easy to love and root for. They are both strong, resilient fighters in the truest sense of the word. They join the battle for control of Warsaw, both of them ready and willing to give their lives for the cause. They fight for what they believe to be right, and that is something I can only cheer for. Realistic: My hats off to Reit's amazing research! The realistic portrayal of the attack on Warsaw, the resistance in the Warsaw ghetto and the fight for Warsaw clearly shows that Reit did his research and did not shy away from anything. He lays it all bare and it's clear as day that he could have written much more about this part of WWII. The fighting, the anguish, the fear and uncertainty - it's all right here for everyone to read. It makes this a very strong, emotional and moving reading experience.
A big Thank you to Net galley for offering a digital copy of this amazing book. Set during World War II, this is a story of people of Warsaw (Poland) who didn't succumb to death, slavery, and War. They fought for their freedom and their country's freedom. A harrowing story of people during World War II shows how blatant a war can be. The most horrific and bravest of human nature can surface during the War. The book constitutes perspectives of Warsaw people (Polish & Jews). Natan & Julia both became orphaned due to War, but they bravely fought for their country's freedom. Amidst this chaos, beautiful love blossoms between Natan & Julia. This book is an experience for those who only heard about World War but never have felt it. This book shows how tragic Holocaust was. It made me realize that the bravest moment for humans was when they were most desperate. Brave are those who never yield to wrong no matter what. Michael Reit had captured the essence of barbarity and humanity at the same time. It's a story of Bravery, Valour, Friendship, Freedom, and Love. Beautiful written, I loved this book!