Within These Walls of Sorrow by Amanda Barratt ~ Book Review

January 24, 2023


About the Book

Book: Within These Walls of Sorrow
Author: Amanda Barratt
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Kregel
Release Date: January 17, 2023

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.


My Thoughts 

This was my first book by this author and I was more than impressed. I wasn't sure what to expect from this book but it took me to a historical journey that I did not quite expect. This book definitely touched all my emotions from the very beginning. There are a lot of books out there dealing with World War II but I have not experienced a book like this. The research was so well done that the author had me on a deep dive search of locations and photographs. I definitely submerged myself in this point of history while reading this book. 

Zosia and Hania's story was just a small sampling of the atrocities that went on during the German occupation in Poland. It recounts the journey of those that were punished for absolutely no reason whatsoever. This is one of those stories reminiscent to Schindler's List or Anne Frank. A story that I will not hesitate to introduce to my soon to be high schooler as part of a literature assignment. 

Kudos to the author for writing such a great book. This is not a feel good story but it definitely makes you think afterwards about the repercussions that can occur when people stay silent and allow evil to take over. 

My Rating: 5 Stars/Excellent Read

I received a copy of this book from the author. I was not required to post a positive review. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

About the Author

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.

Connect with her on Facebook and visit her online at amandabarratt.net.

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