May 4, 2021
Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, WW11, Holocaust, Jewish, Krakow (Poland), Friendship
*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.
Welcome to my stop on the Pam Jenoff Blog Tour for #TheWomanWithTheBlueStar. Thanks to #NetGalley @HarlequinBooks @HarperCollins @ParkRowBooks for my complimentary eARC upon my request. All opinions are my own.
In 1942, eighteen-year-old Sadie and her parents are forced to flee the Krakow Ghetto to avoid being sent to a concentration camp. They seek refuge in the sewer system beneath the city. One day, Sadie looks up through the grate and makes eye contact with a young Polish woman, Ella. Putting her fears aside, Ella begins to aid Sadie by bringing her a bit of food. The story follows their friendship as Ella helps Sadie in any way that she can.
Heartbreaking: Overall, I found The Woman With the Blue Star an especially heartbreaking and tragic story of the will to survive. It’s almost beyond comprehension to know that this story is inspired by people who actually used the sewers as a desperate and last-resort means of escape and refuge.
Structure: Jenoff introduces and concludes the story in a present timeline, but the story itself is told in a past timeline. Once we are in the past, we stay there (no hopping back and forth between timelines). I know many of us appreciate a chronological timeline!
Writing: I love that I can depend upon Jenoff for a well-told, well-written, memorable, and engaging story. It was unputdownable as I feared for Sadie’s and Ella’s wellbeing and safety throughout. Vivid details and descriptions bring me right into the flight for safety, the atrocious conditions in the sewer, and the details help me appreciate the danger involved with helping others. The story has a somewhat satisfying (and realistic) ending, but I can’t say more because of spoilers.
Themes: I love the strong themes of friendship, sacrifice, hope, loyalty, adversity, kindness, endurance, and survival.
Recommended: I’m recommending The Woman With the Blue Star for fans of WW11 historical fiction and for those who love stories about inspirational, brave women. Books clubs whose members are OK with some tragedy might appreciate this survival story.
Content Consideration: war atrocities, starvation, death, grief
My Rating: 4 Stars
Meet the Author, Pam Jenoff
Pam Jenoff is the author of several novels, including her most recent, The Lost Girls of Paris and The Orphan’s Tale, both instant New York Times bestsellers, and The Kommandant’s Girl, which received widespread acclaim, earned her a nomination for the Quill Awards and became an international bestseller. She previously served as a Foreign Service Officer for the U.S. State Department in Europe, as the Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Army at the Pentagon and as a practicing attorney at a large firm and in-house. She received her juris doctor from the University of Pennsylvania, her masters degree in history from Cambridge University and her bachelors degree in international affairs from The George Washington University. Pam Jenoff lives with her husband and three children near Philadelphia where, in addition to writing, she teaches law school at Rutgers.
Is The Woman With the Blue Star on your TBR or have you read it?
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