The Polish Girl by Malka Adler is a compelling historical novel that is rooted in fact.
The story is written in the first person as we follow the life of a young girl. The tale alternates between ‘now’ and looking backwards to World War II.
The reader witnesses the courage and strength needed to survive as a Polish Jewish family under Nazi rule. It was a time of fear, persecution and round-ups. It seemed as though the people were forgotten by the world and by God. “God’s in heaven, and He isn’t asleep.” Faith was clung to, and a hope and desire to survive.
We see how a character deals with loss as she remembers “I couldn’t ever… forget the laughter and the love I saw in his eyes when he looked at me.” The love of a father, and the father- daughter bond is strong.
There is the love of a mother. It is a love that protects. However, a daughter feels a second class person in comparison to a son. It seems to be a world that puts a greater value on a son but the reader sees the fierce love and protective nature of a mother for both her children.
The Polish Girl was a powerful read of a time of great horror.
I received a free copy via Net Galley. A favourable review was not required. All opinions are my own.