Saying Goodbye To Warsaw by Michael Cargill | Book Reviews | Historical Fiction

By Margaret Madden

A different look at the effects of World War 2, this is Abigail’s tale. She is 9 years old and living in the Warsaw Ghetto, created by the Nazis as a way of keeping all Jews together and under control before sending them to concentration camps. Abigail lives with her mother and her brother, Leo in a grim bedsit within the ghetto. While the young girl is content to spend the days dreaming of better times and remembering her father, Leo is restless and angry with the Regime. While their mother works in a secret soup kitchen, her two children get involved in the day to day issues within the ghetto.

This book is mostly written from Abigail’s point of view and while her innocence is no different to any other 9 year old’s at the start of the book, as she turns 10 and witness some harrowing things over time, her view on the world becomes more harsh and real.

Towards the end of the book we are introduced to a new character, Alenka, a young woman who is part of the resistance, and the narrative becomes a little confusing. Having very few paragraphs, I found it a little hard to follow who’s thoughts I was reading.

The horrors of World War 2 have been written about by thousands of authors but not many have approached it from the Ghetto angle. Although nowhere near as horrific as the camps, there are still some heartbreaking stories to be heard, and you could do worse than reading this novel to see the war from a new perspective.

I would recommend this book more as a YA read, as the language is simple and clean with a lack of graphic description which younger readers can be upset by.

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