Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Dollmaker of Krakow based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
This book is a strong contender for my favourite book of 2018, it’s going to take a lot to beat my enjoyment of this book! If you do buy yourself a copy of this book (which you should), you should absolutely buy the hardback edition. Not only is the cover beautiful, the pages smell divine (if you’re into that kind of thing) and there are illustrated embellishments to the pages that you just don’t see these days that makes the book feel extra special. The story itself comprises of two parts in alternating chapters; a war in the Land of Dolls where rats have come from across the sea to eat all the gingerbread houses and sugar flowers, and the development of WW2 in Krakow, Poland. When Karolina, a doll, is brought to life by a WW1 veteran dollmaker in Krakow, they form an unbreakable bond and she sees familiar atrocities take place as the Germans invade the city. HOWEVER. This book reads like a fairy tale, a magical talking doll and her human friend see the magic in the world, the pain of loneliness and the importance of being kind. The writing is so beautiful, you read the human aspect of the war through the eyes of a doll with all the compassion you’d expect from a doll designed to comfort children. The Dollmaker himself gains so much from having her around, pushing him to make connections with the people around him. Karolina is brave, intelligent and strong willed when it comes to protecting those around her. I usually avoid books about the world wars because they make me bawl my eyes out, and this was no exception. Everything about it is bittersweet but the overriding message is one of loyalty, kindness, and magic in the worst of times. Reading this book was a great experience and one to be highly recommended!
3.5 crowns, which sort of makes it a four, so I finally broke my 3 crown streak!! This is so completely interesting and captivating but also super boring at the same exact time. What is life. Also, this is one of the worst audiobooks to listen to in the car with a windows open. I think I've mentioned on the blog before that literally a book will INSTANTLY pop onto my TBR the moment I spot a place I've been. Poland is one of most beautiful places that I've ever been, and when I saw Krakow, that gorgeous cover, and magic/folklore, I'M PRETTY SURE THE TEARS STARTED FLOWING AND NEVER STOPPED. This book was such an interesting one that I have a hard time even beginning to try and explain my thoughts on it. If you're going to read this book, I really do recommend the audiobook. The actress that did the voices was INCREDIBLE. She did so many different voices, and they were each distinct and original and easy to identify. I was SO impressed. It really was enchanting to hear. As I said in the beginning moment, this book was incredibly interesting yet boring at the same time. It is super slow moving, and every time that I thought it was ending, it just kept goinggggggggggg. I couldn't figure out where the story was going either. I felt like there really wasn't a plot sometimes. I knew the big picture, but I still wanted a bit more direction. HOWEVER, the story was very character-based, and the characters were quite interesting along with the world. The world building really was done quite well. It honestly felt like a giant folklore story, and it just had this cool feeling to it. I thought the atmosphere was just BRILLIANT. Romero did a fantastic job of weaving in the folktales with the actual real historic events. The Land of the Dolls was just simply stunning. She's definitely a very talented writer, and if you're looking for something to help get you into more historical fiction, this is definitely the story for it. The characters were an intriguing bunch. I really wasn't a fan of Karolina. She made a lot of stupid decisions, but the rest of the characters were great. Did I feel a really strong connection to them? Not really, but I did like the people I was supposed to like and hated the people I was supposed to hate. They were distinct and dynamic. I would have to say this is probably higher middle grade than lower middle grade. Romero takes on deep, important topics in World War II. It does have light-hearted moments, but the ending is definitely tough. It's hard to read the story, knowing what you know is happening and even though this story is a work of fiction, these things really did happen to the Polish and Jewish people. I didn't realize just how much I was going to get sucked into the emotional turn this book takes. I'm not sure my review did this book any justice. I just couldn't figure out how to say any of the words in my head about it. This book had such an interesting, captivating, alive atmosphere that had me feeling like I was reading a fairytale. The characters were interesting and dynamic, and the world building was well done. It was slow moving, and I did get a bit lost on the plot. Overall, I would still recommend and especially the audiobook! 3.5 crowns and a Jasmine rating!