Zosia, a faithless Catholic and grieving widow, has sacrificed herself to save her dying son from the Gestapo. She takes his place as a prisoner and is sent to work as a slave on a farm in Germany, where the only things keeping her alive are the hope of her children’s survival and the occasional stolen chicken.
Once World War II ends and peace settles over Europe, Zosia’s driving goal is to return to Poland, to the children she left behind. Instead, she’s collected into a refugee camp in Wildflecken, Germany, to wait for some semblance of stability in Poland. While there, she digs for clues about her family. With her homeland in ruins and thousands of other refugees also searching, the truth is impossible to uncover. Zosia finds herself trapped in a never-ending purgatory.
Despite her initial resistance, she falls in love with Czeslaw, who uses his network of outlaws within the black market to help with her search. When Zosia becomes pregnant, Czeslaw offers marriage and the promise of a new life but is unable to return to Poland and the tragedy he left behind.
The refugee camps throughout Europe are closing and time is running out. Zosia is faced with an impossible decision: return to the remnants of Poland alone to find her older children, or follow Czeslaw into the unknown, to a better future for her fragile new family.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This one is a page-turner! I love historical fiction and this book, based on a true story, is even better! At first I thought it might be similar to some of the other WWII focused books I have read in the past, but it really does offer a fresh perspective and surprisingly different slant on the unimaginable choices survivors were faced with post-war. Such a gripping story and the writing is superb! Highly recommend this book!