Friday, June 14, 2024

The Goddess of Warsaw

Lena Browning is a legendary actress. A Hollywood icon. Now in the last years of her life she wishes to come full circle. Her plan begins by sharing her life story with a young, popular actress who can easily play the role. As Lena flashes back to the early 1940’s she describes in detail her life as Bina Blonski, a beautiful blonde Jewish actress who has been thrown into the Warsaw ghetto by the Nazis. Her mother, father and sister - all killed. Her husband is a mild mannered journalist who is determined to record what is happening, while his brother Aleksandr and Bina want to fight back. They will save as many Jews as possible and are willing to kill when necessary. Bina’s Aryan looks and theatrical skills allow her to infiltrate the outside world. She arranges weapons and supplies for the small group of resistance fighters she has joined. When her husband is taken from the ghetto Bina acts on her hidden lustful feelings for Aleksandr. And then everything falls apart. Bina escapes and does whatever it takes to survive. Landing in Hollywood with a new identity Bina (Lena) spends her life in the spotlight using her money and fame to target Nazis who escaped unpunished after the war living lives they did not deserve. While the novel is fast-paced and an absolute page-turner, I found some of the romantic gestures to be a bit unrealistic and unnecessary. Nonetheless, the story is filled with many unexpected twists. If you're looking for a Holocaust story, I highly recommend it. Personally, I need a break from this genre for a while, but my mother-in-law thought it was riveting. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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