Title: Karolina's Twins
Author: Ronald H. Balson
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publish Date: September 6, 2016
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "Lena Woodward, an
elderly woman, enlists the help of both lawyer Catherine Lockhart and
private investigator Liam Taggart to appraise the story of her harrowing
past in Nazi occupied Poland. At the same time, Lena’s son Arthur
presents her with a hefty lawsuit under the pretense of garnering her
estate—and independence—for his own purposes. Where these stories
intersect is through Lena’s dubious account of her life in war-torn
Poland, and her sisterhood with a childhood friend named Karolina. Lena
and Karolina struggled to live through the atrocity of the Holocaust,
and at the same time harbored a courageous, yet mysterious secret of
maternity that has troubled Lena throughout her adult life. In telling
her story to Catherine and Liam, Lena not only exposes the realities of
overcoming the horrors of the Holocaust, she also comes to terms with
her own connection to her dark past."
My Two Cents:
In "Karolina's Twins," Lena is an old woman seeking to absolve herself of guilt and to carry out her friend Karolina's twin girls that were lost during World War II. World War II Poland was a horrible place, which forced people to do unthinkable things in the name of their survival or their loved ones survival. Lena comes to Catherine and Liam hoping that they can help her put together the pieces of her past.
As a mother, I cannot imagine going through the things that Karolina and Lena go through in the book. All you want to do when you have children is love them and protect them in the best way that you can. When there are no good options, making a decision can seem impossible as it does to Karolina and Lena in this book. The story definitely pulled on my heartstrings and the plight of the characters really pulled me in. There are some really powerful things that happen throughout the book that I know will be on my mind for a very long time.
This is a compelling story line and will appeal to my fellow historical fiction lovers. The execution of the book is a little messy but the story makes up for it. Most of the book is told from the perspective of Lena telling Catherine and Liam what happened to her during the war. Because the narrative is from recollections, there is a lot of telling instead of showing which did not allow me to get in the book as deeply as I wanted to. The points of view get a little messy and hard to follow. They change throughout the chapter, which did not allow me to fully immerse in the story. Overall, the story itself is very good but the carry out of the writing left a bit to be desired.