Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Zookeeper's Wife 2

It took me a while longer to read this book than I expected, but I have finally finished it!

Wow, what a story! This book made me wonder how many other stories similar to this one exist about others who so heroically risked their lives for others during WWII that have never been told. It made me realize the importance of keeping a journal and how valuable our history and records can be. Think if Antonina hadn't kept a journal; we wouldn't have the intimate insights that she gives as the life of a woman who suffered through the hardships of the war.

Mandy, I like what you said about courage. It seems that in many instances Antonina, Jan, and even little Rys all acted courageously in the face of danger. I can't fathom waking up each day not knowing if you are going to make it to the next. Bombs exploding nearby, airplanes flying overhead, everything you once knew being destroyed. Imagine standing bravely with your life on the line without even flinching. It was amazing how calmly Antonina acted in those situations and how quick she was to think of just the right thing to say. I don't know that I could have behaved so courageously, but I guess we never know what we are capable of until we are called to rise to the challenge.

I enjoyed getting to know the characters of the story, their personalities. I especially enjoyed reading about Magdalena, the sculptor, and the way music was used as a way to communicate messages. How grateful those people must be to Jan and his family for simply "doing their duty" (as Jan put it). And to think that all but a few of the 300 that were housed at the zoo and villa survived the war.

I also enjoyed learning new facts about WWII. I had no idea that the Polish people were treated so awfully, and that it was not just the Jews and Gypsies who were so cruelly treated and murdered. The fact that someone's mind and ideas could be so twisted as to think that the human race needed to be cleansed. . . . And not just one person's mind, but many. Ideas are a very contagious thing, and the influence of one evil person can be far-reaching as we have learned from history.

I was extremely impressed with the author. I liked her writing style very much. Her descriptions made everything in the zoo come alive. Her use of words was perfect. What a gift to be able to write like that!

Great book choice Mandy! I am excited for many more good books ahead!

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