Karolina’s Twins by Ronald H. Balson

karolin

Book Blurb from Goodreads.com:

Release Date: September 6, 2016

From the author of Once We Were Brothers comes a saga inspired by true events of a Holocaust survivor’s quest to fulfill a promise, return to Poland and find two sisters lost during World War II.

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.

Karolina’s Twins is a tale of survival, love, and resilience in more ways than one. As Lena recounts her story, Catherine herself also recognizes the unwavering importance of family as she prepares herself for the arrival of her unborn child. Through this association and many more, both Lena and Catherine begin to cherish the dogged ties that bind not only families and children, but the entirety of mankind.  

My Review:

This is the third book in a series by the author. If you have not read the author’s first two novels, it will not affect reading this book as a stand alone.  In the story, the author brings back the lawyer/ private detective team, Catherine Lockhart and  Liam Taggart, that we met in the author’s previous two books.

There are two stories in this engaging book.  An 89 year old widowed woman, Lena Woodward, walks into offices of a private investigator/ lawyer team, Liam Taggart and Catherine Lockhart. She needs to fulfil a promise she made. Lena promised to help find her best friend Karolina’s twins that were born during the Holocaust. While Lena is sharing her story with Catherine, we learn about Lena’s life story which entails surviving Nazi occupied Poland before, during and after WWII.  She shares stories about her family and childhood friends along with life in the Jewish ghetto and her time in a concentration camp.

The other story is about Lena’s grown son Arthur. Arthur, also her only child, wants the investigation of  the twins stopped. He believes his mother is obsessed with imaginary twins, and will waste all her money searching for them.  Arthur begins a legal battle against his mother questioning her mental status and control of her estate.

The story gripped me from the first few pages.  It is written in such a sad yet beautiful way that I didn’t want to put the book down. The narration of Lena’s story flowed well and I definitely felt an emotional  connection.  Although the book is a work of fiction, the story is inspired by the life of a Holocaust survivor, Fay Scharf Waldman.

I am looking forward to more novels from this author.

 

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