Karolina's twins

Ronald H Balson

Book - 2016

"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"--

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Subjects
Genres
Historical fiction
Published
New York : St. Martin's Press 2016.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
306 pages ; 25 cm
ISBN
9781250098375
1250098378
Main Author
Ronald H Balson (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Attorney Catherine Lockhart and private investigator Liam Taggart are back in Balson's third novel, this time with a new client, Lena Woodward, an elderly Holocaust survivor. Lena's son doesn't want them looking into anything and forces a competency hearing for his mother, hoping to have himself appointed her guardian. Meanwhile, Lena spends days telling Catherine about her childhood in Poland, the Nazi takeover of her town, her job as a seamstress that helped her avoid the first wave of Jews sent to concentration camps, her time with the Resistance, her eventual trip to a camp, and her life since the war. Along the way, her childhood best friend, Karolina, is present, and the two girls try to save her twin babies during the war. Lena has no idea what happened to the babies, but if they survived, they would be 70 years old, and she is determined to find them. The search takes Liam to Poland, Israel, and Germany, but it is Lena's story that is so riveting. In a departure from Balson's previous novels, much of the story is told in the first person, befitting a book inspired by a Holocaust survivor's true story. Readers who crave more books like Balson's Once We Were Brothers (2013) and Kristin Hannah's best-selling The Nightingale (2014) will be enthralled by Karolina's Twins. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Lena Woodward, an 89-year-old Holocaust survivor, asks Catharine Lockhart, a Chicago attorney, and her husband, Liam, a private investigator, to find her best friend Karolina's twin daughters, who were lost in 1943 during their transport by the Germans to the Gross-Rosen concentration camp. Lena reveals a heartbreaking tale of a mother's love, friendship, and family in the face of increasingly brutal conditions and the constant threat of imminent death in Nazi-occupied Poland. Lena's son Arthur is convinced it is all a hoax, a plan by someone to separate his mother from her money. A pregnant Catherine, naturally empathetic to the plight of innocent babies, finds herself potentially in contempt of court by insisting on upholding a critical attorney-client confidentiality. The overall theme and quick flow of the narrative are reminiscent of the author's first novel, Once We Were Brothers, but the story itself is quite dissimilar. VERDICT Readers interested in the continuing manifestations of the horrors of the Holocaust will find this tale compelling.—Vicki Gregory, Sch. of Information, Univ. of South Florida, Tampa [Page 63]. (c) Copyright 2016 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Holocaust survivor Lena Woodward enlists the help of lawyer Catherine Lockhart and private investigator Liam Taggart to help her resolve a secret from her past in Nazi-occupied Poland.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A tale inspired by true events follows the experiences of a Holocaust survivor who, while fighting a lawsuit from the son who would garner her estate, reflects on her early years in war-torn Poland and the secret of maternity they shared. By the best-selling author of Once We Were Brothers.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

"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. "--

Review by Publisher Summary 4

"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 andKarolina 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"--

Review by Publisher Summary 5

In the tradition of The Nightingale, Sarah's Key, and Lilac Girls, comes a saga inspired by true events of a Holocaust survivor’s quest to return to Poland and fulfill a promise, from Ronald H. Balson, author of the international bestseller Once We Were Brothers.~~“Readers who crave more books like Balson’s Once We Were Brothers and Kristin Hannah’s bestselling The Nightingale will be enthralled by Karolina’s Twins.” —Booklist (starred review)"A heart-wrenching but ultimately triumphant story." —Chicago Tribune~~She made a promise in desperationNow it's time to keep itLena Woodward, elegant and poised, has lived a comfortable life among Chicago Society since she immigrated to the US and began a new life at the end of World War II. But now something has resurfaced that Lena cannot ignore: an unfulfilled promise she made long ago that can no longer stay buried.Driven to renew the quest that still keeps her awake at night, Lena enlists the help of lawyer Catherine Lockhart and private investigator Liam Taggart. Behind Lena’s stoic facade are memories that will no longer be contained. She begins to recount a tale, harkening back to her harrowing past in Nazi-occupied Poland, of the bond she shared with her childhood friend Karolina. Karolina was vivacious and beautiful, athletic and charismatic, and Lena has cherished the memory of their friendship her whole life. But there is something about the story that is unfinished, questions that must be answered about what is true and what is not, and what Lena is willing to risk to uncover the past. Has the real story been hidden these many years? And if so, why?Two girls, coming of age in a dangerous time, bearers of secrets that only they could share.Just when you think there could not be anything new to ferret out from World War II comes Karolina's Twins, a spellbinding new novel by the bestselling author of Once We Were Brothers and Saving Sophie. In this richly woven tale of love, survival and resilience during some of the darkest hours, the unbreakable bond between girlhood friends will have consequences into the future and beyond.

Review by Publisher Summary 6

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.