Another month, another Read With BookClubbish Pick! This time, we’re reading the New York Times bestseller, The Warsaw Orphan by Kelly Rimmer. It’s an unforgettable story inspired by the real-life heroine who saved thousands of Jewish children during WWII.
Pick up your copy, RSVP to our Facebook event happening on Tuesday, October 26 at 5:00 p.m. EST, and dig in! Don’t forget to join in on all the fun by following @BookClubbish and using the hashtag #ReadWithBookClubbish on social media.
The Warsaw Orphan by Kelly Rimmer
Instant New York Times bestseller!
Inspired by the real-life heroine who saved thousands of Jewish children during WWII, The Warsaw Orphan is Kelly Rimmer’s most anticipated novel since her bestselling sensation, The Things We Cannot Say.
In the spring of 1942, young Elzbieta Rabinek is aware of the swiftly growing discord just beyond the courtyard of her comfortable Warsaw home. She has no fondness for the Germans who patrol her streets and impose their curfews, but has never given much thought to what goes on behind the walls that contain her Jewish neighbors. She knows all too well about German brutality–and that it’s the reason she must conceal her true identity. But in befriending Sara, a nurse who shares her apartment floor, Elzbieta makes a discovery that propels her into a dangerous world of deception and heroism.
Using Sara’s credentials to smuggle children out of the ghetto brings Elzbieta face-to-face with the reality of the war behind its walls, and to the plight of the Gorka family, who must make the impossible decision to give up their newborn daughter or watch her starve. For Roman Gorka, this final injustice stirs him to rebellion with a zeal not even his newfound love for Elzbieta can suppress. But his recklessness brings unwanted attention to Sara’s cause, unwittingly putting Elzbieta and her family in harm’s way until one violent act threatens to destroy their chance at freedom forever.
From Nazi occupation to the threat of a communist regime, The Warsaw Orphan is the unforgettable story of Elzbieta and Roman’s perilous attempt to reclaim the love and life they once knew.
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Discussion Questions for The Warsaw Orphan
- Early in the story, Emilia can be wildly impulsive and determined, and is even willing to manipulate to get her own way. Did you find her to be a likable character anyway? If so, why?
- When we first meet Roman, he is a young man trapped in an impossible situation, but to his own thinking he is “a prisoner by choice.” What did he mean by this? Did you empathize with his decision to refuse to consider alternatives to moving to and later remaining in the Ghetto?
- Roman initially refuses to engage with the resistance, but eventually becomes fixated on fighting back. Why was this? Do you think he made the right decision at each point in time? Why do you think Chaim saved Roman’s life?
- During the Warsaw Uprising, Uncle Piotr undergoes a period of transformation. After years of focusing on himself, he becomes determined to look after his family. What drives this? Why did it happen in that particular moment?
- Emilia’s thoughts on her unborn child also undergo a transformation. Did her ultimate decision seem realistic to you, given her circumstances? Roman initially has a very different perspective. Were you sympathetic to his refusal to accept baby Anatol?
- Piotr and Sara have a complex relationship that is tragically cut short. What do you think would have happened between them had Piotr survived?
- Were you already familiar with the historical events that take place in this story? Is there any aspect to that history that you’re planning to look into further?
- Which characters in this book did you like best? Which did you like least? Why?
- Which scene in The Warsaw Orphan affected you the most, and why? What emotions did that scene elicit?
- Were you satisfied with the ending? What do you think happened next for Roman and Emilia?
- Fiction set during World War II has been increasingly popular in the last few years. Why do you think readers are drawn to these kinds of stories in this present moment?
- What will you remember most about The Warsaw Orphan? Who would you recommend this book to? Was this your first Kelly Rimmer book? If you’ve read any of her other titles, which did you prefer?
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Do you have a question for Kelly Rimmer? Post them in the comments and we’ll do our best to answer them live on Facebook!