The Girl From Krakow

Alex Rosenburg


Historical Fiction

Book Club Selection



Poland from 1935 onwards, undergoes a dramatic change between Nazi Germany and Stalin Russia. One woman is set on doing anything to survive.

The only positive thing I have to say about this book is that it was slightly informative. For instance, I had no idea that Spain had a Civil War. The connection to Darwinism was quite interesting though.

Where to begin with why I severely disliked this book? I actually think that dot points would be more appropriate here.

  • The sex scenes seem random and unnecessary. One of the ladies at book club said it was actually self-gratuitous and I have to agree. It literally reads like a male fantasy. Without giving away too many spoilers, it seemed quite unlikely that some of the scenes would have even occurred due to time and place. Another lady also brought up issues of consent and how one scene seems questionable in that regards.
  • Rita, the main character is far from relatable. You cannot blame the war for this either. She was cold and selfish well before the war. I hoped that maybe at the end of the war, I would have found something to like about her but no.
  • Majority of the book was unbelievable. I doubt a Jewish woman would make it that far. She literally travels around without being smuggled. She freely travels around and I just don’t see it as believable. Especially when others can tell that she is Jewish.
  • The blurb goes on about a secret, leading you to believe that the book is centered on this huge secret that could end the war. The secret is mentioned around 3 times. Hardly worth the whole book.
  • The book reads like a mix between philosophy and history textbook and pornography. It doesn’t flow. I kept hoping it would get better but it didn’t.
  • I feel that the book tries to portray a significant level of historical accuracy and in turn I feel that it does a disservice to what actually happened, what people actually went through, the mass genocide that happened. It takes away the seriousness of one of the worlds darkest periods.
  • The other characters are wooden. There is no development for the characters. No growth.
  • The ending was ridiculous. No one survived the war and then had all their loose ends magically tied together.

My recommendation: You will end up disappointed.

Cai xx