My Mother’s Secret
Toronto: Penguin Canada, 2013.
PS8645 .I8645 M9 2013
Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)
Inspired by a true story, My Mother’s Secret is a profound, captivating, and ultimately uplifting tale intertwining the lives of two Jewish families in hiding from the Nazis, a fleeing German soldier, and the mother and daughter who team up to save them. Franciszka and her daughter, Helena, are unlikely heroines. They are simple people who mind their own business and don’t stand out from the crowd … until 1939, when crisis strikes. The Nazis invade Poland and start to persecute the Jews. Providing shelter to Jews has become a death sentence, and yet Franciszka and Helena do exactly that. In their tiny two-room house in Sokal, they cleverly hide a Jewish family in a loft above their pigsty, a Jewish doctor with his wife and son in a makeshift cellar under the kitchen floorboards, and a defecting German soldier in the attic—each party completely unknown to the others. For everyone to survive, Franciszka will have to outsmart her neighbors and the German commander.