Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Book Review for The Goddess of Warsaw by Lisa Barr

 The Goddess of Warsaw by Lisa Barr

Published May 28, 2024 by Harper Paperbacks

Genre:  Historical Fiction


Taken from Goodreads:  The Goddess Of Warsaw is an enthralling tale of a legendary Hollywood screen goddess with a dark secret about her life in the Warsaw Ghetto. When the famous actress is threatened by someone from her past, she must put her skills into play to protect herself, her illustrious career, and those she loves, then and now.  

Los Angeles, 2005. Sienna Hayes, Hollywood’s latest It Girl, has ambitions to work behind the camera. When she meets Lena Browning, the enormously mysterious and famous Golden Age movie star, Sienna sees her big break. She wants to direct a picture about Lena’s life—but the legendary actor’s murky past turns out to be even darker than Sienna dreamed. Before she was a Living Legend, Lena Browning was Bina Blonski, a Polish Jew whose life and family were destroyed by the Nazis.

Warsaw, 1943. A member of the city’s Jewish elite, Bina Blonski and her husband, Jakub, are imprisoned in the ghastly, cramped ghetto along with the rest of Warsaw’s surviving Jews. Determined to fight back against the brutal Nazis, the beautiful, blonde Aryan-looking Bina becomes a spy, gaining information and stealing weapons outside the ghetto to protect her fellow Jews. But her dangerous circumstances grow complicated when she falls in love with Aleksander, an ally in resistance—and Jakub’s brother. While Lena accomplishes amazing feats of bravery, she sacrifices much in the process.

Over a decade after escaping the horrors of the ghetto, Bina, now known as Lena, rises to fame in Hollywood. Yet she cannot help but be reminded of her old life and hungers for revenge against the Nazis who escaped justice after the war. Her power and fame as a movie star offer Lena the chance to right the past’s wrongs . . . and perhaps even find the happy ending she never had.

A gripping page-turner of one of history’s most heroic uprisings and an actress whose personal war never ends, The Goddess Of Warsaw is filled with secrets, lies, twists and turns, and a burning pursuit of justice no matter the cost.


My Thoughts:  World War II is my most favorite era to read about.  Lisa Barr brought me right into the world that Lena Browning had lived in.  It was horrific to see what she had to live through but it is a time that should not be forgotten.   The details of the ghetto, of the Nazi’s treatment of Jews, of the things that had to be done just to stay alive are what brought this book to life. 


Lena Browning (she has many names throughout this book as her life requires it to stay alive) has become a movie star but it is her past that still haunts her.  I love that she is willing to share her story as it is an important part of WWII history but also her history.   There is an entire part of her life that no one knows and it is not anything that anyone would ever have guessed about her.  She knew that telling her story would bring back the horrors of her past but she also knew that it could be healing for her.  I was entirely lost in her life, living it right next to her, and feeling her pains and triumphs.  


The Goddess of Warsaw is a must-read list for any WWII historical fiction reader.   I cannot wait to discuss it with my fellow readers.


Thank you Harper Paperbacks for a copy of the book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. 


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Meet Lisa Barr (taken from her website): Lisa Barr is the NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of WOMAN ON FIRETHE UNBREAKABLES, and the award-winning historical thriller FUGITIVE COLORS. Her latest historical thriller – THE GODDESS OF WARSAW — debuts on May 28, 2024.

In addition, Lisa served as an editor for The Jerusalem Post, managing editor of Today’s Chicago Woman, managing editor of Moment magazine, and as an editor/reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times. Among the highlights of her career, Lisa covered the famous “handshake” between the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, the late PLO leader Yasser Arafat, and President Bill Clinton at the White House.

Lisa has been featured on Good Morning America and Today for her work as an author, journalist, and blogger. In exciting book news: Actress Sharon Stone is set to produce and star in the film adaptation of WOMAN ON FIRE. Lisa lives in the Chicago area with her husband and three daughters (aka: Drama Central).



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