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The Polish Woman

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  105 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Set in New York and in Poland, this novel tells a gripping post-Holocaust story with a fresh, highly suspenseful mystery twist. An attractive 29-year-old Polish woman suddenly appears before a New York Jewish family in 1967, claiming to be a long-lost child who was hidden in Poland during World War II.

"Told without artifice or irony, Mekler's story of inter generational im
Hardcover, 250 pages
Published December 19th 2006 by Bridge Works Publishing Company
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3.47  · 
Rating details
 ·  105 ratings  ·  27 reviews

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Oct 20, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Ellen
For the most part this book, set in 1967, was a real page-turner. Was the young Polish woman, Karolina, who she said she was - the daughter of a Holocaust survivor, and hidden and raised by a Polish Catholic family? The surviving relatives of Jacob, the man she thinks may be her father, have different opinions on her truthfulness. Even Karolina is not sure of her childhood memories, so she and a man who might be her cousin set off to Poland to see what they can find.

In 1967, Poland was under the
Joanne Moyer
I found this book at my library - I'd never heard of it or the author, but since I seem to be obssessed with all things 'Polish' lately, I decided to see what it was. Was it was is the story of a young woman who is not sure she knows who she is anymore. The story takes place during WWII in Poland and the early 60's in New York and Poland. 'The Polish Woman' comes to New York on an art scholarship, she sees an obituary in the paper with a picture that changes her life - she recognizes the man and ...more
Louise  Smith
Mar 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The long shadow of WW II will not lift from America for many generations to come, but the lives of those whose memories are deeply entangled in the events in Poland during the Holocaust make compelling reading in Mekler's novel. Especially stark and painful are the stories of the hidden children and those who hid them and sometimes betrayed them. Mekler starts with a Manhattan nanny claiming kinship to a Jewish family and ends in a shocking untangling of memories. Mekler's graceful prose carried ...more
Dec 15, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: cant-get-into
Just couldn’t get into it. Seemed like it jumped around a bit and hard for me to keep track of some of the characters. I got to page 97 and decided to DNF it.
Rachel Anders
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
Characters are unremarkable and not remarkable. Couldn’t even finish the book due to this fact.
Sep 26, 2016 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 23, 2011 rated it liked it
Interesting post-Holocaust story set in 1967. A young Polish woman, now living in New York, contacts a Jewish family after seeing a recent obituary of a man she believes to be her real father.

The story travels from New York back to Poland in a search for this woman's true identity. Is there any evidence remaining since the war? Will she be able to find the truth? Is it possible that this Catholic-Polish woman is actually Jewish, when she was raised to hate the Jews?

Following her quest we learn m
Susan Malus
Feb 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written, this novel is about identity, truth and love - and contains an important mystery. A young woman from Poland, living in the U.S.and driven by disturbing but unclear memories, needs to learn whether she is the child of a Holocaust survivor, hidden by a farming family in Poland, or the true child of a Catholic family. The answer has serious consequences. To find out, she travels to Poland with a man who falls in love with her; together they face hostile Catholics and Communists ...more
Aug 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People who enjoy suspense
This book was a fascinating read. The history between Polish Jews and Catholics during the Holocaust is a challenging, complicated subject matter. The author confronts these challenges and complications with integrity and authenticity. In doing so, she provides the main characters with a depth and an intensity that draws you into their lives. I felt as though I was at Karolina’s side as she questioned her identity, examined her religious beliefs, and discovered her brutal past. The path to self- ...more
Jan 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
I loved this book-it certainly wasn't what I expected. The story begins with Karolina's far-fetched story of memories and her identity and after finding the truth, sets her life on a very different course. Taking place in the 60's the story revolves around a lot of World War II events and post war events, entwined with Karolina's present day life. The ending was certainly NOT predictable and while you may think its a sad ending, the resolve of the two main characters is uplifting and inspiring. ...more
Susan Bonhomme
Jul 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Susan by: friends

Marvelous book. Brilliant! What a perfect story to subtly tap into all the emotions, Jewish & Christian surrounding the Holocaust. And so beautifully written. I could not put it down. The ending ties everything together magnificently while complicating every thought the reader has had up to then. Genius! Excellent group of characters, each one more believable than the next. And their relationships were so well depicted that I felt I was actually there. I am insisting that everyone I know rea
Feb 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
I thought this was going to be an Anastasia type story, Polish immigrant approaches American family claiming to be long lost relative. It was very different and much more than that. I loved the mystery aspect of it, the intertwining of the personal and political, and the ending. Highly recommended.
May 18, 2009 rated it liked it
This is probably a 3 1/2 star book. I enjoyed the story and thought that the feelings that the Landau family had were true. I found the romanatic attraction an unnecessary part of the book. I was surprised by the ending but it made total sense. Actually I can't think of another way for the book to have ended.
Dec 05, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommended to Amy by: Found it at the library on the recently returned rack
I was going to rate this book 4 stars, but the last couple of chapters annoyed me. Aside from that, it was a really interesting book that kept me wanting to read more to figure out what would happen. I do recommend the book because what wasn't to my liking may be just fine to others.
Sep 16, 2013 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 19, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who has been to poland
things are not always as they seem
Apr 24, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012
This was a book club book - it wasnt really my cup of tea, i struggled to read it... but others has loved it... maybe it was the writing style...
Oct 19, 2009 rated it liked it
Woorth a read. Set in mid-1960s New York and Poland. Evokes the complexity of Jewish camp survivors of that period and their conflicted kin.
Jun 19, 2008 rated it it was ok
This book sort of about the Holocaust is sort of interesting, but it is very clumsily set in the 70s and the main male narrator is not someone who draws you in.
Oct 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Wonderfully haunting!
May 11, 2008 rated it it was ok
Great premise, and the first chapter hooked me. But it was downhill from there. The first half dragged and the whole thing seemed quite contrived. Not a favorite.
Jul 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful use of language to create dramatic tension. Surprise ending worked well.
Barbara Nutting
May 11, 2016 rated it liked it
The horrors of the Holocaust revisited. Not very well written but I always find the concentration camp stories eye-opening. Lest we forget!!
Jun 26, 2009 rated it liked it
I enjoyed most of this book, but like others, I think the romantic involvement of the Phillip and Karolina was unecessary.
Jul 14, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-club
Very interesting story, great ending.
Mike Mik
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Jan 29, 2011
Jan Cornell
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Jan 15, 2017
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Eva Mekler is a former actress who has performed both on and off Broadway. She is also a novelist and author of books on American and British acting training. She was born in Poland immediately after World War II, and lived with her family in a displaced persons camp in Germany until she was four. She now lives in New York City. The New York Times called her last novel, The Polish Woman, a "Told w ...more