Karolina’s Twins, Ronald J Balson, St. Martin’s Press, on our shelves now
Balson, who wrote the very successful novel, Once We Were Brothers, is back on form with Karolina’s Twins.
Once again, he combines a contemporary courtroom drama with an event in the recent past that comes alive as a witness tells the story. In Karolina’s Twins, Balson takes the reader back to the Poland of WWII, where Jews faced the harsh realities of the Final Solution.
Lena Woodward has built a good life in Chicago since the war. But now she is ready to fulfil a promise she made many years ago, and in doing so, she unearths memories of her fight to survive in war torn Poland, and of a promise she made to her closest friend, Karolina.
This is a Holocaust book told through the life of a woman who is determined to survive. It is not just the scenes on the page that are so gripping, but also Balson’s ability to constantly convey tension and anxiety both before the camp, in the camp and years after.
As a courtroom drama alone the book does well, but paired with historical fiction the combination is unbeatable. Karolina’s Twins was a single-sitting read for me that made my desire for sleep secondary to needing to know the conclusion of the story! This is an adult book that would also be good for High School readers.