Read advance reader review of Karolina's Twins by Ronald H. Balson, page 2 of 5

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Karolina's Twins

by Ronald H. Balson

Karolina's Twins by Ronald H. Balson X
Karolina's Twins by Ronald H. Balson
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  • John W. (Saint Louis, MO)
    5 Stars
    One of the best books I read in the last several years!

    Normally I stay away from books about the Holocaust – I've read many and while I hope mankind never forgets this tragic chapter in history, I find that afterwards my belief in man suffers when I reflect on how most of the world stood by while these horrors occurred. Something about the book intrigued me, perhaps the legal thriller aspect to the story line.

    Once I began to read it, I found myself not wanting to put it down. I rooted for Lena, Catherine, and Liam and got angry at Lena's selfish son. I loved the blending of the two storylines – the present in Chicago and the past events that primarily occurred in Poland. The writers use of flashbacks and character development was well done and added to the richness of the book. This style made the book engaging and made me feel as if I was not only listening to Lena's story, but actual there with her in the past.

    The intrigue keeps you on the edge of your seat (present and past) and the ending is swift and surprising.
  • Barbara P. (Hixson, TN)
    Not just another WWII novel
    I enjoy historical fiction and have read a lot of books with WWII as the setting. This book has a different slant as it has some mystery in it. At the risk of sounding trite, once I started I couldn't stop! The only criticism I would have is that I felt the author could have developed the characters more than he did. I would highly recommend this to anyone who likes historical fiction.
  • Kathy G. (Danville, CA)
    Karolina's Twins
    A well researched and well written book that had me hooked from page one. Like The Nightingale, I became engrossed in the characters and the possible outcomes they would be facing. I would recommend this book to all book clubs.
  • Cindy C. (Withee, WI)
    Karolina's Twins--Fiction from History
    Engrossing is the proper word to describe this book. I found the story of Lena and Karolina to be interesting, read it in just a weekend. I liked the fact that Lena told the story in the first person--her story, her words. I did figure out Lena's dark secret before it was revealed in the book, but still wanted to know how it would come out.

    The events discussed in this story need to be remembered so they never happen again. The historical elements were part of what made it so interesting to me. Because of my love of history, I was definitely grabbed by the little blurb on the back of the book that said "inspired by true events." And as a cover to cover reader, I did read the afterward to see who was the inspiration for the story told in the book. I even went so far as to google Fay and David and found that Fay died at age 89, the same age as Lena's character in the book.

    Even though some of the items in the story are fiction, I think Balson did a good job of telling Lena's/Fay's story and would recommend this book. I also plan to read other books by this author.
  • Iris F. (West Bloomfield, MI)
    Karolina's twins
    From the very first page of Karolina's Twins I was hooked. There was never a place where I felt "safe" to put the book down as I was always eager to see what followed. The writing was fluid and seamless The story is told by the protagonist, Lena Scheinman in a straightforward, logical, if unemotional manner. I came to care for Lena as well as Karolina.

    The author obviously researched the events of WWII and the atrocities of the Nazi's but he didn't dwell on it. The story was definitely moved along by Lena and her personal experiences. In many of the holocaust books the author goes into great detail of the atrocities but this author definitely let his subject do the talking which put a more realistic spin on it.

    My only criticism is that the ending was abrupt and I would've liked to know more about what followed. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the story and will highly recommend it.
  • Mary Anne R. (Towson, MD)
    Hope in the midst of darkness
    I loved Lena's story of love and friendship amid the horrors of the Nazi occupation. Lena is a survivor-she is strong but has secrets.

    I loved the authors character development of the people in Lena's life. Even characters we meet only once are memorable,like the Rabbi who encouraged Lena to say Kaddish. The characters in Lena's current life could have been developed a little more, for example Liam and his wife.

    I think this is a good book for book clubs, young adults and all of us. The time of history Lena lived through needs remembering always.
  • Marcia F. (Batavia, IL)
    Karolina's Twins
    Karolina's Twins is a one sitting read, it is that good! I loved it and will definitely recommend it to my book club as there is so much to discuss. The book is, suspenseful, sad and also happy; a book we should all read as this book keeps all of us from ever forgetting this horrible period in our history and we must never allow this to ever happen again.


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