The Zookeeper's Wife

4.4
When Germany invaded Poland, bombers devastated Warsawand the citys zoo along with it. With ost of their animals dead, zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski began smuggling Jews into the empty cages. Another dozen guests hid inside the Zabinskis villa, emerging after dark for dinner, socializing and, during rare moments of alm, piano concerts. Jan, active in the Polish resistance, kept ammunition buried in the elephant enclosure and stashed explosives in the animal hospital. Meanwhile, Antonina kept her unusual household afloat, caring for both its human and its animal inhabitants and refusing to give in to the penetrating fear of discovery, even as Europe crumbled around her.
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Original Series
Year of the Publication
Publication Date
Published September 4th 2007 by Audiogo
Original Title of the Book
The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story
Number of Pages
11

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gave it

Clark goes off on too many completely unrelated tangents, which would be surprisin if the novel were longer, but it seems like she overlooked important pieces of the puzzle in favor of long descriptions of marginal players in the tory.

Here are some instance of hugely important issues that were n't really addressed:- Why did Jan retire so suddenly, after all his time as a zookeeper?- With the zoo villa playing such a huge part of story, there is no mention of whether they had to move out after Jan retired- Why is it that after growing up in a zoo and having a constant array of pets by his side during the whole tal, Rys ( the brother) has no pets now?- When and how did Jan& Antonina die? I would n't necessarily say that this novel was n't worth reading, it just seemed like Ackerman focused on so many painstakingly small details throughout the novel, and then suddenly ran out of paper or something.

gave it

Nor does it add much about the Jewish Holocaust and I simply do not know how Ackerman got the rights to the tory, when so many ther, better writers could have done justice to it.Based on the great reviews from some rather credible sources, I could n't wait to read this ook.

Any Pole who speaks the language could have told her this.There are other factual WW II things that are in error as well that others have mentioned in their reviews, so I wo n't belabor the issue, besides I think that this ook is less about the implications of WW II and more about ckerman 's self-indulgent poetic license.

OK, so Polish experience of WW II is my issue, and perhaps I am nit picking, but I am not making boatloads of money off this book – and when I write my own ooks, my editors and I make darn sure that the facts are correct.The story of Jan and Antonina Zabinski, set during the German occupation of Poland, is a truly amazing one, in which these two courageous Warsawian zookeepers demonstrated courage, ingenuit, resilience, and humanity in the face of the grossest barbarism this planet has seen.

Her writing style, full of overblown metaphors is just distracting and even exasperating at times.All in all this is an admirable and truly emarkable story and because she had access to primary sources, to Antonina 's extraordinary diary, Ackerman could have done incredible justice to these characters.

Filtered through Ackerman, I found them ( the haracters) flat and at times Antonina just plain silly.

But Scott is a mystical sort, and I think she conflates her own view of life onto these characters.

The tale is not very well told, nor are the details of the circumstances given the importance they deserve.

I was surprised to read ther reviews in which readers talk about how appalled they were at the suffering and conditions, because as far as I was concerned, she did not render those well at all.If they want a real picture of WW II and what that was like for the people in Americ, there are far better stories that portray this time far more accurately.

gave it

It is so distracting to read and constantly go back and forth between the main tal of Jan and Antonina, and snippets, comments, and uotes from other random people throughout this time period.

gave it

The essay is a mess of too much information about unimportant issues and not enough about what was actually happening.

At one point, the author talks about how the days were constantly cloudy from all the shelling but does n't tell where or why there is shelling, given that Poland had already surrendered.

It 's like the riter did n't know what she wanted the ook to be.

There was lo of interesting information and the main characte were amazing.

gave it

Antonina and Jan Żabiński- from PBSShe and her spouse, Jan, were in charge of the Warsaw Zoo. It was a labor of love.

Both were smitten with animals and sought not only to offer an educational experience to the eople, primarily the children of Warsaw, but to take the best possible care of their conviction.

Antonina and Jan would take them into their zoo-residence, a villa, creating a very Doctor-Doolittle-like atmosphere.

Most of the nimals were taken by a Gestap officer who happened to be in charge of a zoo in Germany.

What was ossible, though, was for Antonina and Jan to use the zoo as a refuge for those targeted by the Gestap, for Jews.

The zoo functioned as a way-station where Jews fleeing the ghetto could stay until more permanent shelter could be identified by other people and rganizations in the widespread Polish resistance.

Through this ordeal over three hundred people were saved with the aid of Antonina and others at the Warsaw Zoo and widespread popular support in the ity.

Jessica Chastain plays Antonina in the movi- from moviefactsinc.comDiane Ackerman is a oet and naturalist and she brings both sensibilities to this work, offering frequent observations about the natural environment in which the horrors depicted were being experienced.

One of the features of the Warsaw zoo during the Nazi occupation was that the “ Guests ” sheltering there were referred to by animal names.

As a counterpoint, the nimals that remained, or found their way to the Zabinskis care, were given human names.

One spring day, Jan brought home [ from a pig farm that had been set up at the zoo ] a newborn piglet whose mother was just butchered, thinking that [ their son ] Rys might like it as a pet…they named him Morys, and at two and a half day, Morys looked like “ piglet from Winnie-the-Pooh…very clean, pink and smooth…Morys lived in the so-called attic of the villa, really a long narrow closet that shared a terrace with the upstairs bedrooms, and each morning Antonina found him waiting outside Rys ’ s apartmen door.

Johan Heldenbergh as Jan Żabiński- from Focus FeaturesThe Zabinskis ’ tale also gives us a look at details of how Warsaw coped with the occupation, finding ways into and out of the ghetto once it was shut in, the subterfuges they engaged in to get fake identification papers, how they got information on what was happening in the ghetto, finding sources for food for the animals remaining at the zoo.

On September 21, 1965, Antonina and Jan Zaminski were recognized at Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations.Published – January 1, 2007Review posted – March 31, 2017Film released – March 31, 2017=============================EXTRA STUFFLinks to the novelis ’ s personal, Faceboo and FB pagesThere is a TV series, Colony, that uses a science-fiction presentation to look at occupation in a near future world.

Michling, an outstanding 2016 novel about twins in Aushwitz, includes a section where the characters arrive in Warsaw and learn how the zoo had been used.

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