Saturday, July 30, 2011

Book 41 (2011): The Zookeeper's Wife

The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story by Diane Ackerman is not my favorite wife tale, of late. It was billed as a story of a couple who ran the Warsaw, Poland Zoo before WWII and then they used the zoo grounds to hide Jews. That was the big thrust in all the blurbs written about this book. But...!

And yes, it is about that, to a certain degree. But Ackerman's writing style and tone shift and change so much throughout this book, it was hard for me to get a reading rhythm, and hard for me to read, period. She shifts from storytelling style with beautiful descriptions, choked full of emotions into a no- nonsense telling with lots of statistics and details about the war, lots of detailed history, did I mention LOTS of detailed history about all things surrounding the war, persons involved, events during and leading up to the war... Often times there was so much history interjected into this tale, that the story of Antontia and Jan (the zookeepers) seemed to be lost, or at least an after thought.

There is a grand cast of characters: people who work at the zoo, the Underground, the people being hidden, family members.

While it was interesting, it wasn't what I was expecting. (342 pages)