Book Review: The Polish Girl by Malka Adler

“Years later, my brother said to me: “I also felt that Mama loved me more than you.” My brother’s words seared my heart, although I already knew it was true.”

Malka Adler, The Polish Girl

Title: The Polish Girl
Author: Malka Adler
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 416 (Paperback)
Publish Date: August 16th, 2022

My Rating: ★★★
Read: 8/2/2022 – 8/5/2022


More than anything else, this is a story about a mother and daughter’s complicated relationship. Trying to survive World War II doesn’t make matters any easier for them, and though central to the plot, the heart was Danusha and Anna.

The story is told from Danusha’s POV. There is some level of disconnect given her age which made warming up to her difficult. Nevertheless, her story comes across with emotion during this terrible time in the world. Though her mother is far from likable, she does what she needs to for her children and expresses her love in her own strange way. Unfortunately, her favor is toward her son rather than her daughter — something evident to both children. Danusha must come to terms with her mother’s favoritism at a young age. She carries the wounds as she grows.

The book is based on a true story and a real person which adds to the emotion of the book. In that respect, the book was terrific. However, as I mentioned already, it was written in a way that isn’t flattering to Danusha’s character though my heart absolutely broke for her. The pacing was also inconsistent and had the tendency to drop off and not pick up again. All this aside, I say it’s worth the read. It’s an interesting perspective on the war.

A huge thanks to Harper360 for sending me a free copy of the book to read and review.

Likes & Dislikes:

What I liked:

  • The mother/daughter angle.
  • It’s a unique story, at least compared to what I’ve read, about a Jewish family evading the Nazis.
  • The narration was (mostly) to the point.

What I didn’t like:

  • It was difficult to connect to the characters.
  • The writing was hectic in places.
  • There were some scenes/flashbacks that dropped off and didn’t do much to move the plot.


This being based on a true story and a real person redeems it for me. I didn’t dislike it, but I was minimally engaged. One one hand, I liked that the first 25% of the book wasn’t simply build up, but a little more might have made a difference.

Where to buy the book:

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