Karolina’s Twins & The Dutch Wife

Book Pairing

Both these novels held my interest till the very end.  All the while, I kept trying to guess what the main outcome of the story was for each.  I was successful with the first book but was very shocked and pretty much in denial, when I found out the truth in the second tale.  Karolina’s Twins is about an elderly woman, named Lena, who is desperately seeking the help of a married couple (the wife being a lawyer and the husband being a private investigator).  It has been years since the Holocaust and Lena is a survivor, recently widowed but she needs to find two adult women, whom went missing as babies during that time.  They belonged to her best friend and she needs to know if the daughters are still alive—as she made a promise to look after the twins if anything happened to her friend.  As we read on, we are in present day but are quickly brought back to the 1940’s when Lena begins recalling her past.  Why Lena chooses to start the investigation only now is part of the mystery but things get complicated when her only son gets suspicious and wants to sue the very people who could solve the case.  In The Dutch Wife, Marijke and her husband are taken into custody by the Germans, as political prisoners during WWII, for helping to hide Jewish families.  We follow the hardships that Marijke has to face in the camp and her decision to become a prostitute in order to survive.  At the same time, we are taken forward to Argentina in the 1970’s and see how Luciano (a homosexual student in journalism) is abducted by the government and tortured to reveal more political protestors.  How Marijke’s and Luciano’s stories link together will make you shake your head fiercely.  Both novels cover the second World War, involve secrets about illegitimate children and feature two timelines.  There are very dramatic and disturbing scenes in each book, which makes them seem so vivid and raw.  You feel what the characters have gone through and it makes you wonder what you would do in their situation.  If you are into literature about the Holocaust, these are really good gems!  Although they are fiction, stories like these need to be told to reveal what people went through—and still do today, in some cases.

 

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