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"This book is a masterpiece: profound, gripping, urgent, and beautiful."
- Madeline Miller, New York Times- bestselling author of Circe and Song of Achilles

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A heart wrenching and intimate novel of love and defiance set inside the Warsaw Ghetto,

inspired by the actual archives people kept at the time so their stories would survive World

War II.


Adam Paskow is a schoolteacher forced to share a cramped one-bedroom apartment with two

other families as their Jewish community is herded into the Ghetto and cut off from the rest of

Warsaw in 1940.


Adam tries to use literature to help his students endure their unbearable situation, but it’s nearly impossible to focus on poetry  when they are bartering daily for food and the war is intensifying just beyond the Ghetto’s walls.

As part of a project to keep the stories of the ghetto's residents alive, Adam begins to take testimonies from the children and others to help preserve their histories.


These testimonies teach him how to survive - even how to find joy -  in a place where young boys set up their own black markets, where young girls try to pass as Aryan, and where, in a desperate upside-down world, no choices are good ones.

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