My Mother’s Secret by J. L. Witterick

Our member Gail Pomerantz writes:

My Mother’s Secret by J.L. Witterick is a short, quick read that packs a powerful punch.  I found it to be a captivating, and ultimately, uplifting story intertwining the lives of two Jewish families in hiding from the Nazis in World War II Poland, a fleeing German soldier defecting from the Army, and the Polish mother and daughter who team up to save them.

Based on a true story, this novel tells the story of Franciszka and her daughter, Helena, who risk their lives and become unlikely heroines.  Providing shelter to Jews has become a death sentence and yet Franciszka and Helena do exactly that.  In their tiny two-room home in Sokal, Poland, they cleverly hide a Jewish family in a loft above their pigsty, a Jewish doctor with his wife and son in a makeshift cellar under the kitchen floorboards, and a defecting German soldier in the attic – each party completely unknown to the others. Told from four different perspectives, My Mother’s Secret highlights the kindness, courage and generosity of ordinary people who choose to be extraordinary.