From Ginny Pisciotta
Author: J.L. Witterick
Title: My Mother’s Secret
My mother’s secret is a gripping story of a Polish woman and her daughter during the Nazi invasion of Poland. Franciszka and her daughter, Helena, live in a tiny 2 room house but somehow manage to simultaneously hide 2 Jewish families, and a defecting German soldier. One family is hidden in the loft above the pigsty,the other in a makeshift cellar,and the soldier in a tiny attic where he must lay down to fit. Franciszka and Helena need to be extremely careful and clever to outsmart their neighbors and the Germans. One mistake or misfortune would cost all of them their lives.
The writing is simple and concise. The chapters are very short. The story is told from 4 perspectives – Helena’s, one of the Jewish fathers, one of the Jewish sons, and the defecting soldier. The account was both horrifying because of the circumstances and the cruelty of some people, and heartwarming because of the kindness and bravery of others.
This novel is based on a true story.