Wednesday, May 10, 2017
The Zookeeper's Wife
Lexile = ?
I so wanted to love this book! I liked it.... but I didn't finish it.
Actually, I thought it was fiction but was happy to find out that it is the true story of the Warsaw Zoo during WWII after the animals were mostly gone and then it became a haven for hidden activists and refugee Jews. The Zabinskis cared for people as well as they had cared for their animals, often right under the Nazis' guard.
The author is a naturalist with an impressive resume of scientific works. The Zookeeper's Wife expertly describes the habits and quirks of the many animals that come into the care of the Zabinskis, but the author often diverts into random tangents and thus the book lacks a narrative story line. Ackerman would describe the antics of a household pet at length and then mention that there were bombed out buildings or "guests" from the house that were killed.
I found a great article online about the Zabinskis that included some photos of refugees in the cages:
Don't get me wrong. The Zookeeper's Wife has a heroic story to tell. Perhaps because I am not an animal person, I wanted more history and human characters and less furry stuff. I look forward to the movie; I am sure it will include more of a narrative arc instead of merely an ark.
Watch a trailer for the movie HERE.