Title: The Dollmaker of Krakow
Writer: R. M. Romero
Publishing House: Walker Books
Date of Publication: September 6th 2018 (first published September 12th 2017)
Rating: 5 stars
‘’Across the sea, however, was a dark country. Its residents, huge rats whose appetites seemed as great as the ocean itself, had been crafted by a wicked witch from shadows, and tears and ash.’’
Karolina is a seamstress. She weaves starlight and wishes. When the Land of the Dolls is conquered by a vicious army of rats, she manages to escape to the world of the humans and finds herself in Krakow in 1939. Keeping company to the Dollmaker who fights his own demons, she realizes that his troubled soul and unique gift will lead them both to a perilous course as Poland is invaded by the Nazi monsters. When barbarity replaces humanity, when tortures replace toys, only magic can provide us with a possible escape…
Dear God, what can I possibly say about R.M.Romero’s outstanding novel? When the darkest hours in the History of our world blend with the magical, when the Fairytale becomes one with the Terror, you can only read and try to strengthen your heart because it is bound to break before long. She combines Krakow’s mysticism and culture with the unthinkable persecution of the Jewish people and the brave souls who helped them. The duality of the Dollmaker and the Rat reflects the battle between Peace and War, between Good and Evil, between Hope and Despair. The dolls come alive and the Polish myths provide the finest elements for Magical Realism to transform a tale of Terror into a tale of Hope.
Hoffman’s Tales, the heritage of Polish musicians, the resilience and bravery of the Jewish citizens of Poland, the mythical characters of Lakanica, Jánošík, Dogoda and the Firebird. The unbearable moments of the ghetto, the starvation, the people’s hatred towards innocent souls, the massacre, the Hell that was called ‘’Auschwitz’’ are depicted with sensitivity, lyricism and utmost tenderness. This is a tale that will tear you to pieces before it lets you smile through your tears…
Perhaps the nobody actors should read such books before they decide to ‘’grace’’ us with their ‘’opinions’’ on race and persecution…And yes, I am still mad!
Please, read this book. Give it to your children, to every young person. And repeat ‘’Never again’ page after page…
‘’You can destroy a person, Karolina, but destroying their story is far more difficult. No one is ever really lost as long as their story still exists.’’