In war-torn Warsaw, a zookeeper and his wife refuse to surrender...
Now a major motion picture starring Jessica Chastain and Daniel Brühl, Diane Ackerman's The Zookeeper's Wife is based on a remarkable true story of bravery and sanctuary during World War II. Perfect for fans of Lion and Hidden Figures.
'I can't imagine a better story or storyteller. The Zookeeper's Wife will touch every nerve you have' -Jonathan Safran Foer, author of Everything is Illuminated
When Germany invades Poland, Luftwaffe bombers devastate Warsaw and the city's zoo along with it. With most of their animals killed, or stolen away to Berlin, zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski begin smuggling Jews into the empty cages.
As the war escalates Jan becomes increasingly involved in the anti-Nazi resistance. Ammunition is buried in the elephant enclosure and explosives stored in the animal hospital. Plans are prepared for what will become the Warsaw uprising. Through the ever-present fear of discovery, Antonina must keep her unusual household afloat, caring for both its human and animal inhabitants - otters, a badger, hyena pups, lynxes - as Europe crumbles around them.
Written with the narrative drive and emotional punch of a novel, The Zookeeper's Wife is a remarkable true story. It shows us the human and personal impact of war - of life in the Warsaw Ghetto, of fighting in the anti-Nazi resistance. But more than anything it is a story of decency and sacrifice triumphing over terror and oppression.
What readers are saying about The Zookeeper's Wife:
'Beautifully and sensitively written - a must read'
'An adventure that inspires'
'Both horrifying and endearing on a scale I've not experienced in years'
'A story that will haunt you forever'
'Haunting, life affirming, sad, and inspiring'
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
A World War II history that’s as spellbinding as any novel, The Zookeeper’s Wife tells the true story of husband and wife Jan and Antonina Zabinski, keepers of the Warsaw Zoo, who saved the lives of hundreds of Jews and resisters by hiding them among the animals. Antonina's diary is the lively primary source that lends the story a gripping intimacy—we witness her emotional tumult as she calms both wild animals and refugees and deceives German soldiers. Diane Ackerman is a gifted storyteller and naturalist, deftly moving between the historical record and speculating about larger issues of fascism and social control.