Franciszka and her daughter are unlikely heroines. They are simple people who don’t stand out … that is, until there is a crisis. In 1939, the Nazis come to Poland and start to persecute the Jews. These are unreasonable times when providing shelter to a Jew has become a death sentence. Despite this, both Franciszka and her daughter hide Jewish families and a German soldier in their small home. For all of them to survive, she will have to outsmart the German commander and her neighbors.
When you look at a piece of steel, can you tell whether it is the ordinary kind used to make forks and knives or whether it is the superstrength type used to construct bridges and high-rises? The honest answer is no. You cannot tell until you apply extreme pressure. People are like that.
This story is a reminder that there are no profiles for courage and character, and that who we become is always a personal choice.
This is my first book, but it feels like something that has been waiting for me for a while.
I just had to be still enough to hear it. As the words flowed and formed, shaping ideas in their dance, it felt divine.
Writing was a process far more intimate than I could have predicted. To be authentic and honest, it is your own life that you draw upon and so, telling a story reveals the truths that reside in your own heart.
I loved creating this story. To be able to say that anything is possible if we connect with each other through kindness, understanding, and courage —and to do it with reference to true events—well, that was exhilarating.
If this story somehow manages to touch you, if it somehow manages to remind you of your own humanity, then I will be incredibly happy.
Living with gratitude,
J. L. Witterick