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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 11 May 2011
My Polish father-in-law Edmund was one of the inspirations for this book - he was reunited with his long-lost children after more than 30 years apart and this led our family on an extraordinary journey of rediscovery involving amazing coincidences and due to a twist of fate Chris Piechowski found himself unexpectedly playing a pivotal part.

When Chris told us of his book, we were keen to see how our family featured in the story and we were not disappointed. He has successfully woven together many accounts of personal experiences during the Second World War in Poland and has produced a novel that graphically and movingly illustrates the horrors that the Poles went through during those terrible years. There are many personal references to our family throughout the book and it was an amazing feeling to be reading about the brown leather wallet that was so central to the story and to glance up and actually see that very wallet sitting on the shelf in front of me.

When my father-in-law occasionally spoke about his experiences in the war, we tried to fully appreciate the traumas and difficulties he had been through but to truly feel the horror was hard. We always sat and listened in amazement and admiration at both the emotional and physical strength he and many others had to have to survive all they had to endure. This book has bought the stories he shared with us to life and has enabled us to gain an added insight into just how the Poles suffered ... it is a story of survival against the odds and ultimately the reuniting of a family separated by war. My only regret is that Edmund is no longer here to see the publication of this book. He was a wonderful man and would have been so very proud.

Thank you Chris for being part of our extraordinary story and for writing such a powerful, moving and brilliant book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 27 August 2012
This book is a fantastic read, I found it difficult to put it down! My son has also read it and was inspired so much that he is going to write to the author.
It reminded me of the Schindlers List film where you see the girl in the red dress and "follow" her journey, in the same way you follow the journey of a family who get mixed up in most aspects of the Polish part of WW2.
In my honest opinion it should be read by everyone on the planet to prevent any future wars, this book should be included on every school list of books to read, it doesn't drone on about the sorry story of a few - it tells it how it probably was and how it affected a normal family and country.
What happened to the Poles should never be repeated in History but when you read this book it helps you realise that this could be your family, your life and your world.
If you are in any doubt about buying this book then stop now and get it! You will not be dissappointed.
I am now after the follow up book and wait to hear if book 3 is published soon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 August 2011
Poles Apart is the first book that I have ever read that has gripped me in such a way with feelings and emotions of shock, sadness and happiness. At a time when I am working overseas (in the birthplace of Josef Stalin), alongside colleagues from both Germany and Poland, I am so glad that I was born in times of peace between European countries and feel very lucky to have such a fortunate life. This book has helped me to understand more about the struggles, hardship and atrocities that the Polish people suffered during the Second World War, describing it in such a graphic way, that I pictured it in my mind like a film. I have discussed this book with my Polish friends as well as one of my German friends who is a former high ranking army officer, and have highly recommended this as a "must read". I am sure my Polish and German friends will also enjoy the book, but may feel different emotions. The course of fate of the finding of the initial documents and research and detective work by the author Chris Piechowski is in itself is truly amazing. I rate this as a "Must read". Well done Chris, I look forward to the sequel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 August 2011
I bought this book for a Polish friend and have since sent it to him. I have not read it myself but do know that he will tell me how it affected him when I next speak with him.
So, unfortunately, I cannot give a 'rating' but will when I am able.
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on 21 January 2014
I chose this book because I enjoy stories of personal experience during the war. I am well aware of the injustice and horrors inflicted upon the Polish people, and the inhumanity of the both the Nazi and Stalin regimes.
I stopped reading the book because I became so exasperated with the author's predilection for inserting simplistic school report type history lessons in the middle of the action. It is a shame because the book is based on true events and I am interested in the story but cannot tolerate the patronising interruptions.
I would recommend this book to ages 13 - 15.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 20 November 2013
An absolutely gripping book. Incredibly informative with a great story line. Have bought it for so many friends. Thoroughly recommended.
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