The Zookeeper’s wife by Diane Ackerman is a the true story of Jan and Antonina Zabinski, set in Nazi occupied Warsaw in World War II. As you may have picked up from the title, Jan and Antonina are a zookeeper and his wife. Over the course of the war the couple saved over 300 Jews and members of the resistance and underground.
The book is partly Antonina’s daily life taking care of the animals and people under her care and partly an intense lesson of the native fauna of Poland. The only complaints I’ve heard about The Zookeeper’s Wife are that the story tends to ramble, and some of the nature descriptions are too detailed. Personally, I like books that are very detail orientated, and a bit of a ramble doesn’t bother me at all.
I found the book to be a beautiful, heartbreaking, and educational. I look forward to reading more of Ackerman’s prolific catalog of books.