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The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Diane Ackerman

Narrated By: Suzanne Toren

Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks

Date: May 2008

Duration: 10 hours 57 minutes


When Germany invaded Poland, bombers devastated Warsaw—and the city's zoo along with it. With most of their animals dead, zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski began smuggling Jews into the empty cages. Another dozen "guests" hid inside the Zabinskis' villa, emerging after dark for dinner, socializing and, during rare moments of calm, piano concerts.

Jan, active in the Polish resistance, kept ammunition buried in the elephant enclosure and stashed explosives in the animal hospital. Meanwhile, Antonina kept her unusual household afloat, caring for both its human and its animal inhabitants and refusing to give in to the penetrating fear of discovery, even as Europe crumbled around her.


  • Dolores M

    I would recommend this read to anyone interested in history and the enduring human spirit. Love of animals and their job gives a testimony of how creative people can be when faced with overwhelming situations. I was so encouraged by the resistance recorded in this book against the Nazi regime

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Alex P

    A great story but incredibly sad. I'm looking forward to seeing the movie! The narrator was great.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Cierra O

    this book was incredibly interesting ! I was not expecting it to be as engaging and informative as it was, and I enjoyed the narrator.

  • Charlotte M

    Excellent book. In addition to the story was the lessons learn d re insects, animals and history.

  • Charlotte M

    Sad. Did not like the fake accents in narration. Great history lesson

  • Linsey H

    I loved the mix of historical information with characters emotions. I became very attached to everyone in the story. The narrator was a perfect pick for this book.

  • Kasey P

    I throughly enjoyed this one! I love historical fiction, especially with strong and deep female characters at the forefront of the story. This was truly enjoyable. The narrator has a steady, calm voice and incorporates slight accents to aid the story and distinguish characters.

  • Carrie Keena

    This book is an interesting blend of history interwoven with the diaries of people living in Warsaw at the time of World War II. The narrator was very good, going back and forth with accents to distinguish between the narrative and the diary. Highly recommend!

  • Colleen Gray

    I guess I didn't read the description very well, but once I realized it was nonfiction, I was loving this book. An amazing story of the humanity and courage in a time of crisis. Every time I learn of the trials of our history, I am enriched. 5 stars

  • Kathy Hornick

    This is a timely book. Sometimes as a novel it was just a bit meandering, but I love it because it is a true story. I'm sure this story of courage over fear was played out many times across Europe in those dark days. Americans need this story and its lessons right now.: Courage triumphs over fear, when the right thing to do is so clearly defined.

Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story

by Diane Ackerman

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Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story, Diane Ackerman