The Zookeeper's Wife

  • by Diane Ackerman
  • Narrated by Suzanne Toren
  • 10 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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.


What the Critics Say

"Ackerman's writing is viscerally evocative, as in her description of the effects of the German bombing of the zoo area....This suspenseful beautifully crafted story deserves a wide readership." (Publishers Weekly)
"Ackerman's affecting telling of the heroic Zabinskis' dramatic story illuminates the profound connection between humankind and nature, and celebrates life's beauty, mystery, and tenacity." (Booklist)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Amazing tale

Poland is sometimes dismissed because they were overrun so quickly and then so many of the camps were located in their borders. This story shows that not all Poles accepted the German occupation or participated in the extermination of the Jews. This is a well-told tale of resistance in the face of certain death if they were discovered. Of doing what was right with no possible personal gain. She was an amazing woman.
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- Carl

LOVED this book.

What did you like best about this story?

I loved the way the author described some of the animals and plants and scenes. I could almost see, smell, taste and feel the things she was describing. Great history lesson also. Makes me want to visit the places she talks about. In fact, I looked it up on the internet.

What does Suzanne Toren bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Loved the authentic accent...beautiful language.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?


Any additional comments?

Wonderful book.

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- Carolyn

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-03-2008
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.