The Keeper of Hidden Books: A Novel

The Keeper of Hidden Books: A Novel

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*BookBub Pick for Best Historical Fiction of Summer 2023*

A heartwarming story about the power of books to bring us together, inspired by the true story of the underground library in WWII Warsaw, by the New York Times bestselling author of The Last Bookshop in London.

All her life, Zofia has found comfort in two things during times of hardship: books and her best friend, Janina. But no one could have imagined the horrors of the Nazi occupation in Warsaw. As the bombs rain down and Hitler’s forces loot and destroy the city, Zofia finds that now books are also in need of saving.

With the death count rising and persecution intensifying, Zofia jumps to action to save her friend and salvage whatever books she can from the wreckage, hiding them away, and even starting a clandestine book club. She and her dearest friend never surrender their love of reading, even when Janina is forced into the newly formed ghetto.

But the closer Warsaw creeps toward liberation, the more dangerous life becomes for the women and their families—and escape may not be possible for everyone. As the destruction rages around them, Zofia must fight to save her friend and preserve her culture and community using the only weapon they have left—literature.


The Keeper of Hidden Books is a powerful and poignant tour de force chronicling the efforts of Warsaw’s librarians and book-lovers to keep Poland’s culture alive during the dark days of the German Occupation. Impeccably researched and beautifully written, The Keeper of Hidden Books reads as a love letter to family, friendship, and the power of literature to sustain, inspire, and endure.”
–Bryn Turnbull, author of The Woman Before Wallis

“Intimate and immersive, Madeline Martin's 
The Keeper of Hidden Books is an expertly researched portrayal of the Nazi occupation of Warsaw, a tale of profound resilience and loyalty, and a powerful reminder of literature's ability to bind, inspire, encourage, and lend hope. Historical fiction readers will be transported and transfixed by this poignant, timely story."
–Gabriella Saab, author of Daughters of Victory

“The Keeper of Hidden Books is a timely novel based on the brave librarians of Warsaw during the German Occupation of WWII who risked their lives to save books and Polish culture from being erased from history. Madeline Martin’s impeccable research leaps off every page in this powerfully absorbing story of resilience, enduring friendship and a love of literature and the arts. An inspiring novel you don’t want to miss!”
–Eliza Knight, USA Today bestselling author of Starring Adele Astaire

The Keeper of Hidden Books shows us just why historical fiction is so relevant today – because it touches on universal themes that recur in every century throughout time. As more and more books are banned from our libraries and schools, Madeline Martin's novel gives us a much needed shot of inspiration and hope that stories will always win. Zofia's incredible bravery in doing whatever she can to save books and literature while the world is at war and despite the personal cost makes her a remarkable heroine for the ages. This is a stunning story for booklovers to sink into with all their heart and soul and be rewarded by the ultimate message – reading matters. Yes it does, and bravo to Madeline Martin for reminding us in this wonderful book." –Natasha Lester, New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Orphan

The Keeper of Hidden Books is yet another expertly researched and inspiring work of historical fiction from Madeline Martin. As Zofia Nowak and her young friends fight for their fellow Polish and Jewish citizens during the horrific German occupation, they witness again and again the power of friendship and literature in even the darkest times. With her direct, brave and thoughtful manner (so wonderfully reminiscent of Jo March), loyalty and love for her Jewish best friend, and touching first love with a fellow resistance fighter, Zofia is destined to capture readers' hearts everywhere--rarely have I loved or admired a character more. A heart-pounding, illuminating, and very important addition to the canon of WWII fiction." –Natalie Jenner, internationally bestselling author of The Jane Austen Society

“A powerful and poignant tale of the enduring bonds of friendship, the courage of resistance, and the transformative power of books against the backdrop of the horrors of war, Madeline Martin’s 
The Keeper of Hidden Books is a richly detailed, emotional read that will captivate historical fiction lovers.”–Chanel Cleeton, New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of The Cuban Heiress

"An enthralling, wrenching tale of a young woman’s courage and conviction, and of the vital importance of preserving and defending literature and culture against a tyranny bent on destroying them. 
The Keeper of Hidden Books is essential reading for book lovers everywhere."Christine Wells, internationally bestselling author of One Woman’s War

"The Keeper of HIdden Books pulled me right into the rubble-strewn streets of World War II Warsaw and didn’t let go. I loved Madeline Martin’s smart, brave, and resourceful women characters and cheered their refusal to surrender. This inspiring story proves how banning books never truly stops people from asking questions, connecting, and—most importantly—resisting fascism. –
Elise Hooper, author of Angels of the Pacific

“Told in exquisite detail, Martin brings to life the gritty truth of occupied Poland during World War II, and the country’s many brave souls willing to risk it all to preserve their culture. A harrowing, heartfelt, heart racing story you won’t be able to put down."
– Noelle Salazar, USA Today bestselling author of The Flight Girls

The Keeper of Hidden Books, Madeline Martin skillfully transforms a difficult period in WW2 history into a book that makes it difficult to put down. This story is a testament to the power of friendship and the power of fiction at our lowest points. The Keeper of Hidden Books serves as a timely reminder that even small acts of resistance matter."–Kaia Alderson, author of Sisters in Arms

"Martin has penned a novel that is both heartbreaking and timely... Martin captures the fear that so many families must have felt as friends and neighbors disappeared and there was no way to know who might be next... Highly recommended."–
The Historical Novels Society

"Ms. Martin does an outstanding job of capturing just what it means when tyrants are in charge and how that actually looks for the folks suffering under their rule. It has the added benefit of highlighting just how much courage and perseverance it took for those who did resist"–
All About Romance

About the Author

Madeline Martin is a New York TimesUSA TODAY, and international bestselling author of historical fiction and historical romance with books that have been translated into over twenty different languages.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Hanover Square Press; Original edition (August 1, 2023)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 416 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1335455027
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1335455024
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 8.7 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.31 x 0.75 x 8 inches

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