Varenka by Bernadette Watts || Book Review

Sometimes I try my luck at requesting books from NetGalley and seeing if publishers approve them to so I can read books that aren’t available in bookstores yet.

This was a choice that was available in their “Read Now” section. Basically, there’s no waiting period of approval in that section – just click and read.

DISCLAIMER: This review could contain possible spoilers based on my opinions. All opinions and views are my own.

Book review: Varenka by Bernadette Watts #bookreview #bernadettewatts #childrensbooks #netgalley #booktwt #bookaddict #booktwitter

Challenge prompt: The letter V in the A-Z Book Challenge 2022 
Originally published: 1971

Pages: 32
Format: Hardcover

Plot from GoodReads:

Varenka lives contently in her cottage in the woods, until passersby warn her that war has broken out. Pack up a bundle and come along with us. But Varenka can’t leave. 

Who will care for the children who wander and get lost in the forest? Who will shelter the animals and feed the birds when winter comes?

Soon, Varenka shelters a young artist, an old farmer and his goat, and a lost child. And each night she prays for a wall to be built around her house to protect her from the soldiers who draw nearer with each passing day. Things seem dire until Varenka notices a gentle sound all around the house. Snow. Could it be enough to save them? 


I loved the illustrations in the book, true to the visual and literal snippets of life in rural Russia.

This story can be peeled back with several levels to discover deeper meanings. The more you read it, the more you will discover.

The casualties of war aren’t always what we expect them to be, the obvious ones. Death isn’t the only type of loss experienced. Prayers don’t always come in the answers we expect them.


Thanks again to NetGalley for the opportunity to review the book.

My Rating:

The book has a rating of 4.45 on GoodReads. I gave it a 5.

Varenka by Bernadette Watts #bookreview #bernadettewatts #childrensbooks #netgalley #booktwt #bookaddict #booktwitter

Have you read Varenka?

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