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Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite
Loving Two Women by Matthew Lutostanski is based on a true story. Tadeusz and Maria have been happily married for over 30 years. Since immigrating to England from Poland after the war, they have lived an idyllic life while trying to forget the traumas they suffered during the occupation by the Nazis and Stalin's Red Army. When a letter addressed to Tadeusz arrives, it turns his whole life into emotional chaos. His former fiancee, Ella, whom he believed to have died during the war, has discovered he did not die in a concentration camp. Ella tells Tadeusz her love for him is still as strong even though she is married. Tadeusz decides to keep the letter a secret from his wife and replies to Ella, believing it to be an innocent gesture of friendship. As the letters become more intense and passionate, Ella suggests they meet in Poland. Tadeusz is tempted to see his long-lost sweetheart but first, he has to confess his actions to Maria. Will she allow her husband to travel to meet Ella, knowing of the love they shared?
The subject matter of this delightful novel will definitely make you question your own morality. Is it possible for a man to love two women? I thought not until I read the heartbreaking story of Tadeusz and Ella. Both characters shared such an enviable loving but tragic relationship. Matthew Lutostanski relays the hardship of the war and the treatment at the hands of Stalin and Hitler's armies so realistically. The letters they exchanged were very emotional to read and depicted the tragedy of losing one another during the dreadful conflicts perfectly. My favorite of all the wonderful characters had to be Maria. What a strong, caring, and delightful woman. Her selfless acts of kindness towards her husband brought me to tears. There are excellent moments of tension and conflict as the plot unravels, which makes for compelling reading. The ending of Loving Two Women was quite a tear-jerker and I wonder if this is truly the end of the story or is there a sequel? I do hope so.