Study Guide

The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story Chapter 1

By Diane Ackerman

Chapter 1

  • It's the summer of 1935, when Antonina, the zookeeper's wife, wakes up.
  • Some people wake up to make the donuts; Antonina wakes up to take care of the gibbons.
  • Not Leeza Gibbons. These gibbons.
  • As far as plot, that's literally it for this chapter. If you were expecting action, you're reading the wrong book.
  • For a few pages, Ackerman tells us a bit of Antonina and her husband's history. He became zoo director in 1929. They married in 1931.
  • Antonina thinks she has a "strange and mysterious" (1.22) gift that allows her to talk to animals.
  • They had a son, Ryś, in 1932. Antonina and Jan, we mean; not Antonina and the animals.