Customer Reviews for

My Enemy's Cradle

Average Rating 4.5
( 36 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Loved every minute!

From the 1st page, I enjoyed every minute reading this book! The story flowed well and the way she writes made every page engaging and interesting. I had never heard of these maternity homes during WWII so I found it very interesting. I was sorry when I finished the boo...
From the 1st page, I enjoyed every minute reading this book! The story flowed well and the way she writes made every page engaging and interesting. I had never heard of these maternity homes during WWII so I found it very interesting. I was sorry when I finished the book! I look forward to more books from Sara Young! Write, Sara, write!

posted by Anonymous on September 12, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

This book shines a light on another aspect of World War II

This is a very compelling book about World War II, told from an entirely different perspective. It is told not from the point of view of the war and the soldiers or the camps, but rather the innocent citizens caught up in the turmoil and terror.
The main character, Cy...
This is a very compelling book about World War II, told from an entirely different perspective. It is told not from the point of view of the war and the soldiers or the camps, but rather the innocent citizens caught up in the turmoil and terror.
The main character, Cyrla, is a mischling, which is what Germans called a person of mixed heritage, one not totally Aryan. She is young, barely 19, and often because of her pride she is careless and foolish. Her mistakes endanger others. She might even be considered promiscuous but the circumstances of the times called for extreme behavior in order to survive.
Told from a point of view of the Holocaust which encompasses the German perspective, it casts a different light on the event. There were many who embraced the hate and horror of Hitler's design for the world but there were also many who quietly tried to do everything in their limited power to prevent it. Often, they were arrested and discarded in the same way as the Jews, criminals and others they thought defective. They too, were murdered and tortured.
Cyrla enters a Lebensborn, http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/Lebensborn.html a place for unwed mothers who, in exchange for food and care, produce future Aryan soldiers for the Reich. Some women enter the program and are impregnated by German soldiers deliberately. When too few babies are born, they expand the program to include other women from other countries deemed worthy. The children who are products of rape, by German soldiers, are adopted unless the soldier decides to enter the picture and take the child or marry the woman. As there proved to be a shortage of future soldiers, non Aryan babies from other countries were kidnapped and given to "good" Germans to adopt and raise.
Cyrla enters in the identity of her cousin whom she resembles and who had been carefully screened, as an Aryan, for the program. The women in these homes are bearing children who will become Germany's future, soldiers for the Reich. Of course, Cyrla is not an Aryan, and the book is about her effort to survive and also those who help her. It is also about those who are evil and do their best not to help but to hinder her and further the cause of the Reich. It is presented fairly and honestly, not overdone.
How she endures the trials life hands her make for a very interesting tale which opened my eyes to a different side of some Germans. Not all were Nazis, but all were hiding that fact for fear of their own lives. Those that risked their lives in an effort to defeat or confront the Nazis, often died or were tortured and punished. The effects of Hitler's madness were often subtle and insidious, discovered too late to stop him from his heinous plans.
Although the pages almost turn themselves, the plot seems unrealistic, yet we know it happened in some form. The book opens a window onto a program in Germany, for German girls, that few know about and it does explore it well.
I think many of the characters are very well developed so that you do get a real sense of who they are and how they suffer with the burden of the war, regardless of background or heritage.

posted by thewanderingjew on August 21, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2008

    Loved every minute!

    From the 1st page, I enjoyed every minute reading this book! The story flowed well and the way she writes made every page engaging and interesting. I had never heard of these maternity homes during WWII so I found it very interesting. I was sorry when I finished the book! I look forward to more books from Sara Young! Write, Sara, write!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A HORRIFIC HISTORY REVEALED

    Searing. Shocking. Unthinkable. Yes, all of these words apply to this story of the Nazi Lebensborn program. It is a wrenching true tale that has been seldom told. As related in a first-person narrative by Cyrla, a young half Jewish woman, it is heartbreaking. Her experience is unforgettable as author Young traces a story of innocents betrayed, neighbors who become enemies, and enemies who become friends. The Lebensborn was a maternity home for girls carrying the babies of German soldiers. In actuality, it was a series of homes scattered through Germany and other countries. There the girls went after passing stringent tests to make sure their bloodlines were pure. They also had to authenticate the father's identity and he, too, had to exhibit similar acceptable criteria. This was Hitler's way of perpetuating the Aryan race, and it was overseen by Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS. Once in a home the girls were well fed and cared for, brain washed if possible, and forced to swear loyalty to Hitler. An excellent way to prove such loyalty was to have another child as soon possible. What most of the girls did not realize was that their babies would be taken from them to be adopted by SS families. Of course, if the baby was born with even the slightest defect it simply disappeared. Cyrla was born in Poland. The child of a Jewish father and a Dutch mother. She lived with her father, his second wife, and two half-brothers. As the world darkened in Poland prior to World War II, her father thought it best to send her to Holland to live with her late mother's aunt. She had her mother's blond hair, and would be safe. Upon arriving in Holland she was not allowed to observe the Jewish holy days but kept track of them in her head. She and her cousin, Anneke, became as sisters, often mistaken for one another. Then in September of 1941 the Germans began posting restrictions for Jews. At that point, Cyrla's uncle did not want her in their home, after all, as he said to his wife, `She's your family. Not our family, yours.' Unbeknownst to anyone Anneke has fallen in love with a young German soldier, Karl, and soon becomes pregnant. But, when Karl leaves Holland without a goodbye and her father becomes enraged, threatening to send her away, she become distraught and dies in an attempt to abort her baby. It soon becomes clear that Cyrla cannot remain in Holland, and she is urged by a friend to try to reach England. However, she has another idea, a very dangerous one. Sara Young has crafted a harrowing story of one of the most tragic aspects of World War II. It is both haunting and unforgettable. - Gail Cooke

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 21, 2010

    This book shines a light on another aspect of World War II

    This is a very compelling book about World War II, told from an entirely different perspective. It is told not from the point of view of the war and the soldiers or the camps, but rather the innocent citizens caught up in the turmoil and terror.
    The main character, Cyrla, is a mischling, which is what Germans called a person of mixed heritage, one not totally Aryan. She is young, barely 19, and often because of her pride she is careless and foolish. Her mistakes endanger others. She might even be considered promiscuous but the circumstances of the times called for extreme behavior in order to survive.
    Told from a point of view of the Holocaust which encompasses the German perspective, it casts a different light on the event. There were many who embraced the hate and horror of Hitler's design for the world but there were also many who quietly tried to do everything in their limited power to prevent it. Often, they were arrested and discarded in the same way as the Jews, criminals and others they thought defective. They too, were murdered and tortured.
    Cyrla enters a Lebensborn, http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/Lebensborn.html a place for unwed mothers who, in exchange for food and care, produce future Aryan soldiers for the Reich. Some women enter the program and are impregnated by German soldiers deliberately. When too few babies are born, they expand the program to include other women from other countries deemed worthy. The children who are products of rape, by German soldiers, are adopted unless the soldier decides to enter the picture and take the child or marry the woman. As there proved to be a shortage of future soldiers, non Aryan babies from other countries were kidnapped and given to "good" Germans to adopt and raise.
    Cyrla enters in the identity of her cousin whom she resembles and who had been carefully screened, as an Aryan, for the program. The women in these homes are bearing children who will become Germany's future, soldiers for the Reich. Of course, Cyrla is not an Aryan, and the book is about her effort to survive and also those who help her. It is also about those who are evil and do their best not to help but to hinder her and further the cause of the Reich. It is presented fairly and honestly, not overdone.
    How she endures the trials life hands her make for a very interesting tale which opened my eyes to a different side of some Germans. Not all were Nazis, but all were hiding that fact for fear of their own lives. Those that risked their lives in an effort to defeat or confront the Nazis, often died or were tortured and punished. The effects of Hitler's madness were often subtle and insidious, discovered too late to stop him from his heinous plans.
    Although the pages almost turn themselves, the plot seems unrealistic, yet we know it happened in some form. The book opens a window onto a program in Germany, for German girls, that few know about and it does explore it well.
    I think many of the characters are very well developed so that you do get a real sense of who they are and how they suffer with the burden of the war, regardless of background or heritage.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 17, 2009

    Interesting topic and well written

    I rarely read fiction but made an exception for this book because of the subject matter. Having read many books about Nazi Germany as well as individual holocaust survivor stories, my interest was piqued in regards to the Lebensborn program which very little has been written about. Young does an excellent job of defining what the program was, who participated in it and the daily activities of the mothers and children who stayed in these homes.

    Even though I figured the plot out well in advance, Young did such a fine job of developing her main characters that I felt the need to find out if I was right and to read further to learn happens to them in the end. Parts of the book were slow and repetative however, I was involved enough with the story line that I read the book in one sitting. I was a bit disappointed on how she chose to end the book but afterward I was left with the feeling of wanting more which is why I gave it 5 stars. Overall it was well worth my time.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Good book

    I really liked this book. I've read a lot of books about the Nazis, but I had never read anything about the "nursery" they created and the reasons for doing so. It is a very interesting book with an excellent plot and good character development. I recommend it highly.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 27, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Outstanding!

    This is a great book about a daring young woman living during dangerous times. Faced with tough decisions, she makes dangerous choices that she hopes will help her to stay alive. The story is unpredictable and full of suspense. I highly recommend it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2008

    A reviewer

    I came upon this book by accident but I'm so glad I did! You think you heard all the stories of this era but then here's another shocking story of what was happening. Wow. The story is told as the pregnancy clock is ticking... you knew something was going to happen in those 9 months! I read this book in 1 day because I just couldn't stop. I was pleasantly surprised by the ending. A great story which I would recommend.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2014

    Compelling read!

    Hard to believe this is the authors first book! Every time I had to put it down I couldnt get it out of my mind! Truly riveting!!! Hope shes working on more books!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2014

    great read

    Worth lt

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  • Posted March 25, 2013

    A WONDERFUL READ. I ONLY WISH SHE HAD MORE BOOKS FOR ME TO READ!

    A WONDERFUL READ. I ONLY WISH SHE HAD MORE BOOKS FOR ME TO READ! EACH PAGE HELD ANOTHER EXCITING DISCOVERY.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2013

    Good Book

    This was the first fiction book I've read about the Nazi Lebensborn program. The story was very interesting although toward the end there seemed to be too much going on at once to wrap up the story. This is a good book to discuss in a book group.

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  • Posted January 9, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Great Book! I've recently been reading books that are good but

    Great Book! I've recently been reading books that are good but I can go days without picking it up, but this book I couldn't put down! I was always itching to pick it back up and see what was going to happen next.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2009

    This book should be on your MUST READ list.

    I did enjoy this book, it brought to light some things about WWII that I did not know. It was a very fast read, I wish there could have been a little more depth, in some places it seemed to just skim the surface of the characters and feelings. But over all a very good book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2009

    I could not put this book down.

    This historical novel held my interest throughout. It reads like a memoir and concerns the Nazi Germany homes for pregnant women known as Lebensborns. The novel has it all--part romance, part thriller, with many twists and turns.

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  • Posted April 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Written for adults but reads like YA

    Hmmm...a little bit hard to review this one. I'm giving it three stars instead of two simply for the reason of highlighting the Lebensborn baby factories of Nazi Germany during WWII. I knew very little about these institutions. I read the book quickly and really had no desire to abandon it. However, for subject matter which was very adult the writing style was a disappointment. It seemed as if it was written for teenagers (except for the subject matter) and I found the foreshadowing statements at the end of each chapter to be very irritating. Just let me be surprised! It was also very predictable at times. I would recommend this novel for those who enjoy historical romances.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2009

    Ive read it 17 times!!!

    normally, i hate to read. however, i live in Louisiana, and this past summer when hurrican Gustav came on in and I was out of power for 2 weeks i could not put this book down!!!! it is without a doubt the most amazing book i have ever read!!!! The main character was outstanding and Karl... well I fell in love with Karl! i am a student at LSU and receiving a mastors degree in german history and culture, and let me say that this book is completely true to the amazing history of germany! i love this book and have never found a greater one! i truely wish that there would be more books written in the likes of this one.... My enemys cradle is truely remarkable and incredibly intriguing! it is definately a must read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2008

    First of many more I hope

    This story pulls you in and makes you feel. I cried, laughed and hurt. Unbelievably touching and such a part of history that we don't hear about - makes you think how strong the human spirit can be when tested

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2008

    WONDERFULL AND HEARTBREAKING

    This is the best book, I read it in 4 days, I just could not put it down! I just may read it a second time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2008

    A reviewer

    This book was excellent. I couldn't put it down but I didn't want it to end either.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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