My Enemy's Cradle [NOOK Book]

Overview


Cyrla's neighbors have begun to whisper. Her cousin, Anneke, is pregnant and has passed the rigorous exams for admission to the Lebensborn, a maternity home for girls carrying German babies. But Anneke's soldier has disappeared, and Lebensborn babies are only ever released to their father's custody-- or taken away.


A note is left under the mat. Someone knows that Cyrla, sent from Poland years before for ...

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My Enemy's Cradle

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Overview


Cyrla's neighbors have begun to whisper. Her cousin, Anneke, is pregnant and has passed the rigorous exams for admission to the Lebensborn, a maternity home for girls carrying German babies. But Anneke's soldier has disappeared, and Lebensborn babies are only ever released to their father's custody-- or taken away.


A note is left under the mat. Someone knows that Cyrla, sent from Poland years before for safekeeping with her Dutch relatives, is Jewish. The Nazis are imposing more and more restrictions; she won't be safe there for long.

And then in the space of an afternoon, life falls apart. Cyrla must choose between certain discovery in her cousin's home and taking Anneke's place in the Lebensborn--Cyrla and Anneke are nearly identical. If she takes refuge in the enemy's lair, can Cyrla fool the doctors, nurses, guards, and other mothers-to-be? Can she escape before they discover she is not who she claims?

Mining a lost piece of history, Sara Young takes us deep into the lives of women living in the worst of times. Part love story and part elegy for the terrible choices we must often make to survive, MY ENEMY'S CRADLE keens for what we lose in war and sings for the hope we sometimes find.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Children's-book author Young (who, as Sara Pennypacker, penned the celebrated Stuart series) makes a stunning adult debut with this beautifully told and heart-wrenching novel set in WWII Europe. Cyrla, half-Jewish, is no longer safe hiding in the home of her Dutch relatives under the increasingly harsh Nazi occupation. When cousin Annika, whom Cyrla closely resembles, becomes pregnant by a German soldier, Annika's father enrolls her in a Lebensborn, a birthing center for Aryan children, where the slogan is "Have one baby for the Führer." In a tragic turn of events, Cyrla discovers her only chance of survival is to hide in plain sight: she must assume Annika's identity and live in the German Lebensborn until rescued. Within the Lebensborn's walls, mothers-to-be receive proper nutrition and medical care until their children are taken from them for adoption into Aryan families The horrors Cyrla witnesses are softened only by her resounding optimism and strength. (Jan.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

One of the lesser-known aspects of the Nazi regime was the Lebensborn program, which promoted the expansion of the "master race" by encouraging German women and those who were racially "pure" in its occupied countries to bear as many children as possible. Young explores the experiences of these women in her fictional story of Cyrla, a young Polish/Dutch woman who enters a Lebensborn maternity home in place of her cousin Annika, who died tragically. Unbeknown to the officials, Cyrla is half Jewish and must walk a tightrope as she plots her escape. Despite a few too many far-fetched plot contrivances, the subject matter is of immediate interest and sympathy. At the book's outset, Cyrla is strident, idealistic, and foolishly outspoken, but as she matures she begins to understand the complexity of the world around her and the people she has known. An unexpected development midway through the novel helps make this a real page-turner. Recommended for most public libraries.
—Christine DeZelar-Tiedman

Kirkus Reviews
In children's author Young's first novel for adults, a Polish Jew in World War II Holland finds temporary safety in the Lebensborn, a maternity home the Nazis set up to breed Aryan babies. Cyrla's deceased mother was a Dutch Christian, and in the late 1930s Cyrla's Jewish father sends her from Poland to live in Holland with her Christian aunt's family. When the novel opens in 1941, Cyrla's cousin and best friend, Annika, has fallen in love with a handsome young German officer, Karl, and become pregnant. To avoid disgrace she agrees to enter a nearby Lebensborn, but she commits suicide before she can go because Karl has refused to take responsibility for the pregnancy. By now Germans have begun rounding up Jews. Although distraught, Annika's mother plots to save Cyrla by having her take Annika's place at the Lebensborn. Cyrla goes to Isaac, the Jewish activist she's been in love with for years. He claims he's incapable of love but agrees to impregnate her, then arrange for her safe exodus. Eleven days later, a pregnant Cyrla-her easy fecundity is the novel's first but not last credibility stretch-leaves for the Lebensborn though not before she is savagely (and gratuitously) raped by an SS soldier. In the Lebensborn, Cyrla carries on her charade as Annika while waiting to hear from Isaac. Then Karl shows up. It seems Annika never told him she was pregnant; he broke up with her first because he was already in love with Cyrla. Karl, who hates the Nazis, takes great risks to help Cyrla. Despite her initial distrust, she eventually acknowledges she loves him. Their far-fetched romance is at odds with the well-researched description of the Nazi maternity program, and although Young tries toavoid stereotyping, many of the supporting characters are two-dimensional at best. Earnest but ultimately sentimental rather than profound.
Booklist
"Secrets of betrayal, love, and honor drive the plot in this riveting historical novel about a young woman caught up in the Nazi Lebensborn program.... Cyrla's intimate, first-person narrative reveals the horrific history through unforgettable individual experience of guilt and sacrifice. Readers will be haunted by the intricacies of friends and enemies in a story that has been seldom told."
author of The Deep End of the Ocean - Jacquelyn Mitchard
"Tenderly and fiercely felt, Young's tale of a young Jewish woman trapped in the sinister web of the Nazi Lebensborn program is that true find, a story truly never before told. And yet, through emotions we know—that a mother must cherish her child, that hope will refuse despair, that passion will deny even mortal danger—it immediately becomes our own."
author of Talk Before Sleep - Elizabeth Berg
"What a story! MY ENEMY'S CRADLE offers intrigue, suspense, compassion, heartbreak and joy. Sara Young writes with the intelligence and authority of an historian, but also with the sensitivity, precision, insight and grace of a poet. I was hooked from page one, and found the ending to be one of the most satisfying I've read in a long time. "
author of The Knitting Circle - Ann Hood
"MY ENEMY'S CRADLE has everything: It is a page turner full of twists and turns. It is a love story. It is a war story. It reveals a dark piece of history. There is only one caveat to this novel: you will want to read it straight through. So put aside absolutely everything, and begin."
author of Those Who Save Us - Jenna Blum
"As her spirited heroine Cyrla navigates the treacherous labyrinth of the SS breeding nurseries, Sara Young shines a powerful flashlight on one of the lesser-known Nazi atrocities: the thievery of children from their mothers. Young's research is so scrupulous that when devouring this novel, you'll swear you're reading a genuine survivor account, and you'll hold your breath as Cyrla attempts to find and found her own family."
author of The Kommandant's Girl - Pam Jenoff
"By populating her book with complex and vibrant characters, Sara Young succeeds in bringing this previously little known aspect of World War II history to life. Young explores with an unwavering voice the timeless, universal and yet intensely personal themes of love, loss, morality and the choices that shape our lives."
author of Entering Normal - Anne Leclaire
"In this compelling first novel set against the little known Nazi Lebensborn program, Sara Young creates a heroine the reader will not easily forget - Cyrla, a young woman trying to keep her infant safe while hiding a dangerous secret. MY ENEMY'S CRADLE goes to the very heart of hope and how it can survive in even the darkest and most dangerous of times."
From the Publisher

PRAISE FOR MY ENEMY'S CRADLE
 
"Young's youthful characters--especially her heroine, Cyrla--are utterly believable, their longings, fears and hopes etched with an authenticity and sense of urgency that make this story vibrate on the page . . . Intensely romantic in a way that only wartime fiction can be. And it invokes, with a bit of an ache, Anne Frank's optimistic belief in happy endings."--USA Today
 
"Sara Young shines a powerful flashlight on one of the lesser-known Nazi atrocities: the thievery of children from their mothers. Young's research is so scrupulous that when devouring this novel, you'll swear you're reading a genuine survivor account."--Jenna Blum, author of Those Who Save Us

USA Today
"Young's youthful characters
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780547892535
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 10/6/2008
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 59,629
  • File size: 363 KB

Meet the Author

Under the name Sara Pennypacker, SARA YOUNG has written seven books for children, including the acclaimed Stuart series (Stuart’s Cape) and Clementine. She lives on Cape Cod.
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Read an Excerpt

ONE

 

SEPTEMBER 1941

 

“Not here, too! Nee!

 

From the doorway, I saw soup splash from my aunt’s ladle onto the tablecloth. These days, there was no fat in the broth to set a stain; still, my heart dropped when she made no move to blot the spill. Since the Germans had come, she had retreated further into herself, fading away in front of me so that sometimes it was like losing my mother all over again.

 

“Of course here, Mies,” my uncle scoffed. His pale face pinked with the easy flush of red-haired men, and he leaned back and took off his glasses to polish them on his napkin. “Did you think the Germans would annex us as a refuge for Jews? The question is only why it took so long.”

 

I brought the bread to the table and took my seat. “What’s happened?”

 

“They posted a set of restrictions for Jews today,” my uncle said. “They’ll scarcely be able to leave their homes.” He inspected his glasses, put them back on. And then he turned to look at me directly.

 

I froze, my fingertips whitening around my spoon, suddenly reminded of something I’d witnessed in childhood.

 

Walking home from school, a group of us had come upon a man beating his dog. All of us shouted at him to stop—our numbers made us brave—and some of the bigger boys even tried to pull him off the poor animal. A boy beside me caught my attention; this boy, I knew, was himself often beaten by the older boys. He was crying, “Stop! Stop it!” along with the rest of us. But something in his expression chilled me: satisfaction. When my uncle turned to look at me, I saw that boy’s face again.

 

“Things will be different now, Cyrla.”

 

I dropped my gaze to my plate, but I felt my heart begin to pound. Was he weighing the risk of having me in his home?

 

His home. I stared down at the white tablecloth. Beneath it, a table rug was edged with gold silk fringe. When I had first arrived it had seemed strange to cover a table this way, but now I knew every color and pattern of its design. I lifted my eyes to take in the room I had come to love: the tall windows painted crisp white overlooking our small courtyard; the three watercolors of the Rijksmuseum hanging in a column on their braided cord; the glimpse into the parlor beyond the burgundy velvet drapes, where the piano stood in the corner, necklaced with framed photographs of our family. My heart began to beat even faster—where did I belong if not here?

 

I glanced at my cousin—Anneke was my safe passage through the treacherous landscape of my uncle’s world. But she had been distracted all day, drifting away whenever I’d tried to talk to her, as if she was harboring a secret. She hadn’t even heard her father’s threat.

 

“What?” I kept my voice calm. “What will be different here?”

 

He was cutting the bread. He didn’t stop, but I saw the warning look he gave my aunt. “Everything.” He cut three slices from the loaf and then laid the knife down carefully. “Everything will be different.”

 

I drew the loaf toward me, picked up the knife as deliberately as a chess piece, and cut a fourth slice. I laid the knife back on the board, then placed my hands on my lap so he wouldn’t see them trembling. I lifted my chin and leveled my eyes at him. “You counted wrong, Uncle,” I said. He looked away, but his face was dark as a bruise.

 

At last the meal was over. My uncle returned to his shop to take care of his bookkeeping, and my aunt and Anneke and I cleared the table and went into the kitchen to wash the dishes. We worked in silence; I in my fear, my aunt in her sadness, Anneke deep in her secret.

 

Suddenly Anneke cried out. The bread knife clattered to the floor and she held up her hand; blood streamed into the basin of suds, tingeing the bubbles pink. I grabbed a dishcloth and pressed it around Anneke’s hand, then led her to the window seat. She sank down and stared at the blood seeping through the dishcloth as though it was a curiosity. I grew afraid, then. Anneke was vain about her hands, would go without her ration of milk sometimes to soak them in it instead, and she could still find nail polish when it seemed no one in Holland had such a luxury. If she didn’t carry on about a cut deep enough to scar, then her secret was very big.

 

My aunt knelt to examine the wound, chiding her for her carelessness. Anneke closed her eyes and tipped her head back; with her free hand she stroked the hollow at the base of her throat with a contented smile. It was the look she wore when she crept back into our room in the middle of the night . . . flushed and deepened, rearranged.

 

I did not like Karl.

 

And then I knew.

 

“What have you done?” I whispered to her when my aunt left to fetch the disinfectant and muslin.

 

“Later,” she whispered back. “When everyone is asleep.”

 

There was ironing and darning to do, and that night it seemed to take forever. We listened to Hugo Wolf ’s music on the phonograph while we did these chores, and I wished for silence again because for the first time I could hear how the tragedy of Wolf ’s life flowed through his music. The beauty itself was doomed. When my aunt said good night, Anneke and I exchanged looks and went upstairs as well.

 

We washed quickly and put on our nightclothes. I couldn’t wait another moment. “Tell me now.”

 

My cousin turned to me, and I’d never seen her smile so beautifully.

 

“A wonderful thing, Cyrla,” she said, reaching down to stroke her belly.

 

The cut on her finger had begun to bleed again; the bandage was soaked through. As she stood in front of me smiling and caressing her belly, a smear of blood bloomed across the pale blue cotton of her nightgown.

 

 

TWO

 

“I’m leaving. I’m leaving here!” Now Anneke could hardly stop talking. “We’ll get married here, at the town hall I suppose. Karl’s family lives outside Hamburg—maybe we’ll get a place there when the war is over, with a garden for children, near a park, maybe. . . .Hamburg, Cyrla!”

 

“Shhhhhh!” I quieted her. “She’ll hear.” It wasn’t my aunt we were careful of, but Mrs. Bakker in the next house, which shared a wall with ours. She was old and had nothing better to do with her days than spy on people and gossip about what she’d learned. She sat in her front parlor all morning long and watched the goings-on of Tielman Oemstraat through the two mirrors attached to her windows. We knew from her coughing that her bedroom was next to ours, and we didn’t think it would be beneath her to hold a glass to the wall. But I didn’t really care about Mrs. Bakker at all. I wanted to stop Anneke’s words.

 

I unwrapped her finger and cleaned it with water from the wash pitcher. “Change your nightgown. I’ll go downstairs for more bandages.” Out in the hall, I made myself breathe calmly again. I gathered the muslin strips, and also a cup of milk and a plate of spekulaas—Anneke had hardly eaten at supper, but she loved the little spice cookies she smuggled home from the bakery. If I distracted her, I wouldn’t have to hear her plans. And if she saw how much she needed me, she might understand that it was a mistake to leave. It was always a mistake to leave.

 

We sat on her bed and I dressed her finger; I couldn’t look into her face although I felt her studying mine. “Are you sure? And how did this even . . . weren’t you careful . . . ?”

 

Anneke looked away. “These things happen.” Then she broke into her brilliant smile, the one that always disarmed me. “A baby . . . think of it!”

 

I wrapped my arms around her and laid my head on her chest, breathing in the scent she brought home to us from the bakery each day—baked sugar, sweet and warm, so perfectly suited to her. What scent clung to me, I wondered. Vinegar from the pickling I’d been doing all week? Lye from the upholstery shop?

 

Anneke stroked the tears from my cheeks. “I’m sorry, Cyrla,” she said. “I’ll miss you so much. More than anyone else.”

 

That was my cousin’s way. Sometimes she was careless with my feelings—not in cruelty, but in the innocent way that beautiful girls sometimes have, as if being thoughtful were a skill they had never needed to learn. But when she did think of me, her sweetness, completely unmeasured, would fill me with shame.

 

“But I’m so happy!” she cried, as if her face weren’t already telling me this. “And he’s so handsome!” She fell back onto the bed, clutching her heart. “He looks just like Rhett Butler, don’t you think?”

 

I sighed in mock exasperation. “He looks nothing like Rhett Butler, for heaven’s sakes. For one thing, he’s blond.”

 

Anneke waved this detail away with her bandaged hand.

 

“And he has blue eyes. And no mustache.” I rose and brought the glass of milk from the dresser over to her night table. “All right. He’s handsome. But frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

 

Anneke laughed and sat up. “You’ll be an aunt! And the war will be over soon, and then you can visit.”

 

 

Copyright © 2008 by Sara Young

 

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

 

Requests for permission to make copies of any part of the work should be submitted online at harcourt.com/contact or mailed to the following address: Permissions Department, Harcourt, Inc., 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, Florida 32887–6777.

 

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 36 )
Rating Distribution

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(23)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 36 Customer Reviews
  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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 August 1, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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