I am delighted o0t share my review today for A Child for the Reich by Andie Newton. This is a heartbreaking and absolutely fabulous book and if you like reading about WWII then you want to have a look at this one.
My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour. This book is published by Harper Collins.
Rumours of the Nazis coming for Czech children swept through the villages like a breeze through the trees, and the story was always the same…
They wanted our children to raise as their own
Since her husband, Josef, joined the Czech resistance three years ago, Anna Dankova has done everything possible to keep her daughter, Ema, safe. But when blonde haired, blue-eyed Ema is ripped from her mother’s arms in the local marketplace by the dreaded Brown Sisters, nurses who were dedicated to Hitler’s cause, Anna is forced to go to new extremes to take back what the Nazis have stolen from her.
Going undercover as a devoted German subject eager to prove her worth to the Reich, the former actress takes on a role of a lifetime to find and save her daughter. But getting close to Ema is one thing. Convincing her that the Germans are lying when they claim Anna stole her from her true parents is another…
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I do enjoy reading books based around WWII, I often find there are things that I was not aware of. A Child for the Reich is one such book. There was a branch of the Reich that was responsible for collecting babies and children with the much sort after blue eyes and blond hair. This was seen as the perfect Arian child. If you were not German and you had the perfect baby or child then they would be taken, re-educated and then given to “Good German Families” to raise. In Poland, 200,000 children were removed by the NSV, these are the female version of the dreaded SS, these women were known as the “Brown Sisters”.
I had no idea about this practice so when I saw the synopsis for this book I knew I had to read it. After reading it I then had an internet search and discovered a few more horrifying facts about these kidnappings and what happened to those children afterwards.
The story is mainly about a Czech mother, Anna, who has no idea that her child is on a list to be taken until it happens. What follows is how Anna managed to discover where her daughter was taken and see how children were ‘Germanised’. This story is one of a mother’s heartbreak and determination while trying to avoid being discovered herself.
The story shows how the people of Czechoslovakia are being affected by the Germans taking over it country, their houses, businesses and it seems their families. The threat of being seen and reported is real and there is tension on the page as the author took Anna on her journey.
The regime in place for the children is awful and heartbreaking to read about as is the obvious struggle and pain of having your child stolen. This is not an easy read given the subject but my goodness it is one that I just could not leave alone. It wasn’t until I started to write this review that I realised it was 400 pages, I flew through this book in one sitting.
The author brings a horrifying and awful practice of taking children to be representative of Hitler’s vision of his Aryan race. Saying that I enjoyed reading this book feels wrong, but I did.
If you like your historical fiction set in Europe during WWII then this is one that should be on your reading list. It is a poignant and eye-opening read and it is one I would definitely recommend.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Andie Newton is the USA Today bestselling author of The Girls from the Beach, The Girl from Vichy, and The Girl I Left Behind.
She writes gritty and emotional war stories about strong women. Andie holds a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s in teaching. She lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband, her two boys, and one very lazy cat.
You can find book club discussion questions on andienewton.com.
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