web site hit counter My Enemy's Cradle - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

My Enemy's Cradle

Availability: Ready to download

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, sen 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.


Compare

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, sen 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.

30 review for My Enemy's Cradle

  1. 4 out of 5

    Svetlana

    You know when you read a book and you love it so much, you’re sad that it’s over? Well.. that’s how I feel about this one. I loved it SO much! “Prisoners. From the camp there. Hundreds. They all looked the same, with their grey skin, their shaved skulls, their grey uniforms. I couldn’t tell one from the other; I didn’t even know if they were men or women. They were skeletons.” Anneke and Cyrla were cousins who looked very similar in every way except for one thing, Cyrla was half Jewish and hid You know when you read a book and you love it so much, you’re sad that it’s over? Well.. that’s how I feel about this one. I loved it SO much! “Prisoners. From the camp there. Hundreds. They all looked the same, with their grey skin, their shaved skulls, their grey uniforms. I couldn’t tell one from the other; I didn’t even know if they were men or women. They were skeletons.” Anneke and Cyrla were cousins who looked very similar in every way except for one thing, Cyrla was half Jewish and hiding. Anneke was carrying a German soldier’s child and was expected to go to Lebensborn, but her sudden death left Cyrla with no choice but to take her place. In the enemy’s lair, how was Cyrla going to deceive the doctors and the other pregnant women? How was she going to escape before her true identity was revealed? ‘Lebensborn’ which translates to ‘wellspring of life’ or ‘foundation of life’ was one of the most horrific and unknown Nazi projects. As Germany’s birth-rate had dropped after the First World War, Heinrich Himmler founded the Lebensborn project in 1935 in order to increase the German population. SS and Wehrmacht officers were encouraged to have children with Aryan women who sometimes were as young as fifteen. They had to be ‘racially pure’ - blond hair and blue eyes - by passing a ‘racial purity’ test. Himmler believed that these Lebensborn children were going to grow up and lead a Nazi-Aryan nation. The purpose of this project was to offer Aryan women the opportunity to give birth to a child privately, in safety and comfort. However the babies and children at the Lebensborn homes were often neglected. Mothers who gave birth at these homes were unable to find their children after the war as all records were intentionally hidden or destroyed. This project affected both women and children across Europe, and yet it remains to be one of the least-known aspects of World War 2 history. When Cyrla was at Lebensborn, I felt like I was there with her, and it felt like a prison. “One day became another, indistinguishable from all the others, unmarked even by walks out-of-doors. Lunch after breakfast, night after day, sun after snow.” My Enemy’s Cradle was a poignant story about loneliness and abandonment, about the atrocities against Jews. But it was also about love and hope and endurance, at a time when the world was at war with itself. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, and I’m very grateful to have learnt about this particular part of history.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    I’m quite sure that I say this entirely too much, but I could not put My Enemy’s Cradle down. I was completely riveted, enthralled with the characters, and sucked into a part of Nazi Germany I knew nothing about. It’s a strong book, all the way through. Beginning to end. My Enemy’s Cradle is love story filled with tragedy, heartbreak, and devastation. Which sounds incredibly contradictory, but it contains so much hope and love that the contrasting feelings pull the reader in one hundred direction I’m quite sure that I say this entirely too much, but I could not put My Enemy’s Cradle down. I was completely riveted, enthralled with the characters, and sucked into a part of Nazi Germany I knew nothing about. It’s a strong book, all the way through. Beginning to end. My Enemy’s Cradle is love story filled with tragedy, heartbreak, and devastation. Which sounds incredibly contradictory, but it contains so much hope and love that the contrasting feelings pull the reader in one hundred directions and push the reader to the every end. A nail-biting book that had me frantically turning the pages, My Enemy’s Cradle is filled realistic characters and a solid, historical plot. Particularly, the characters of Cyrla, who feels guilty for taking her cousin’s place and torn between being half-Jewish and half-Dutch… “The world was cracking in two. One world half boy solders who missed their sisters and longed to sit in cafés with girls. The other held me who wrapped girls’ faces in latrine filth, and sliced my family from me, and who would not let me pass into a park or a train if they knew who I was. The world was cracking in two, and I was falling into the void.” {pg. 26} and Nurse Ilse, who feels guilty for even being apart of the Lebensborn program but cannot leave because of parlaying fear of what they will do to her father and because she wants to provide hope for the girls who come to the maternity home alone and afraid. “I am a coward. Yes, I look away. I don’t allow myself to think about certain things. I can’t. it would kill me. So this is how I survive. This is how everyone I know survives except we can’t even talk about it. We’re all cowards.” {pg. 243} For me, though, the most interesting part was the Lebensborn program, which including the breeding of a “superior race.” Because the male population had been decimated at the end of World War I, the birthrate plummeted and the Nazis set up Lebensborn, a maternity home stock piled with food, medicine, and other scare items so girls as young as fifteen could present their country with new citizens and future soldiers. If a child was not born as apart of the “superior race,” such as one friend of Cyrla’s whose baby was born deaf, they are disposed of. My Enemy’s Cradle is a fiction account based on a horrifying truth. Young has done a fantastic job of highlighting the horrors of Hitler’s Germany, while still maintaining a gripping love story, making this adult debut a compelling and emotional read.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I really wanted to like this book because I am a fan of historical fiction, particularly that dealing with Jews and WWII. Unfortunately, I found the plot predictable, the characters flat, and the tone of the book to be too light for such a serious issue as a half Jewish woman living as a fraud in a Lebensborn (home for women pregnant with children of Nazi fathering to add to the "Master Race.") Although I do not know enough about Lebensborn, I feel as though the author paints too glossy of a pic I really wanted to like this book because I am a fan of historical fiction, particularly that dealing with Jews and WWII. Unfortunately, I found the plot predictable, the characters flat, and the tone of the book to be too light for such a serious issue as a half Jewish woman living as a fraud in a Lebensborn (home for women pregnant with children of Nazi fathering to add to the "Master Race.") Although I do not know enough about Lebensborn, I feel as though the author paints too glossy of a picture of life during war-ravaged times, especially for a Jew in a Nazi-run maternity oasis. The love story that evolved out of the plot was cliche and intensely contrived, leaving me feeling as though the book was written for someone who wants to see the world through rose-colored glasses rather than the harsh reality of what actually happened. I'm not saying that I'm looking for a pessimistic story; rather, I expect the author to deliver one that is more realistic and allows the horrors of what these women must have gone through to penetrate its readers' hearts. I was severely disappointed when I finished this book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Leanna

    I picked up Sara Young’s My Enemy’s Cradle after reading a review in USA Today a few weeks ago. The book centers around the German Lebensborn, and I was intrigued. Despite inundating myself with “Third Reich” literature over the last several years, I’d never before heard of the Lebensborn, homes for women impregnated (both willingly and unwillingly) by German soldiers. Fair-haired Cyrla, the book’s protagonist, has a Dutch mother and a Polish-Jewish father. For five years, she lives with her mothe I picked up Sara Young’s My Enemy’s Cradle after reading a review in USA Today a few weeks ago. The book centers around the German Lebensborn, and I was intrigued. Despite inundating myself with “Third Reich” literature over the last several years, I’d never before heard of the Lebensborn, homes for women impregnated (both willingly and unwillingly) by German soldiers. Fair-haired Cyrla, the book’s protagonist, has a Dutch mother and a Polish-Jewish father. For five years, she lives with her mother’s family in the Netherlands and hides her Jewish ancestry. When the family receives threats for harboring a Jew, Cyrla knows she must flee. Cyrla (Young doesn’t explain the name's pronunciation—Curla—until well into the novel; unpronounceable names is one of my pet peeves) assumes her cousin’s identity and takes refuge in a Lebensborn. The premise of this book is intriguing, and I have a strong desire to read more about the Lebensborn. Rather than a historical narrative, though, the book reads like a predictable romance novel. As a romance novel, I enjoyed Cradle. I was interested in Cyrla and her romantic entanglements. I wanted a happy ending and even shed a few tears. As a Holocaust narrative, though, the book leaves much to be desired. Young’s tale romanticizes the time period. Although it refers to the horrors and atrocities committed during WWII and the Holocaust, the book glosses over these passages. Instead, Cradle concentrates more on Cyrla’s love life and less on the truly perilous situation she and her family members find themselves in.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Diana

    This novel has the most irritating protagonist I’ve ever encountered in fiction. Completely self-absorbed, oblivious to what’s happening around her in Nazi-occupied Holland, utterly unconcerned with anyone’s feelings but her own…God, what a useless wench. The only reason I kept on reading was that it concerned the mysterious Lebensborn program during World War II. Little is known about it, and that little is still not talked about very much. It concerns illicit sex and unmarried motherhood, both This novel has the most irritating protagonist I’ve ever encountered in fiction. Completely self-absorbed, oblivious to what’s happening around her in Nazi-occupied Holland, utterly unconcerned with anyone’s feelings but her own…God, what a useless wench. The only reason I kept on reading was that it concerned the mysterious Lebensborn program during World War II. Little is known about it, and that little is still not talked about very much. It concerns illicit sex and unmarried motherhood, both frowned on in the 1940s, even in wartime Germany. I also hated the author's precious writing style. She kept on about the sunlight “spilling.” Sunlight does not spill: liquid spills. Neither does sunlight “pool.” By the end of the book, trees were "spilling" down the cliff. Give me a break! At least she had the grace to write in the past tense. I abhor novels written in the present tense and usually refuse to read them. I'd recommend this book only to those who have an abiding interest in the Lebensborn program and are willing to read a fictional account of it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    This was an interesting book about a part of WWII that I knew little about. The story highlights the Lebensborn, a birthing center for Aryan children. The story is about Cyrla, a half-Jewish young woman who is finding that life in the home of a Dutch relative is getting increasingly more difficult as the Nazi's impose stricter and stricter laws on anyone Jewish. Cyrla is best friends with her beautiful blond cousin, Annika . Not only are they best friends but they look quite alike. Without givin This was an interesting book about a part of WWII that I knew little about. The story highlights the Lebensborn, a birthing center for Aryan children. The story is about Cyrla, a half-Jewish young woman who is finding that life in the home of a Dutch relative is getting increasingly more difficult as the Nazi's impose stricter and stricter laws on anyone Jewish. Cyrla is best friends with her beautiful blond cousin, Annika . Not only are they best friends but they look quite alike. Without giving the story away, Cyrla must take on Annika's identity at the Lebensborn where she has gone to 'hide in plain sight'. I very much enjoyed the beginning and middle of the novel but I have to admit to feeling cheated at the end. I felt like the end came too quickly and seemed abrupt. It is a heart wrenching emotional story - I just wish the ending had been better!

  7. 4 out of 5

    booklady

    I know I will be in the minority but this felt too much like a modern book with an agenda and I could not get that out of my head enough to believe the story. Probably I read too many classics, because I can taste something written recently within the first 10 to 20 pages, sometimes sooner. Only read up to page 84. It was enough.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Edel

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I did not enjoy this book at all, the main character, Cyrla was very immature and shallow. Besides the poor character development, the main concept of the book was interesting, because I had no idea such pregnancy homes for women existed during World War II and how the Nazis took these children from the mothers after they were born. Most of the book consisted of Cyrla wallowing around pregnant and thinking about Izaak, a man who got her pregnant so she could go take on the identity of her cousin I did not enjoy this book at all, the main character, Cyrla was very immature and shallow. Besides the poor character development, the main concept of the book was interesting, because I had no idea such pregnancy homes for women existed during World War II and how the Nazis took these children from the mothers after they were born. Most of the book consisted of Cyrla wallowing around pregnant and thinking about Izaak, a man who got her pregnant so she could go take on the identity of her cousin at the "Lebensborn". Izaak, who she continuously pines after, shows her NO affection what so ever, and she doesn't even realize that Izaak is indifferent towards her. She even goes so far as to tell Izaak that she loves him and he does not respond! SHE still does not get the hint that he doesn't love her, even after that! She comes off as very weak and dependent on men to take care of her. The book becomes progressively worse, when, towards the end of the book she falls in love with her late cousin's boyfriend named Karl, who got Cyrla's cousin (Anneke) pregnant in the first place! This book was ridiculous and offered no character development and the story-line was very unrealistic. Cyrla frequently visited Izaak in the beginning of the book, even when their were Nazis all over the place. Ok, if there were SO many Nazis around, how could they not catch Cyrla and Izaak???? Overall, I was very displeased with this book, it had the potential to be good.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Anytime I can read about something new in well-written historical fiction, I'm all for it! The author of this adult novel taught me something and had me googling before I had even finished the book. It's a tale of the Lebensborn, a home for girls who were breeding good German stock to carry on the work of the Fuhrer. Wow.[return][return]Cyrla is 1/2 Jewish and her father sends her to the Netherlands before Hitler starts raising too much heck. But the war catches up with her in the Netherlands. N Anytime I can read about something new in well-written historical fiction, I'm all for it! The author of this adult novel taught me something and had me googling before I had even finished the book. It's a tale of the Lebensborn, a home for girls who were breeding good German stock to carry on the work of the Fuhrer. Wow.[return][return]Cyrla is 1/2 Jewish and her father sends her to the Netherlands before Hitler starts raising too much heck. But the war catches up with her in the Netherlands. No one knows she is 1/2 Jewish (maybe) but she can't keep up appearances with her Jewish boyfriend anymore. Her cousin and best friend wants to marry a German soldier who has gotten her pregnant, but things don't usually work out during wartime. Then enters the Lebensborn. These homes were full of girls who were raped or freely having German babies. Some were even like factories, churning out the Aryan race for Hitler. Wow. That's really about all I can say. The novel reads quickly and easily, but things were wrapped up a little cheesily for me at the end.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    The woman whose kids I babysit lent me this book. Apparently she got it as a gift and couldn't put it down. This one is definitely a page turner. It's kind of like historical chick-lit. I liked that it dealt with an aspect of Nazi Germany that isn't talked about very often, which is the Lebensborn project. This project was a breeding program designed to propagate the Aryan race. Girls who passed rigorous tests to determine their heritage and who were carrying German babies were allowed to give b The woman whose kids I babysit lent me this book. Apparently she got it as a gift and couldn't put it down. This one is definitely a page turner. It's kind of like historical chick-lit. I liked that it dealt with an aspect of Nazi Germany that isn't talked about very often, which is the Lebensborn project. This project was a breeding program designed to propagate the Aryan race. Girls who passed rigorous tests to determine their heritage and who were carrying German babies were allowed to give birth in a Lebensborn home. The babies were then given to German families to raise. In addition, married men were encouraged to participate in the program by impregnating as many girls as possible. The story centers around a girl, Cyrla, with a Polish Jewish father and a Dutch mother. She has blond hair and blue eyes - nothing about her appearance suggests her Jewish heritage. When WWII begins to heat up she is sent to live with her mother's sister's family in the Netherlands, who have a daughter Cyrla's age. I don't want to give too much away, but she ends up in one of the Lebensborn homes under a false name, trying to hide her Jewish heritage. So, interesting concept which I applaud because there is altogether too much holocaust fiction on the market today. But. I hated this main character. She was an idiot. She was immature, naive, whiny, and never thought through her actions, even when they could have seriously harmed her and her loved ones (and often did). You'd think that after a few incidents she might have wised up. She didn't. She was an idiot throughout the entire book. I HATE when that happens! I hated it even more because the book portrayed her in this antiquated, paternalistic light which basically says: "women are too emotional to make rational, smart decisions." On the other hand, the men in the story were always the sane, smart ones trying to help her... and in return she brushed them off, didn't take their advice, and continued to put them and herself in harm's way because she was stubborn, "just wanted" to do something, and never seemed to realize the danger of her situation. And this is written by a woman! Come ON! I couldn't relate to her at all. Think Bella from Twilight or Scarlett O'Hara (although Scarlett was mean AND an idiot. This girl was just dumb). So. That was my big beef with this book. Interesting and well written, but ultimately disappointing because of the spineless main character. The End.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kolleen

    I am one of those people that love books on the Holocost, true or not. (Call me morbid if you have to). This was a novel, but focused on Lebensborns, which are an aspect of the Holocost that has never been focused on before, and something that I didn't even realized existed. The characters in this book were so well-defined that I felt like I knew them and could understand all of their thoughts and feelings. I was so touched by this book. I loved the characters, I loved the ending, and I really r I am one of those people that love books on the Holocost, true or not. (Call me morbid if you have to). This was a novel, but focused on Lebensborns, which are an aspect of the Holocost that has never been focused on before, and something that I didn't even realized existed. The characters in this book were so well-defined that I felt like I knew them and could understand all of their thoughts and feelings. I was so touched by this book. I loved the characters, I loved the ending, and I really really hope this is a movie because I would love to see this brought to life so I can share it with all of my non-reader friends. Great book. Even if you are not into the Holocost, it is a must read. You will not be disappointed.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The Nazi Lebensborn program-that's one area I haven't found much to read outside of non-fiction. So I was intrigued, to say the least, about this book. I need to stop getting my hopes up, and just go into reading a book with zero expectations. It started out great-a Polish Jew hiding in the household of an unstable Uncle in Holland. Cousin finds herself pregnant by a Nazi Officer and quickly commits suicide. Interesting so far! And then little things here and there made me wonder if I had somehow The Nazi Lebensborn program-that's one area I haven't found much to read outside of non-fiction. So I was intrigued, to say the least, about this book. I need to stop getting my hopes up, and just go into reading a book with zero expectations. It started out great-a Polish Jew hiding in the household of an unstable Uncle in Holland. Cousin finds herself pregnant by a Nazi Officer and quickly commits suicide. Interesting so far! And then little things here and there made me wonder if I had somehow been transported to another ridiculous teen angst love triangle YA novel. The main character, Cyrla, is a Poet, which means she feels so, so, so much more and deeply than you or I. She's also incredibly selfish and uses her powerful feelings to control other people, which is just way too much high school drama. It's the I am going to make remembering my awfully bratty cousin my sole mission in life, and I will be as annoyingly rude to anyone who cant see that I just feel deeply about this! She forces someone to get her pregnant, who has explained for years why he doesn't want any emotional attachment to anyone or thing. But hey, I feel deeply over here, so give me a baby! She gets herself pregnant with a Jewish child, takes on another identity to join the Lebensborn, and then sort of flits around, not really worrying about what will happen when a seriously dark baby is born to a hospital that only prizes blonde babies. When she is presented with 3 alternatives to help her, she refuses all but the most childish escape. These poets, they need to make a scene!! She acts like a spoiled child who needs to be angry at anyone who remotely tries to help her. Karl, her dead cousins ex boyfriend, keeps her secret when he discovers her posing as Anneke in the Lebensborn, and even tries to help her. But no, Cyrla just needs to be angry, and try to piss off the one person who can either save her or destroy her. Like wildly, ridiculously, let the girl suffer the consequences of her stupidity already! Her angry reactions really don't make since for the plot and the characters, unless the author needed to tell us she was really hurt and angry-oh, wait, that's all she's been telling us!! Or, the author thought we just really, REALLY need to wonder if the two lovers will ever reconcile their differences and find true love. As a way to prove he is sorry Anneke killed herself, Karl creates a makeshift funeral to help Cyrla get some closure and say goodbye. He goes to place roses on her grave, but she is angered that rose thorns might go in that fake grave. This is typical emotional nonsense from Cyrla: '"No". I picked them up. One by one, I plucked the petals off and dropped them over the fresh dirt. They fell like slices of my heart. This should hurt more, I thought.' Why, honestly, why? Because she feels so, so, so much! She's a poet, dontchaknow? Here's another what the what moment: When Cyrla finds out Anneke had dated her crush secretly, she feels no betrayal or anger, no Anneke-you selfish cow! just, oh, Anneke, I hope you're happy now. But Cryla needs to endlessly atone for what...finding her dead cousin's ex boyfriend attractive? Just so ridiculous and contrived. Guess I'll go back to the history books and wikipedia for more info on the Lebensborn.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Bennett

    I have read a lot of books on the Holocaust. So far I have enjoyed every one of them. Some more than others. This book is not on that list. I couldn't even finish it and I almost never leave a book unfinished! My complaint was the way it was written. I felt it was very "child-like". The main character, Cyrla, when I started reading this book seemed like she was around 12 years old. Turns out she is nineteen. Yet she had a very childish mind. To be a 19 year old whose mother had died and whose fa I have read a lot of books on the Holocaust. So far I have enjoyed every one of them. Some more than others. This book is not on that list. I couldn't even finish it and I almost never leave a book unfinished! My complaint was the way it was written. I felt it was very "child-like". The main character, Cyrla, when I started reading this book seemed like she was around 12 years old. Turns out she is nineteen. Yet she had a very childish mind. To be a 19 year old whose mother had died and whose father has sent her away to live with other relatives in the midst of war makes a child grow up very quickly. This was not the sense that I received from reading this book. I wanted to like her and the other characters but there was nothing there to pull me to them. The only reason I stuck with this book as long as I did was the story behind it. The Lebonsborn Project is a horrifying account that took place between 1935-1945. It is not a subject that I have been able to find a lot of books on. So with this book (even with it being fictitious)I was so eager to read it. I tried to stick with it, even flipping near the end of the book to see if it got better but to no avail. I would have to say to pass this one up or at least glance through it at a bookstore and see if you can handle the writing style before you purchase it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    JudiAnne

    Cyrla and Anneke are cousins who look enough alike to be twins. Cyrla, who is half Dutch, has been sent by her father to safely live with her mother's Dutch relations in Holland as Hitler's army occupies Poland. Being half Jewish from her father's side life is any thing but safe for Cyrla as the neighbors are afraid to associate with her when it is apparent that Holland is about to be occupied by Hitler's army. In the meantime, Anneke falls in love with a Karl, a German soldier. He shortly aband Cyrla and Anneke are cousins who look enough alike to be twins. Cyrla, who is half Dutch, has been sent by her father to safely live with her mother's Dutch relations in Holland as Hitler's army occupies Poland. Being half Jewish from her father's side life is any thing but safe for Cyrla as the neighbors are afraid to associate with her when it is apparent that Holland is about to be occupied by Hitler's army. In the meantime, Anneke falls in love with a Karl, a German soldier. He shortly abandons her after she finds out she is pregnant. Her father is outraged and decides to send her to Lebensborn, a secret maternity home created by the Nazis, where Aryan girls can have their babies, in comfort, which are fathered by German soldiers. The babies were then adopted out to German families with the intention that they grow up to purify the German race. A tragic chain of events cause Cyrla to assume Anneke's identity and go in her place With twists and turns suspense, there is still hope for the future portrayed in this novel. I thoroughly enjoyed this romantic novel set against the tragedies of wartime. I am amazed that I had never heard of the Lebensborn program until this novel. I did some research of this sinister project because it was unbelievable to me and found out it was horrifyingly real!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    Okay. Here's what I think happened. I think the author found out about the Lebensborns and decided to write a novel about them. And since we're writing about WWII, why not add in a Jew trying to hide from the Nazis? It just got too melodramatic for me. I tried skipping around, hoping to find the story and/or the characters compelling at some point, but it never happened. Young's one strength she shares with Dan Brown: she can write cliffhangers that keep you reading, even if you don't like anyon Okay. Here's what I think happened. I think the author found out about the Lebensborns and decided to write a novel about them. And since we're writing about WWII, why not add in a Jew trying to hide from the Nazis? It just got too melodramatic for me. I tried skipping around, hoping to find the story and/or the characters compelling at some point, but it never happened. Young's one strength she shares with Dan Brown: she can write cliffhangers that keep you reading, even if you don't like anyone. But I still gave up reading it, and I don't plan to go back to it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Judy

    I absolutely LOVED this book. I found it very interesting, a page turner, and I didn't want to put it down. My only complaint was the ending. All of a sudden the book ended very abruptly. It definitely could have gone on at least another chapter or two. It also could have had a sequel written but this book was originally published in 2008 so I don't see that being very likely. I thought about taking a star away because of the ending, but decided against it because the book gave me so many hours I absolutely LOVED this book. I found it very interesting, a page turner, and I didn't want to put it down. My only complaint was the ending. All of a sudden the book ended very abruptly. It definitely could have gone on at least another chapter or two. It also could have had a sequel written but this book was originally published in 2008 so I don't see that being very likely. I thought about taking a star away because of the ending, but decided against it because the book gave me so many hours of reading entertainment. With that, I still highly recommend this book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jaime Rorabeck

    My Enemy's Cradle had so much potential....I had never heard about Lebensborns, maternity homes for mothers of future nazi's and they are a sad fact of those times. However, the plot does not thicken, but becomes sappy and unbelievable. I wasted about 250 pages and couldn't take it anymore. I hate to not finish a book, but I hated to waste my time even more. My Enemy's Cradle had so much potential....I had never heard about Lebensborns, maternity homes for mothers of future nazi's and they are a sad fact of those times. However, the plot does not thicken, but becomes sappy and unbelievable. I wasted about 250 pages and couldn't take it anymore. I hate to not finish a book, but I hated to waste my time even more.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    This is an amazing story about a little known Nazi plan to create babies for the Third Reich. A great read!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Liz Smith

    This book was irritating.

  20. 5 out of 5

    thewanderingjew

    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 b 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/j... 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.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    I expected this novel about a Jewish woman in a Lebensborn setting to be more interesting than it was. It turned out to be more of a romantic book and less of a historical novel than I hoped.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    A very memorable story of young ladies and how they suffered during WWII. They weren't put in concentration camps, but they were victims of cruelty just the same. The author uses the backdrop of Hitler's maternity homes as she paints the story of one girl's search for safety during the war. I enjoyed this book because it's a very interesting plot line that keeps you constantly on your toes as you read it. And the author does a wonderful job developing the characters, peeling away layer after lay A very memorable story of young ladies and how they suffered during WWII. They weren't put in concentration camps, but they were victims of cruelty just the same. The author uses the backdrop of Hitler's maternity homes as she paints the story of one girl's search for safety during the war. I enjoyed this book because it's a very interesting plot line that keeps you constantly on your toes as you read it. And the author does a wonderful job developing the characters, peeling away layer after layer as you get to know them better. The heartbreak they face is so easy to feel, and it's a good reminder of how human cruelty has such a profound impact on so many lives. Get ready to be surprised as you read the book. And get ready to have it touch your heart. How can you not be disturbed as you learn the truth about how the Nazi's stole children from their mothers? And during a time of war and hunger, it is sad to think that women found a safe haven by producing babies that would be taken away from them. It's another very dark side of the Nazi regime. And as an adoptive mom of a child who lived in an orphanage as an infant, it was extremely sad to read about how the Germans placed these children in orphanages for the first few months of their lives before placing them with "adoptive" families. They didn't realize (or didn't care) about the emotional damage they did to the kids by not placing them right away with families. Thanks go to my friend Debbie for loaning me this book! (And finally finding a book we both like!)

  23. 5 out of 5

    Gail Amendt

    This one is a really hard one to rate. It was quite gripping, and I read it in a couple of days as I had to keep going to find out what happened next. It was, however, somewhat disappointing from a historical fiction perspective. Judging by the author's note and acknowledgements at the end of the book, the author was trying to write a historical novel about the Lebensborns, maternity homes set up by the Nazis for suitably Aryan women pregnant with the children of Nazi officers. This could have m This one is a really hard one to rate. It was quite gripping, and I read it in a couple of days as I had to keep going to find out what happened next. It was, however, somewhat disappointing from a historical fiction perspective. Judging by the author's note and acknowledgements at the end of the book, the author was trying to write a historical novel about the Lebensborns, maternity homes set up by the Nazis for suitably Aryan women pregnant with the children of Nazi officers. This could have made for a fascinating historical novel, as this is an almost unknown part of WWII history. The story of a Jewish woman hiding in one these homes under an assumed identity should have been especially fascinating. This book, however, was more of a romance novel in a historical setting as it tended to gloss over the horrors of the war and really did not go into much depth on the hardships, brutality and tragedies of that time. It was short on history and realism and long on sex scenes. The writing style was rather simple, and at times I found myself feeling like I was reading a young adult novel. Perhaps this is because the author does write children's books under another name, and had difficulty writing in a more mature tone. The sex scenes, however, make it clear that this book is intended for adults. This book could have been so much more. It is not a bad book. I did enjoy it, it was a compelling story, and I did learn about the Lebensborns, but I would have preferred less sex and more historical content.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Maggie Boyd

    This book has to contain some of the worst plotting I have ever seen. Cryla, a young woman (19) is living in Amsterdam with her mothers family. Her father, who is Jewish, sent her whenever the new regime (Nazis) arrived in Poland. Cryla has no understanding of what it means to be Jewish during this time period. Her uncle shows her all the newspaper announcements about the Jewish restrictions and she feels he is just being mean. Her Jewish boyfriend, who has endless privileges taken away from him This book has to contain some of the worst plotting I have ever seen. Cryla, a young woman (19) is living in Amsterdam with her mothers family. Her father, who is Jewish, sent her whenever the new regime (Nazis) arrived in Poland. Cryla has no understanding of what it means to be Jewish during this time period. Her uncle shows her all the newspaper announcements about the Jewish restrictions and she feels he is just being mean. Her Jewish boyfriend, who has endless privileges taken away from him constantly, tries to explain to her what is happening and she doesn't believe him in spite of seeing it with her own eyes. Through a series of ridiculous events Cryla finds herself at a Lebensborn, a maternity home for girls carrying German babies. However, the baby she is carrying belongs to black haired, brown eyed Jewish Isaac. Lebensborn babies are only ever released to their fathers' custody--or taken away. It is Cryla's hope that her Jewish boyfriend will come to this Nazi stronghold which is guarded 24/7. Cryla is way beyond TSTL. The information about the Lebensborn was fascinating but it did not make up for an outrageous plot and a heroine that had less intelligence than the average two year old.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Princess

    This book is incredibly powerful. I tend to have a difficult time reading books set during the Holocaust. Both my husband and I have German heritage and it makes the atrocities so much more real to me knowing what I do about family history and conscription. That being said, I couldn't put this book down. I was hooked from the start. The storyline is intriguing. The Lebensborn is a home for mothers pregnant with German babies. Cyrla's cousin, Anneke, is pregnant and has passed the admissions requ This book is incredibly powerful. I tend to have a difficult time reading books set during the Holocaust. Both my husband and I have German heritage and it makes the atrocities so much more real to me knowing what I do about family history and conscription. That being said, I couldn't put this book down. I was hooked from the start. The storyline is intriguing. The Lebensborn is a home for mothers pregnant with German babies. Cyrla's cousin, Anneke, is pregnant and has passed the admissions requirements. Cyrla is a half-Jewish Pole who has been hiding in her cousin's home in the Netherlands. Anneke and Cyrla are almost identical and through a cruel twist, Cyrla ends up taking Anneke's place in the Lebensborn. This is a love story with all the complications that make real life messy. This is also a war story that draws you in completely to a different time and place. It's compelling and heart wrenching and real. I wish the ending had come a little more slowly, not quite as abrupt but I feel that overall the book is completely genuine.

  26. 5 out of 5

    ☕Laura

    Prior to reading this book I knew nothing of the Lebensborn -- Nazi-sponsored homes for German or "suitably Aryan" women carrying babies fathered by German men -- yet another atrocity of the Nazi regime. These babies were treated as a commodity -- more future soldiers or future mothers of soldiers -- and the women were encouraged to produce as many children with German soldiers as possible. Against this backdrop we are offered the story of Cyrla, a young woman of partial Jewish parentage who ent Prior to reading this book I knew nothing of the Lebensborn -- Nazi-sponsored homes for German or "suitably Aryan" women carrying babies fathered by German men -- yet another atrocity of the Nazi regime. These babies were treated as a commodity -- more future soldiers or future mothers of soldiers -- and the women were encouraged to produce as many children with German soldiers as possible. Against this backdrop we are offered the story of Cyrla, a young woman of partial Jewish parentage who enters one of the Lebensborn homes using the identity of her cousin, Anneke. There are moments of beauty, moments of sadness, moments of horror and many moments of suspense, and I found myself reluctant to put this book down.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Christine Emme

    I read this book really quickly and I enjoyed it the whole time. I have read a lot of books about the holocaust (and I even took a Holocaust & Genocide Studies class) but never knew about the Lebensborn. It was really interesting. Cyrla's character is well-developed and you really feel for her. At times the plot was a bit soap opera like, but I didn't really mind it because the book held my attention really well and I was emotionally invested in the story. The love scenes were kinda intense in a I read this book really quickly and I enjoyed it the whole time. I have read a lot of books about the holocaust (and I even took a Holocaust & Genocide Studies class) but never knew about the Lebensborn. It was really interesting. Cyrla's character is well-developed and you really feel for her. At times the plot was a bit soap opera like, but I didn't really mind it because the book held my attention really well and I was emotionally invested in the story. The love scenes were kinda intense in a romance novel type of way.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Keri

    I picked this up at the library, and based on the reviews, expected it to be along the lines of "Anne Frank". While the subject matter is similar, this is more adult, and I really felt that the "love scenes" took away from the story. I also did not come away from this book with the same feeling as I did - probably because this book, while set around some horrific events, comes across as purely fiction. I picked this up at the library, and based on the reviews, expected it to be along the lines of "Anne Frank". While the subject matter is similar, this is more adult, and I really felt that the "love scenes" took away from the story. I also did not come away from this book with the same feeling as I did - probably because this book, while set around some horrific events, comes across as purely fiction.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Renee

    What a great, quick read. I found it very interesting – I learned about something of which I had little knowledge. It felt like this was a real survivor’s account and not fiction. A worthwhile read.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    I struggled between giving this book 4 stars or 5. This was mainly due to what felt like plot holes, decisions some characters made which didn’t seem logical. But now I think that only made the characters more human. The beginning is slow but it really picks up near the end. In the end, I actually really loved this book. I don’t normally reread books, but I think I will definitely read this one again one day.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.