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The German Midwife: A must read historical romance from the USA Today best seller

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Germany, 1944. A prisoner in the camps, Anke Hoff is doing what she can to keep her pregnant campmates and their newborns alive. But when Anke's work is noticed, she is chosen for a task more dangerous than she could ever have imagined. Eva Braun is pregnant with the Führer's child, and Anke is assigned as her midwife. Before long, Anke is faced with an impossible choice. Do Germany, 1944. A prisoner in the camps, Anke Hoff is doing what she can to keep her pregnant campmates and their newborns alive. But when Anke's work is noticed, she is chosen for a task more dangerous than she could ever have imagined. Eva Braun is pregnant with the Führer's child, and Anke is assigned as her midwife. Before long, Anke is faced with an impossible choice. Does she serve the Reich she loathes and keep the baby alive? Or does she sacrifice an innocent child for the good of a broken world? An unforgettable tale of courage, betrayal and survival in the hardest of circumstances, perfect for readers of The Tattooist of Auschwitz and The Alice Network.


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Germany, 1944. A prisoner in the camps, Anke Hoff is doing what she can to keep her pregnant campmates and their newborns alive. But when Anke's work is noticed, she is chosen for a task more dangerous than she could ever have imagined. Eva Braun is pregnant with the Führer's child, and Anke is assigned as her midwife. Before long, Anke is faced with an impossible choice. Do Germany, 1944. A prisoner in the camps, Anke Hoff is doing what she can to keep her pregnant campmates and their newborns alive. But when Anke's work is noticed, she is chosen for a task more dangerous than she could ever have imagined. Eva Braun is pregnant with the Führer's child, and Anke is assigned as her midwife. Before long, Anke is faced with an impossible choice. Does she serve the Reich she loathes and keep the baby alive? Or does she sacrifice an innocent child for the good of a broken world? An unforgettable tale of courage, betrayal and survival in the hardest of circumstances, perfect for readers of The Tattooist of Auschwitz and The Alice Network.

30 review for The German Midwife: A must read historical romance from the USA Today best seller

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kylie D

    I really did enjoy this book. It's definitely one to get you wondering! It's the story of Anke, a young German woman who has been a prisoner in a concentration camp during WW2 as a political prisoner. However, her growing reputation as a midwife in the camp sees her relocated and forced to act as a midwife to high ranking Nazi's wives, and she finds herself at the highest echelon of Nazi officialdom. Anke has conflicted views, struggling for working to help the regime that incarcerated her and h I really did enjoy this book. It's definitely one to get you wondering! It's the story of Anke, a young German woman who has been a prisoner in a concentration camp during WW2 as a political prisoner. However, her growing reputation as a midwife in the camp sees her relocated and forced to act as a midwife to high ranking Nazi's wives, and she finds herself at the highest echelon of Nazi officialdom. Anke has conflicted views, struggling for working to help the regime that incarcerated her and her family, yet a desire to help any woman in need during childbirth. It's the innocent babies she's most concerned about. Yet there is always the threat of something going wrong during childbirth, where the regime will easily find a scapegoat in the midwife. Anke has no idea if she will survive this never ending war. This is a little gem of a book, Mandy Robotham tells a tale that is so realistic that the reader is left asking 'What if...'. I recommend this book to all lovers of Historical Fiction. My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    The German Midwife or it's alternative title A Woman at War tackles a "what if" in this historical fiction. A political prisoner in Ravensbruck concentration camp, Anke Hoff is recruited to become the midwife of Eva Braun, mistress of Adolf Hitler. Confusion draped again like a thick fog, twisting the moral threads in my brain. I was supposed to feel dislike towards this woman, hatred even. She had danced with the devil, created, and was now nurturing, his child. And yet she appeared like any wo The German Midwife or it's alternative title A Woman at War tackles a "what if" in this historical fiction. A political prisoner in Ravensbruck concentration camp, Anke Hoff is recruited to become the midwife of Eva Braun, mistress of Adolf Hitler. Confusion draped again like a thick fog, twisting the moral threads in my brain. I was supposed to feel dislike towards this woman, hatred even. She had danced with the devil, created, and was now nurturing, his child. And yet she appeared like any woman with a proud bump and dreams of cradling her newborn. I wished there and then, I was back in the camp with Rosa by my side, where the world was ugly, but at least it was black and white. Where I knew who to seethe against, and who the enemy was. Although the Eva Braun storyline is based on speculation rathar than concrete historical fact, the conditions of Ravensbruck that Anke and the other prisoners face and the atmosphere in Germany during this period are accurate. The author actually draws much of her research from the nonfiction bookIf this is A Woman by Sarah Helm. A book that I highly recommend. A compelling story that I just couldn't put down. Goodreads review published 02/09/19

  3. 4 out of 5

    Bev Walkling

    Many thanks to Avon Books UK & #NetGalley for allowing me to read an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was extremely pleased to receive a copy of this book to read and review and am happy to report that I really enjoyed reading it. The cover art grabbed my attention as did the subject matter. I am a retired public health nurse and taught prenatal classes for approximately twenty years so this book was right down my alley. If the reader is looking for a story that is str Many thanks to Avon Books UK & #NetGalley for allowing me to read an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was extremely pleased to receive a copy of this book to read and review and am happy to report that I really enjoyed reading it. The cover art grabbed my attention as did the subject matter. I am a retired public health nurse and taught prenatal classes for approximately twenty years so this book was right down my alley. If the reader is looking for a story that is strictly factual then perhaps this story is not for them, but if you have ever heard a piece of news or studied a time period in history only to wonder "What if...." then you will surely enjoy this book. The author was inspired by a real and desperate time in history - the second world war and the genocide which was waged against the Jewish people. Her main character is a German midwife who is NOT Jewish but whose beliefs about how all labouring women and newborn babies should be treated lands her in Ravensbruck Concentration Camp. The story of women giving birth only to have their newborns taken from them to be put to death was horrifying to read and yet it did happen. There are graphic descriptions of women giving birth which have beauty in spite of the horrific location. Clearly the author did her research on the time period and her own experience as a midwife made the descriptions come to life. Things do not end in the concentration camp though. Anke Hoff (the midwife) finds herself transferred from the camp to a completely different location where she is expected to be the private midwife to a very important German woman. The life of her family is held over her to make sure that she will co-operate. In spite of such a strong incentive she still finds herself questioning her innermost beliefs about what is right and what she will or will not do in terms of the birth of this important baby. There are twists and turns in this novel and even a little romance (although it is not the main thrust of the book). The ending came as a real surprise to me. For a debut novel this was extremely well done! From the first pages of the book I was enthralled and had real trouble putting the book down in spite of the fact that I had a houseful of company to feed and entertain. This is a book that I won't soon forget. I highly recommend it especially if you are interested in novels set in World War 2 Germany.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jeanette Lewis

    In 1939 Anke Hoff is working as a midwife in the maternity section of a Berlin hospital when a Nazi directive is presented to all maternity staff that any babies born with a disability or with a deformity be reported to the authorities. As a dedicated midwife Anke does not support this directive, her belief is that regardless of any hiccup of nature every baby born is loved. This sets the scene for the reader to know Anke, a young German woman caught up in a time of great turmoil, distrust and e In 1939 Anke Hoff is working as a midwife in the maternity section of a Berlin hospital when a Nazi directive is presented to all maternity staff that any babies born with a disability or with a deformity be reported to the authorities. As a dedicated midwife Anke does not support this directive, her belief is that regardless of any hiccup of nature every baby born is loved. This sets the scene for the reader to know Anke, a young German woman caught up in a time of great turmoil, distrust and evil and for which in 1942 she finds herself in a maternity section of a concentration camp, a political prisoner due to her father's and brother's non-support of the war. The conditions are deplorable and the unbelievable cruelty suffered by the women who in the main have become pregnant due to being raped, or the few who have arrived at the camp pregnant from their previous lives is distressing to read. Non Jewish women are allowed to try and care for their babies until in most cases they die due to the very circumstances they are born into. Jewish mothers have their babies removed at birth with immediate death the general outcome. Unexpectedly Anke is ordered to the Commandant's office where she receives compliments on her excellent midwifery skills but with the veiled threat of harm to her family unless she complies with the order he has received. She is informed that she is needed elsewhere for a very important and confidential role. She has no belongings to collect, her dress is threadbare, holes in worn shoes and is malnutriced. Anke is taken in a chauffeur driven car to her new destination. From here on the reader along with Anke is transported to a very different world, a world of luxury and excesses on top of a mountain retreat where she is informed that she has only one patient to care for. Shocked at her change of circumstances Anke now realises that she and her imprisoned family are in a more perilous predicament. The author has created a thought provoking story wrapped around the caring and responsibilities of midwifery with her central character of Anke Hoff. However, possible events portrayed in this book make cause for serious contemplation of a future world with a perfect storm of evil. Many thanks to Netgalley and AVON publishers (div of Harper Collins Publishers) for the opportunity to read and review this remarkable book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Alayne Emmett

    This was a really good book. It was a quick read as the chapters were very short and I found I couldn’t put it down. It was so well written and very plausible, although at times I kept thinking, is this true, was there a child? At times it made me shiver with the thought of it. Apart from that it was lovely and I’m interested in reading more of her books.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kat

    In the acknowledgements of this historical romance, author Mandy Robotham said she wanted to imagine a “what if” scenario where a midwife would be put in impossible circumstances—in this case to care for a secret baby to be born to Eva Braun, mistress of Hitler, after all the horrors she’d witnessed in the Nazi death camps. Midwife Anke Hoff is determined that her patient will be treated no differently from any other. But her assignment remains a prison, merely a more comfortable one. This was w In the acknowledgements of this historical romance, author Mandy Robotham said she wanted to imagine a “what if” scenario where a midwife would be put in impossible circumstances—in this case to care for a secret baby to be born to Eva Braun, mistress of Hitler, after all the horrors she’d witnessed in the Nazi death camps. Midwife Anke Hoff is determined that her patient will be treated no differently from any other. But her assignment remains a prison, merely a more comfortable one. This was well written and had dual timelines detailing Anke’s time earlier in the war, and switching back to the present, where she is with Eva. There is also a romance with the Captain assigned to guard her—and this relationship, along with the relationship Anke has with Eva, was the most interesting of the novel. The author is a midwife, and the detailed medical scenes were extremely well done. Trigger Warnings: (view spoiler)[ graphic childbirth scenes including death, concentration camp scenes (hide spoiler)] Please excuse typos/name misspellings. Entered on screen reader.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    Find this and other reviews at: https://historicalfictionreader.blogs... Most readers seem to have enjoyed the time they spent with Mandy Robotham’s The German Midwife (aka A Woman of War), but I have to admit the novel left me conflicted. As I understand it, Hitler’s few living relations have voluntarily committed themselves to intentionally stamping out their bloodline and I had great difficulty rectifying that knowledge against the context of Robotham’s work. I appreciate the theories that insp Find this and other reviews at: https://historicalfictionreader.blogs... Most readers seem to have enjoyed the time they spent with Mandy Robotham’s The German Midwife (aka A Woman of War), but I have to admit the novel left me conflicted. As I understand it, Hitler’s few living relations have voluntarily committed themselves to intentionally stamping out their bloodline and I had great difficulty rectifying that knowledge against the context of Robotham’s work. I appreciate the theories that inspired this piece, but I also felt the framework Robotham chose thumbs its nose at the intensely personal decisions of very real people and couldn’t help wishing she’d opted to express herself through a different lens. By pure coincidence, I also read this novel alongside I Was A Doctor In Auschwitz. The memoir, penned by Gisella Perl, is the firsthand account of the time its author spent as an inmate gynecologist. Fair or not, the natural overlap in subject matter prompted unconscious comparison and while I felt the fiction heavy, I couldn’t help noticing it the paler of the two. The course of Perl’s experiences with the officers of the camp also undermined Anke’s rise and at the end of the day, I found I had little patience for the fiction. When all is said and done, I liked the ideas on which this story was built and appreciate Robotham’s style of writing but have such mixed feelings about the historic context and contemporary implications that I’d have a hard time recommending it forward.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    What if Hitler had a child? Midwife Anke, a German political prisoner, is forced to attend to pregnant Eva Braun, Hitler's mistress. An interesting premise for a book! Although it started off fast-paced, I found this debut novel dragged in places, occasionally catching me nodding off. At times, this book read like a birthing manual for anyone interested in obstetrics (actually, I found these parts interesting!). Anke deplores the Reich and all it stands for, but she falls in love with Dieter, a g What if Hitler had a child? Midwife Anke, a German political prisoner, is forced to attend to pregnant Eva Braun, Hitler's mistress. An interesting premise for a book! Although it started off fast-paced, I found this debut novel dragged in places, occasionally catching me nodding off. At times, this book read like a birthing manual for anyone interested in obstetrics (actually, I found these parts interesting!). Anke deplores the Reich and all it stands for, but she falls in love with Dieter, a good-looking but kindhearted SS officer (an oxymoron, in my opinion). So many incidences occurred during Anke's stay at Berghof that I would think, "Now there'll be trouble!", but nothing really came of them, leaving me to question, "What was the point writing about that?" To me, the character development of Anke fell short that I felt little emotion or affinity for her. So many possible endings could have been written that I was surprised, but a little disappointed, with the one that was chosen. Overall, some portions were interesting/entertaining, but this isn't a book I will put on my "Favorites" bookshelf.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Linda Hurley

    I am gasping!!I'm not sure if I liked it or hated it. The writing is good and I stayed in the book intensely, that's not the problem. The atrocities of WWII continue to pile up in my head. I'm not sure I was ready for this fiction or to consider having feelings for Eva Braun. Good writing but very heart wrenching. I am gasping!!I'm not sure if I liked it or hated it. The writing is good and I stayed in the book intensely, that's not the problem. The atrocities of WWII continue to pile up in my head. I'm not sure I was ready for this fiction or to consider having feelings for Eva Braun. Good writing but very heart wrenching.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede

    Don't read this review if you are worried about spoilers. It's hard to write about this book without addressing the main event in this book and I was spoiled myself before I started this book. Although that just intrigued me... Anka Hoff, a midwife sent to a camp is the "lucky" one to be selected to help a woman through her pregnancy and upcoming delivery. The woman is Eva Braun. Yup, she's expecting Adolf Hitler's love child. But, what you think now. Eva and Adolf did not have any children. Don't read this review if you are worried about spoilers. It's hard to write about this book without addressing the main event in this book and I was spoiled myself before I started this book. Although that just intrigued me... Anka Hoff, a midwife sent to a camp is the "lucky" one to be selected to help a woman through her pregnancy and upcoming delivery. The woman is Eva Braun. Yup, she's expecting Adolf Hitler's love child. But, what you think now. Eva and Adolf did not have any children. Right, this is a "what if" story. Totally fiction. However, it's so very well written that you for the moment you read this book actually starts to think about what would have happened if this would have been the truth. An heir to Hitler. But, also an innocent child. This story is interwoven with flashbacks to Anka's time at Ravensbrück. How she came to be there and what she experiences there. It's a very strong story, with some tough moments. Anka herself falls in love with someone, but can their love last? A Woman of War is a tough book to read, but well worth it. If you enjoy "what if stories" or like to read WW2 novels than I recommend this book warmly! I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    A woman at war by Mandy Robotham is her debut novel and what a great one it is. Set in Germany in 1944 Anker Hoff is a Midwife in a concentration camp, dealing with helping the women prisoners giving birth to their babies and the problems what occur afterwards. When she is called to Hitler’s inner circle to become the Midwife of Eva Braun, that is pregnant with the Fuhrer’s child. She has no choice but to agree, so she can keep her family safe. They are also prisoners in camps scattered over Ger A woman at war by Mandy Robotham is her debut novel and what a great one it is. Set in Germany in 1944 Anker Hoff is a Midwife in a concentration camp, dealing with helping the women prisoners giving birth to their babies and the problems what occur afterwards. When she is called to Hitler’s inner circle to become the Midwife of Eva Braun, that is pregnant with the Fuhrer’s child. She has no choice but to agree, so she can keep her family safe. They are also prisoners in camps scattered over Germany. When I read the blurb and it was comparing it to the Tattooist of Auschwitz. I had to read this. I understand that this is pure fiction and the Tattooist of Auschwitz is true life. But this didn’t deter me. I really enjoyed The Woman at war. I think it’s a brilliant first novel. The Author has really done her homework with the research. It has great characters and the novel is realistic and shows of the other atrocities and the suffering that happened in Germany in world war 2. The story made me feel I was actually there. I highly recommend. Thank you NetGalley and Avon books for ARC of this book.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Genevieve Graham

    My #1 favourite book of 2019. From the opening pages, I was swept into an entirely real, horrific world, filled with stunning, yet subtly included - as they would be, if they were seen from the character’s viewpoint - details. We have all read wartime novels that have moved us, taken us to terrible places in our hearts and minds, but this book ... It was more. Holocaust and Gestapo stories woven together by unexpected, expert inside knowledge, fibres of the deeply personal life of the midwife, t My #1 favourite book of 2019. From the opening pages, I was swept into an entirely real, horrific world, filled with stunning, yet subtly included - as they would be, if they were seen from the character’s viewpoint - details. We have all read wartime novels that have moved us, taken us to terrible places in our hearts and minds, but this book ... It was more. Holocaust and Gestapo stories woven together by unexpected, expert inside knowledge, fibres of the deeply personal life of the midwife, tales of love and grief that won’t leave me. I was convinced, my heart breaking, my mind hungry for more. “The German Midwife” (the title I read) was Ms Robotham’s debut novel, but it is clear she is as passionate and skilled as an author as she ever was as a midwife. And in that, I wonder if she has an equal. Every sentence, every word was beautifully crafted. I am not often moved to write to an author, but I shall be writing to her tonight. Thank you for this incredible journey, Ms Robotham. I look forward to experiencing your next journey. One of so many favourite lines: “I raised the cup to my lips, thinking of Dieter, and I let the tears fall over the rim, the brine adding to the bitterness of the beans.”

  13. 4 out of 5

    Tammy(PeaceLoveBooks)

    A Woman of War is a heartbreaking “what if”story. Anke is a German midwife who is in a Nazi work camp during World War Two. She is pulled from the camp and taken to Berghof to care for a pregnant Eva Braun, Hitler’s mistress. Anke struggles with doing the right thing...caring for Eva and her unborn child or helping the resistance. Mandy Robotham’s debut novel is well written and a great read for historical fiction fans!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Bookworm

    DNF at 44% I’m definitely going against the grain on this one. I normally enjoy WW2 historical fiction and The German Midwife sounded intriguing. However the story itself was dull. It lacked historical detail and was mostly about delivering babies. The MC’s dilemma wasn’t enough to keep me invested. I listened to the audio and perhaps this contributed to my disinterest as the narrator’s performance was monotone. I kept tuning out and was reluctant to turn the audio back on after putting it down.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lynn Gionette

    3.5. It was good! Is it the must read of 2019? Nope. It would be a terrific book club book Note, the author is a midwife so the birthing scenes are incredibly long and detailed.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Carole

    Just when I feel like I’ve read enough of Hitlers’ war against the Jews here comes a very good book about a German midwife assigned to help care for the mistress who will bear his child. Anke agrees to move to the compound and monitor the progress of the pregnancy. This move will ensure the safety of her family. There as a prisoner she meets a German officer, who seems to care for her. I learned some interesting things about midwifery and the stages of labor. I would recommend this if you like h Just when I feel like I’ve read enough of Hitlers’ war against the Jews here comes a very good book about a German midwife assigned to help care for the mistress who will bear his child. Anke agrees to move to the compound and monitor the progress of the pregnancy. This move will ensure the safety of her family. There as a prisoner she meets a German officer, who seems to care for her. I learned some interesting things about midwifery and the stages of labor. I would recommend this if you like historical fiction.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Helene

    I read The Berlin Girl by the same author first and did not like it very much as I felt there were a lot of cliches. But this book is excellent. Well researched and heartfelt, showing all the nuances of this difficult subject. Although the story is speculative it is quite believable.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Toni Vincett

    What a brilliant book

  19. 5 out of 5

    Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews

    *https://mrsbbookreviews.wordpress.com The German Midwife is the debut historical fiction release from Mandy Robotham, also published under the title A Woman of War. The German Midwife is a powerful, affecting and unforgettable novel presenting an intriguing historical possibility – that Hitler had a child by Eva Braun. Speculative, thought provoking and heartbreaking, The German Midwife is an engrossing tale that enthralls from page one. Two concurrent narratives running from 1939 through to 1944 *https://mrsbbookreviews.wordpress.com The German Midwife is the debut historical fiction release from Mandy Robotham, also published under the title A Woman of War. The German Midwife is a powerful, affecting and unforgettable novel presenting an intriguing historical possibility – that Hitler had a child by Eva Braun. Speculative, thought provoking and heartbreaking, The German Midwife is an engrossing tale that enthralls from page one. Two concurrent narratives running from 1939 through to 1944 forms The German Midwife. Mandy Robotham’s novel reveals the heart wrenching story of Anke Hoff, a midwife who is imprisoned in the notorious Ravensbrück concentration camp during the war. Anke tries hard to conceal her midwifery skills from the guards at the camp, but she cannot help but intervene when her fellow campmates find themselves in trouble while giving birth. Anke’s special gift in bringing babies into the world attracts the attention of the camp officials, who issue Anke with the care of Hilter’s unborn child by Eva Braun. This dangerous situation thrusts Anke in the pathway of possible freedom, love and difficult moral choices. Anke faces her most challenging case yet in tending to the birth of the Führer’s child. I was fortunate enough to pick up The German Midwife by Mandy Robotham, directly following my experience of Robotham’s latest release, The Berlin Girl. The German Midwife was recommended to me by a like minded reader. The German Midwife was a great book to close my reading year on, a solid five-star rating followed my experience with this unforgettable novel. Drawing on her first-hand experiences as a practicing midwife, Mandy Robotham has fully utilised her knowledge, skills and expertise to craft a deeply authentic novel. I felt all the situations involving the birth scenarios, the expectant mothers and the after birth care Robotham’s lead protagonist offered was precise. All the situations presented involving birthing were incredibly vivid and I felt like an assistant nurse to Anke at many points of the novel. Robotham’s prose has a way of drawing you right in so that you feel the emotion and angst connected to the different experiences put forward in this affective historical composition. With so many historical fiction novels out there focused on Hitler’s reign, it is getting harder and harder to surprise readers with an original premise. However, The German Midwife did manage to distinguish itself from other books of this genre on offer. I really connected to the interesting scenario put forward by Robotham, that Hitler’s mistress and eventual wife birthed his child. I haven’t come across a story that has presented this ‘what if’ scenario before, so I fully appreciated Robotham’s creative reimagining. The situation put forward did seem very plausible and not fantasy based at all. Robotham’s approach which intertwines real-life figures with a fictional cast worked extremely well in my opinion. I was really taken in by the lead Anke, a pillar of strength who displayed courage and empathy in the face of great adversity. I also loved the sense of friendship, comradery and the gentle touch of romance experienced by the lead. It made The German Midwife a compelling story. The German Midwife succeeds in highlighting the female experience of war. This comes from the lead as the pioneering medical saviour, through to the wide-eyed Eva Braun, to female friends made in the camp and at Hitler’s abode. We see the good side of human nature in the war, through the many heroic and selfless acts performed by the cast, which is juxtaposed with the awful atrocities inflicted on the innocent through the barbaric Nazi regime. The war never ceases to shock and appall me, so The German Midwife is an essential text in my eyes, despite it taking the form of a fictional set piece. With an emotional final turn of events, complete with a shock twist to the matter of Hitler’s child, Mandy Robotham’s tale is absolutely gripping from cover to cover. I give The German Midwife my highest recommendation, it is an indispensable read for all historical fiction fans.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Thebooktrail

    Visit the locations in the novel A fascinating premise this one. What would have happened if Eva Braun had had Hitler's baby? I really like novels which mix fact and fiction and this was particularly interesting. It's such a heartbreaking novel too when you think about the concentration camp set aside for women and children. There's a lot of talk and description about midwifery too which would have been ten times harder back then without the medicine and drugs we have today. Saying that. if you Visit the locations in the novel A fascinating premise this one. What would have happened if Eva Braun had had Hitler's baby? I really like novels which mix fact and fiction and this was particularly interesting. It's such a heartbreaking novel too when you think about the concentration camp set aside for women and children. There's a lot of talk and description about midwifery too which would have been ten times harder back then without the medicine and drugs we have today. Saying that. if you can't even watch One Born Every Minute you might find this squeamish at certain parts. It was a gripping story throughout and lots of scene setting. I shamefully admit I knew hardly anything about the Ravensbruck camp and how I feel I've learned a great deal and would love to know more. I googled the places after reading as I normally do for The BookTrail but I lingered and looked a little more with this book. How do we not learn about Ravensbruck in school? A gripping read and I was shocked at many parts. There are flashbacks to the main character's earlier life and lots on the risks of childbirth and the business of midwifery was interesting. The romance side of things wasn't my main interest and I did worry for what would happen to a certain character but I imagined worse in some ways! Lovely writing and easy to read despite the subject matter. Beautifully researched.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Teresa “Teri”

    This was a fantastic book! I never felt like it dragged on or was tedious. The title is “The German Mid-Wife” here in the USA, rather than the title indicated. Setting was WWII and those who have been sent to the Concentration Camps are German citizens who were caught helping the Jews and those who also opposed the Nazis and their Socialist Workers Party. It is a work of historical fiction, and well researched, but one never knows how much is based in truth concerning the German citizens resistan This was a fantastic book! I never felt like it dragged on or was tedious. The title is “The German Mid-Wife” here in the USA, rather than the title indicated. Setting was WWII and those who have been sent to the Concentration Camps are German citizens who were caught helping the Jews and those who also opposed the Nazis and their Socialist Workers Party. It is a work of historical fiction, and well researched, but one never knows how much is based in truth concerning the German citizens resistance in joining the Party. The main character is a mid-wife (as is the author) and the plot is a look at “ what if this really were to have occurred” concerning Hitler. Not a far fetched “what if”, but credible. Main take away - “is there ever an exception of who is worthy of life?” I recommend it to lovers of historical fiction in the WWII genre. I’m not sure how much some men would enjoy it as it is all about the women who are effected by Hitler. Not much action, but a lot of thinking of what is ones duty in their present situation.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Leanne Whistance-Smith

    A compelling, heart-wrenching story and a very interesting premise for a book! No matter how many WWII books I read, it never gets easier to read the horrors of what happened in the concentration camps, especially when pregnant woman and children are the main focus. The story centres around Anke, a young German woman who is a prisoner in a concentration camp. Her growing reputation as a talented midwife has her recruited to be the midwife for Eva Braun, Hitler’s mistress. Since the author herself A compelling, heart-wrenching story and a very interesting premise for a book! No matter how many WWII books I read, it never gets easier to read the horrors of what happened in the concentration camps, especially when pregnant woman and children are the main focus. The story centres around Anke, a young German woman who is a prisoner in a concentration camp. Her growing reputation as a talented midwife has her recruited to be the midwife for Eva Braun, Hitler’s mistress. Since the author herself is midwife, the details and explanations of the birthing process were so detailed and interesting, and the many themes of strength, compassion and women supporting women were absolutely wonderful. However, I felt that the flashbacks of Anke in the camp fell a little short and could have been expanded upon, and I was slightly disappointed with the ending of the novel as I felt that there was so much potential there. It seemed as though the author just ran out of steam and wanted to rush to a conclusion. Overall, if you enjoy WWII historical fiction novels, I think this one would definitely be something for you, although it isn’t my favorite! ❤️

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sarah 🌺 Books in Their Natural Habitat

    The German Midwife falls in the vein as many books I've read over the years - World War II-era historical fiction. What is completely different about this book is the perspective which is told from Anke's point of view. She's a German midwife whose profession has put herself and her family members in a difficult position given that Berlin is currently at war. Anke has a job to do; deliver any woman's baby regardless of their beliefs and what may result of the birth. However, when she is asked to The German Midwife falls in the vein as many books I've read over the years - World War II-era historical fiction. What is completely different about this book is the perspective which is told from Anke's point of view. She's a German midwife whose profession has put herself and her family members in a difficult position given that Berlin is currently at war. Anke has a job to do; deliver any woman's baby regardless of their beliefs and what may result of the birth. However, when she is asked to be the midwife for one particular woman's baby, a battle both inside her mind and outside of her control are brewing and her moral and ethical stances are put to the test. This book tugged on my heartstrings from the first chapter. The reality of pregnancy and birth during WWII just guts you. There were so many layers to the characters, feeling that inner turmoil they faced with every decision they made. Everyone is just trying their best, much like we do each and every day in our own lives. We would do anything for the ones we love, as you will see the mothers, midwives, and even some unexpected people do in The German Midwife. It's got a touch of romance, a lot of tense ethical moments, and a mother's determination - all things that make this an outstanding book. For some individuals, however, this book may be a trigger. If infancy-loss or anything along those lines is a trigger for you, this likely is not the book for you. A copy of this book was provided to me thanks to Netgalley and Avon. I have voluntarily read/reviewed this book and all opinions expressed are my own.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Meaghan Ethier

    Okay what a great novel, super accurate in regards to pregnancy, labour and delivery (as the author is actually a midwife) and touched on so many themes of war. Robotham discussed violence, morality, humanity and I think most importantly highlighted the hierarchy of doctors and midwives and the lack of trust in women's bodies, the birth process and the practice of midwifery in general. This is still so present today and I loved the author's theme of women supporting each other in something that Okay what a great novel, super accurate in regards to pregnancy, labour and delivery (as the author is actually a midwife) and touched on so many themes of war. Robotham discussed violence, morality, humanity and I think most importantly highlighted the hierarchy of doctors and midwives and the lack of trust in women's bodies, the birth process and the practice of midwifery in general. This is still so present today and I loved the author's theme of women supporting each other in something that can be one of the most joyful moments in a woman's life but was turned into a time of grief and fear in Germany in world war II. I had not realized the amount of pregnancies in the camps due to rape by the soldiers and the need for a midwife; what an important story that I am thankful has been shared.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Bridgey McElroy

    3.5 stars. I can’t quite put my finger on what it was that I didn’t like about this book. It was certainly an interesting and even scandalous story. It was thought provoking, and it did offer me new perspectives on the war. Ultimately though, the creative liberties taken with some of the most well known Nazis - Hitler himself, Goebbels, Braun etc. - were too many. Whereas so many other novels I’ve enjoyed in this genre are at least rooted in fact before being built out into fiction, The German M 3.5 stars. I can’t quite put my finger on what it was that I didn’t like about this book. It was certainly an interesting and even scandalous story. It was thought provoking, and it did offer me new perspectives on the war. Ultimately though, the creative liberties taken with some of the most well known Nazis - Hitler himself, Goebbels, Braun etc. - were too many. Whereas so many other novels I’ve enjoyed in this genre are at least rooted in fact before being built out into fiction, The German Midwife followed an entirely “what if” structure. I do think rewriting history for the sake of entertainment can be a rewarding exercise, but in this case, it fell flat and yielded an overly romanticized cast of characters and an out of touch reality.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    A touching and bittersweet alternative history fictional novel set in the midst of German warfare. I enjoyed how the author drew on her own experiences as a midwife to develop her characters, as Anke the German midwife forced to care for the babies of Nazis. Although the cover promises a somewhat romance element to the story, this is actually only a relatively minor part. The book is more focused on Anke and her developing relationship with the woman, Eva, she is caring for. The story also demon A touching and bittersweet alternative history fictional novel set in the midst of German warfare. I enjoyed how the author drew on her own experiences as a midwife to develop her characters, as Anke the German midwife forced to care for the babies of Nazis. Although the cover promises a somewhat romance element to the story, this is actually only a relatively minor part. The book is more focused on Anke and her developing relationship with the woman, Eva, she is caring for. The story also demonstrates the unique bond between birthing mother and her midwife, both historically and in modern times. I really enjoyed this novel and hope to read more of this author in the future.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ângela

    This book was on top of my list of books to read this year. I was very curious and expected a lot about this "alternative version" of what may had happened in those turbulent war years, and I was not disapointed. I found this book to be very humane, raw and painfully real. I had mixed feelings in several occasions and it was difficult for me to relate to the characters sometimes, but the truth is I had no ideia about what I would´ve done if I was in their position. In the camp, it had become second This book was on top of my list of books to read this year. I was very curious and expected a lot about this "alternative version" of what may had happened in those turbulent war years, and I was not disapointed. I found this book to be very humane, raw and painfully real. I had mixed feelings in several occasions and it was difficult for me to relate to the characters sometimes, but the truth is I had no ideia about what I would´ve done if I was in their position. In the camp, it had become second nature to obey the guards as the basic rule of survival, but then to find methods of defiance in between our ‘yes, sir; no, sir’ reactions. We, none of us, ever thought of ourselves as second-class citizens, merely captives of the weapons wielded against us. Each and every day it was a fight to remind ourselves of it, but we saw it as vital, a way to avoid sinking into the mire. In truth, I did feel sorry for her – she seemed so alone. Even her sister, Gretl, hadn’t appeared for this mountain war summit. The response that such a feeling stirred within me was hard to process. Eva Braun consorted with Adolf Hitler, willingly. She appeared to love him. How much sympathy was she worthy of – and how much was she making a very dangerous bed to lie on? In between all of this was the baby, a new life with a heart that was – for now – empty of all sin. I had brought whatever I could ghost away from the hospital in the pockets of my uniform, which were mercifully deep. Each day for the past year, I had been careful not to overfill them, to take just one of everything so the store cupboard never looked raided: sterile dressings, antiseptic creams, needles and surgical thread, bandages and any amount of medicines not locked in the official cabinet. I was stealthy in my thievery. Did I ever think of it as stealing? Never. The Reich had abandoned its own people, good families who had worked hard through their lives, paid their taxes and deserved more than this filthy betrayal. It would be instant dismissal – and worse – if I were ever caught, but my own moral compass never wavered. Besides, folklore through history was littered with others happy to redistribute wealth. I was just one in a long line and, I suspected, one of many in this war too. ‘Now it’s you who’s being naive, Anke. Do you honestly believe that you can toss aside a uniform like mine at will? Quite apart from the shame to my parents, they would be at real risk – all of them – if there was the slightest doubt about my loyalty. SS officers don’t just turn tail and retire. They are prone to car accidents, and suicides. Their families die in house fires.’ He swallowed hard. ‘More often than you imagine.’ An ugly chasm sat between us as I absorbed the reality of his words. Dieter sat, slumped and looking utterly exhausted, a hand pushed through his hair. ‘I’m a prisoner of sorts too,’ he said quietly. ‘I may not have seen what you have, have suffered as others, but I know what goes on. I have ears and eyes, and sometimes wish I hadn’t.’ I formed a tight trio with Graunia and Kirsten, a Czech-born German whose crime had been slipping Jews onto trade ships out of Germany. Together, we pooled food, stories, wishes and dreams. We kept each other alive. Each night, before lights out, we linked hands and whispered: ‘Another day gone, another day alive, another day towards freedom.’ My crimes against the Reich were erased, and I went back to being a midwife; my work was my saviour and my solace, helping healthy babies. And no, I didn’t think that for every one born robust and pink, every mother smiling and happy, that it made up for the ones we lost. I didn’t tick them off. You couldn’t think like that, or you would end up mad. Infected. But their faces, tiny and innocent, they remained a ghostly negative in a far corner of my memory for many years after. As for the other baby, I have no knowledge. And I’m glad. (...) maybe he isn’t a politician – he could easily be a farmer, or a carpenter, an artist. Who knows? It’s good that he doesn’t. He need never carry the burden of shame, of the genes in his blood. He only needs to know that he was born out of a mother’s love, into an uncertain world, as one of thousands emerging under the awning of bombs, rubble or threat. A child of the time, a war baby, and not the Reich’s child. When I think about what this story represented to me, all I can think about is women are amazingly strong and courageous.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Audrey

    Anke was a German midwife during World War. Her effort to save "undesirables" sent to her to the camps. When her skills were discovered she was soon put to work but unfortunately babies never lived long at Ravensbruck. One day she was whisked away to be the personal midwife for Eva Braun, Hitler's mistress. When the baby is born she is faced with a most difficult and dangerous decision. This is an excellent what-if story. Anke was a German midwife during World War. Her effort to save "undesirables" sent to her to the camps. When her skills were discovered she was soon put to work but unfortunately babies never lived long at Ravensbruck. One day she was whisked away to be the personal midwife for Eva Braun, Hitler's mistress. When the baby is born she is faced with a most difficult and dangerous decision. This is an excellent what-if story.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Joann

    I went into this book knowing nothing about it and came out with a winner. Young German midwife Anke Hoff is apprehended in the streets of Berlin, separated from her parents and siblings, and taken to a work camp because of her family’s anti-Reich sympathies. In the camp, she uses her skills, as a mid-wife, to deliver babies. In a strange twist of events, the German authorities later remove her from the camp to the idyllic setting of the Berghof in the Bavarian Alps. Her mission is to deliver th I went into this book knowing nothing about it and came out with a winner. Young German midwife Anke Hoff is apprehended in the streets of Berlin, separated from her parents and siblings, and taken to a work camp because of her family’s anti-Reich sympathies. In the camp, she uses her skills, as a mid-wife, to deliver babies. In a strange twist of events, the German authorities later remove her from the camp to the idyllic setting of the Berghof in the Bavarian Alps. Her mission is to deliver the baby of Eva Braun, Hitler’s mistress. Her reward for this is that her family might escape retribution. Her mission is to deliver the baby of Eva Braun, Hitler’s mistress. She is sent to Berghof a beautiful house in the Bavarian Alps where she will attend to Eva till she has her baby. There is also a love story thrown in and probably more dialogue than you will want to know about child bearing but I found it to be an interesting and enjoyable read. I believe this is a first for this author and if so, it is very well written. There were only a few parts that made me yawn, but every other section of the book kept me on my toes and glued to the last page.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rich

    The story was not possible but still was a good idea.This author did a good job for her first novel which I give her correct for in this review. I however had several problems with this story. One the story could have had a harder more intense edge to it and a faster pace. This story just seemed to drag at times. I also do care for shift in time stories-they just don't work out well. The major problem I had was the romantic relationship the main charter fell into while at the Eva Braun residence The story was not possible but still was a good idea.This author did a good job for her first novel which I give her correct for in this review. I however had several problems with this story. One the story could have had a harder more intense edge to it and a faster pace. This story just seemed to drag at times. I also do care for shift in time stories-they just don't work out well. The major problem I had was the romantic relationship the main charter fell into while at the Eva Braun residence. It would never have happened in real life. I blame the editor for this one-a major leap of a bad mistake. it was not there. The ending was just ok -not horrible but could have been better. I just feel with a more experienced writer and editor this could have been a much better story. I give it a soft 3.1-3.2

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