Sunday, April 11, 2010

My Enemy's Cradle by Sara Young

This beautifully told and heart-wrenching novel set in WWII Europe is the first adult debut by Sara Young. Cyrla, half-Jewish, is no longer safe hiding in the home of her Dutch relatives under the increasingly harsh Nazi occupation. When cousin Annika, whom Cyrla closely resembles, becomes pregnant by a German soldier, Annika's father enrolls her in a Lebensborn, a birthing center for Aryan children, where the slogan is Have one baby for the F├╝hrer.

In a tragic turn of events, Cyrla discovers her only chance of survival is to hide in plain sight: she must assume Annika's identity and live in the German Lebensborn until rescued. Within the Lebensborn's walls, mothers-to-be receive proper nutrition and medical care until their children are taken from them for adoption into Aryan families The horrors Cyrla witnesses are softened only by her resounding optimism and strength.  I enjoyed this book immensley and was so surprised to learn of the Lebensborns - a mainly unknown portion of WWII despite the vast numbers of people that they impacted.

Rating: 4.5 Recommend