Author: Jennifer Coburn
Published by: Sourcebooks Landmark on Oct. 11, 2022
Genres: Historical Fiction
Format: ARC, Paperback
Source: Sourcebooks Landmark
Book Rating: 8.5/10
At Heim Hochland, a Nazi breeding home in Bavaria, three women’s fates are irrevocably intertwined. Gundi is a pregnant university student from Berlin. An Aryan beauty, she’s secretly a member of a resistance group. Hilde, only eighteen, is a true believer in the cause and is thrilled to carry a Nazi official’s child. And Irma, a 44-year-old nurse, is desperate to build a new life for herself after personal devastation. All three have everything to lose.
Based on untold historical events, this novel brings us intimately inside the Lebensborn Society maternity homes that actually existed in several countries during World War II, where thousands of “racially fit” babies were bred and taken from their mothers to be raised as part of the new Germany. But it proves that in a dark period of history, the connections women forge can carry us through, even driving us to heroism we didn’t know we had within us.
Haunting, insightful, and affecting!
Cradles of the Reich is an absorbing, intense tale set during prewar Germany that takes you into the lives of three German women who all come from different backgrounds and with completely different motivations but whose worlds become uniquely connected and intertwined when they all find themselves residents of Heim Hochland, a secret Nazi breeding facility created and maintained specifically with the intent to create a pure Aryan race.
The prose is polished and expressive. The characters are vulnerable, intriguing, and strong. And the plot is a compelling tale of life, loss, love, family, sacrifice, courage, manipulation, motherhood, subjection, oppression, resistance, and survival.
Overall, Cradles of the Reich is a well-written, informative tale by Coburn based on real-life events that does an exceptional job of highlighting her considerable knowledge and impressive research into an unimaginable, narcissistic atrocity executed during one of the most dark, hate-filled, tragic times in history.
This novel is available now.
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Thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.