Review Tour w/Giveaway: Surviving the Fatherland by Annette Oppenlander
Surviving the Fatherland
by Annette Oppenlander
GENRE: Historical Coming of age
Annette Oppenlander will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Please visit GoddessFish.com to follow the tour, remember the more you comment better your chances on winning.
Spanning thirteen years from 1940 to 1953, SURVIVING THE FATHERLAND tells the true and heart-wrenching stories of Lilly and Günter struggling with the terror-filled reality of life in the Third Reich, each embarking on their own dangerous path toward survival, freedom, and ultimately each other. Based on the author’s own family and anchored in historical facts, this story celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the strength of war children. SURVIVING THE FATHERLAND is a sweeping saga of family, love, and betrayal that illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the children's war.
I lived on the first floor of an apartment house on Weinsbergtalstrasse, one of a row of identical three-story homes. Recently built of brick and stucco, they were considered modern, each house painted the same pale green except for an occasional flower box in a white-framed window. I loved our new water closet. You pulled on the chain, which I was strictly forbidden to play with, and the water released from a tank under the ceiling, flushing everything away. Helmut still had an outhouse.
Entering our flat, I tossed my cap in the corner and headed to the kitchen. “I’m hom—”
The words stuck in my throat because the table, set for five, was untouched, the room deserted. A sense of unease crept up inside me, quickly forgotten because of the delicious smell emanating from the cast-iron pot. I lifted the lid and let out a sigh: bean soup with ham and smoked sausage. I glanced at the clock, seven-thirty. No wonder I was starving.
We never ate later than six. Something was wrong.
Reluctantly, I turned away from the soup and tiptoed down the hallway. Voices came from my parents’ bedroom.
Stopping at the threshold, I knocked. “Vater?”
I cracked open the door. “Are we going to eat?”
Mother sat hunched over on the bed, my father kneeling in front of her. I wanted to enter, but something in their expressions held me back.
My father straightened with effort. “I’m leaving tomorrow.”
“What do you mean?” I looked back and forth between my parents.
“I’ve been drafted.”
I stared at him as his words echoed through my head. “But you said they needed you in the factory. You said you had more work than you could handle, making those fancy swords for the officers.”
“That’s what I thought.” My father’s voice remained steady but his jaws were tight.
“Can’t you tell them you’re too busy?”
My father sighed and put an arm on my shoulder, his expression serious. Despite being short, he could carry a hundred kilo sack of grain as if it were a small child. He wasn’t the hugging type, but tonight he held on to me.
“That’s not how it works.”
“Where will you go?”
“Don’t know. Maybe to Scandinavia.”
Wiping her eyes, Mother stood up. “Why don’t you get your brothers and eat? We’ll pack and be in soon. And take off those clothes.”
A true story of how children survived the atrocities imposed by Hitler and his henchman. Lilly and Gunter are the image of how young children dealt with the war and how they coped with the atrocities of seeing their Fathers go to war, how they survived the bombings and the brutality of some men and how some people were allies and friends during this time of darkness.
Here we see what happened in their lives and that of their Families, how each one dealt with what was thrown at them and how they survived, and how their lives were shaped after the war.
To those who are interested this is a book well worth reading as it shows you a different side of the war, it shows it from the eyes of children during the war and how things shaped for them when they grew up.
Annette Oppenlander thank you so very much for a story well worth reading.
I received a free copy for my honest review!
Review by Jara
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
As a historical novelist Annette Oppenlander spends much of her time in archives and historic neighborhoods. When she isn’t studying the past, she shares her knowledge through writing workshops and indulges her old mutt, Mocha. In her spare time she travels around the U.S. and Europe to discover amazing histories. The mother of three ‘former’ teens, Annette lives with her husband in Bloomington, Ind.
“Nearly every place holds some kind of secret, something that makes history come alive. When we scrutinize people and places closely, history is no longer a date or number, it turns into a story.”