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Thursday, October 10, 2019

The German Midwife...#BookReview

About the book:
Germany, 1944. A prisoner in the camps, midwife 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 far more dangerous than she could ever have imagined. High in the Bavarian hills, Eva Braun is pregnant, and Anke is assigned as her caregiver.

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?

Anke Hoff is a midwife who, because she helps Jewish women in direct violation of German law, is sent to a concentration camp. There, she finds herself caring for those prisoners who arrive at camp pregnant or find themselves pregnant from assault. The conditions in which these women live and are forced to give birth are heartwrenching.  But, Anke provides comfort and as good as care as she can under these circumstances.

Soon, she is taken to a mountain retreat to care for another expectant woman. Eva Braun, who is pregnant with Adolph Hitler's child. What follows is simply a compelling, powerful story that answers the question, "What would you do if...?"

The turmoil that Anke feels is palpable. How does she care for this woman, who carries an innocent child fathered by a murderous, evil man? As Eva's pregnancy progresses, Anke finds herself developing a friendship with Eva, who we come to view as a normal woman, experiencing her first pregnancy. A woman who is excited to welcome her first child.

The premise for this story is fantastic. Historically I don't know how accurate it is. But, honestly, I didn't care. And confession. I have sat on this review for months. Literally.

This book left me thoughtful. Wordless. At times it was a horrific gut punch. At other times, almost heartwarming and tender. But what it did so well was show the reader that in the moment of childbirth, every woman is the same. Every woman, no matter her station or her race or circumstance, is equal. Childbirth and motherhood unite us.

Easily recommended.

Thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to review this. You can follow Mandy Robotham on Facebook and Twitter.

Read 2019

* * * * *
5/5 Stars

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