Cradles of the Reich by Jennifer Coburn
Sourcebooks Landmark (October 11, 2022)
Historical WWII Fiction/Women’s Historical Fiction
Three women, a nation seduced by a madman, and the Nazi breeding program to create a so-called master race
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.
Cradles of the Reich covers a dark period of history; Adolf Hitler’s scheme to generate racially pure infants. Told in alternating voices of three German women, we learn the history of the Nazi breeding program through their very different points of view. A seemingly perfect young German mother to be, except she is secretly part of the resistance; a believer of Hitler’s movement and proud to be pregnant by a married SS officer; and a nurse restarting her life. I liked that the three women had very different views and experiences during the Third Reich. Interesting read since I was not aware of this part of WWII history. A gripping storyline and impressive research. Well done!
Reviewed by Comfy Chair Books/Lisa Reigel (August 1, 2022)
ARC provided by author via Netgalley
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jennifer Coburn is the author of Cradles of the Reich, a historical novel about three very different women living at a Nazi Lebensborn breeding home at the start of World War ll.
She has also published a mother-daughter travel memoir, We’ll Always Have Paris, as well as six contemporary women’s novels. Additionally, Jennifer has contributed to five literary anthologies, including A Paris All Your Own.
Jennifer lives in San Diego with her husband, William. Their daughter, Katie is currently in graduate school. When Jennifer is not going down historical research rabbit holes, she volunteers with So Say We All, a live storytelling organization, where she is a performer, producer, and performance coach. She is also an active volunteer with Reality Changers, a nonprofit that supports low-income high school students in becoming the first in their families to attend college. She specializes in college essay development, and interview prep.