1945, the German-Polish border: With Nazis on one side and Soviet forces approaching on the other, a mother and her little boy are torn apart, and so begins an unforgettable tale of courage, heartbreak and motherhood in wartime.
“If you ever get lost, Jacob, you need to stay where you are and wait, because I’ll come looking for you. And I’ll always find you.”
In the icy grip of winter, Emma is trying to escape Poland, with her two young children and little more than the clothes on their backs. With the Russian Red Army advancing, she knows their safety relies on them crossing the border. She swears to herself that she’ll do whatever it takes to keep their family together.
But before they can reach the border, her little boy Jacob falls ill, his once-sparkling blue eyes getting dimmer with each moment that passes. And Emma knows she has to get him to a hospital, where she hands him to a kind nurse.
She feels sure they will be reunited the next day. But then the bombing starts. And when she reaches the hospital again, she finds it deserted, her darling son gone.
Though her heart tells her she has to stay and find him, she faces an impossible choice. She would risk her own life for Jacob in a heartbeat, but as her daughter Sophie’s cold, little hand slips into her own, Emma is forced to make a heartbreaking decision. Unable to find any trace of her beloved son, she knows she must at least get her daughter to safety.
But she can never forget the promise she made to her little boy. That if they were ever separated, she’d come looking for him. That she’d always find him.
Whatever the danger, whatever the risk. She knows what she has to do. Because there is nothing stronger than a mother’s love…
An utterly unforgettable and devastating story, perfect for fans of The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Stolen from her Mother and Sold on a Monday.
This is a heartbreaking novel set in post World War II Poland and Germany. It is about a mother who takes her very ill son to a hospital and then loses him when the hospital is deserted after the Red Army invades. It is also about another mother who takes the boy, Jacob, into her home and heart. There are so many casualties in war, even if you survive. Jacob, Emma, and Irena all suffer in this story about war, losses, sons, and mothers. How does a little boy acclimate to losing his mother twice in different ways? How does a mother find a child in the aftermath of a war where so many are missing? How does a woman who lost a child, gained a child, and then lost a child again cope with all this misery? This story takes a look at that and more. The bottom line of all of this is that war puts innocent people into horrible situations that are out of their control. How do the innocent cope?
I received a free copy of this book from Bookouture via Netgalley. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Marion Kummerow was born and raised in Germany before she set out to “discover the world” and lived in various countries. In 1999 she returned to Germany and settled down in Munich where she’s now living with her family.
Inspired by the true story about her grandparents, who belonged to the German resistance and fought against the Nazi regime, she started writing historical fiction, set during World War II. Her books are filled with raw emotions, fierce loyalty, and resilience. She loves to put her characters through the mangle, making them reach deep within to find the strength to face moral dilemmas, take difficult decisions or fight for what is right. And she never forgets to include humor and undying love in her books, because ultimately love is what makes the world go round.
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