eBook - 2014-01-14
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Motherland is inspired by stories from the author's father and his German childhood, and letters between her grandparents that were hidden in an attic wall for fifty years. It is the author's attempt to reckon with the paradox of her father--a product of her grandparents' fiercely protective love and their status as Mitläufer, Germans who ?went along" with Nazism, first reaping its benefits and later its consequences.This page-turning novel focuses on the Kappus family: Frank is a reconstructive surgeon who lost his beloved wife in childbirth and two months later married a young woman who must look after the baby and his two grieving sons when he is drafted into medical military service. Alone in the house, Liesl must attempt to keep the children fed with dwindling food supplies, safe from the constant Allied air attacks, and protected against the swell of desperate refugees flooding their town. When one child begins to mentally unravel, Liesl must...
Publisher: New York :, Counterpoint,, 2014-01-14.
ISBN: 9781619023543
Branch Call Number: eBook Overdrive
Characteristics: polychrome,rdacc,
data file,rdaft,

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Oct 29, 2016

Liesl and widower Frank are newlyweds; he with a newborn and two older sons. Drafted to do reconstructive surgery, Frank leaves Liesl to manage in his hometown as the war enters its final months. The book is based on letters written by the author’s grandparents.

Grim, but gripping, in its look at the struggles mothers faced, often alone. The book I was reminded of, read years ago, was Ursula Hegi’s ‘Stones from the River’ with its look at a small German town and its inhabitants in tumultuous times.

May 31, 2016

Motherland is set in Nazi Germany from December 1944 through early 1946. Liesel, a kindergarten teacher at the local spa that caters to high-ranking German officers, has married Frank Kappus, a spa doctor who has been drafted to a military hospital near Buchenwald. His first wife died during childbirth and left him with two older boys and a newborn. As Frank copes with his unwanted military assignment, Liesel is left coping with three children who are nearly strangers as the Third Reich collapses around them. This novel explores the themes of duty vs. family as Frank and Liesel struggle to stay alive and together. The author, whose grandparents "went along with Nazism", based this novel on family stories and letters between her grandparents that were discovered fifty years after the war. This book would appeal to those who liked All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr and The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. All three novels explore World War II from a European perspective.


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