Synopses & Reviews
"[A] brave work . . . [Young's] passion and her desire to give voice to innumerable silent victims shine through." --The Dallas Morning News
"I am grateful you are not here,” Cyrla's Jewish father last wrote from Poland. He had sent her to Holland for safekeeping with relatives, but now that country too has been overrun by the Nazis. In a rush, she takes refuge in one of the Lebensborn--maternity homes for girls carrying German babies. But can she escape before her real identity is discovered? And will her love keep her safe when danger surrounds her? In My Enemy's Cradle, Cyrla travels to the other side of war, love, and the heartbreak of survival. It is a love song to kinship, an elegy for the women we have lost, and a lullaby for the children we must save.
"Young shines a powerful flashlight on one of the lesser-known Nazi atrocities: the thievery of children from their mothers. When devouring this novel, you'll swear you're reading a genuine survivor account." --Jenna Blum, author of Those Who Save Us
"What a story! My Enemy's Cradle offers intrigue, suspense, compassion, heartbreak and joy. I was hooked from page one." --Elizabeth Berg, author of Dream When You're Feeling Blue
SARA YOUNG graduated with a BA from Marietta College in Ohio. Under the name Sara Pennypacker she has written seven books for children, including the acclaimed Stuart series (Stuart's Cape) and Clementine. She lives on Cape Cod.
"In this compelling first novel set against the little known Nazi Lebensborn program, Sara Young creates a heroine the reader will not easily forget. My Enemy's Cradle goes to the very heart of hope and how it can survive in even the darkest and most dangerous of times." Anne Leclaire, Entering Normal
"Young's youthful characters — especially her heroine, Cyrla &mash; are utterly believable, their longings, fears and hopes etched with an authenticity and sense of urgency that make this story vibrate on the page . . . Intensely romantic in a way that only wartime fiction can be. And it invokes, with a bit of an ache, Anne Frank's optimistic belief in happy endings." USA Today
Cyrla's neighbors have begun to whisper. Her cousin, Anneke, is pregnant and has passed the rigorous exams for admission to the Lebensborn, a maternity home for girls carrying German babies. But Anneke's soldier has disappeared, and Lebensborn babies are only ever released to their father's custody — or taken away.
A note is left under the mat. Someone knows that Cyrla, sent from Poland years before for safekeeping with her Dutch relatives, is Jewish. The Nazis are imposing more and more restrictions; she won't be safe there for long.
And then in the space of an afternoon, life falls apart. Cyrla must choose between certain discovery in her cousin's home and taking Anneke's place in the Lebensborn — Cyrla and Anneke are nearly identical. If she takes refuge in the enemy's lair, can Cyrla fool the doctors, nurses, guards, and other mothers-to-be? Can she escape before they discover she is not who she claims?
Mining a lost piece of history, Sara Young takes us deep into the lives of women living in the worst of times. Part love story and part elegy for the terrible choices we must often make to survive, My Enemy's Cradle keens for what we lose in war and sings for the hope we sometimes find.
Cyrla has been warned that her neighbors know she is half Jewish — grounds for certain arrest in their Nazi-occupied town. A cruel twist of fate places Cyrla in a terrible dilemma in this page-turning debut novel.
Howard Norman, widely regarded as one of this countrys finest novelists, returns to the mesmerizing fictional terrain of his major books—The Bird Artist
, The Museum Guard
, and The Haunting of L
—in this erotically charged and morally complex story.
Seventeen-year-old Wyatt Hillyer is suddenly orphaned when his parents, within hours of each other, jump off two different bridges—the result of their separate involvements with the same compelling neighbor, a Halifax switchboard operator and aspiring actress. The suicides cause Wyatt to move to small-town Middle Economy to live with his uncle, aunt, and ravishing cousin Tilda.
Setting in motion the novels chain of life-altering passions and the wartime perfidy at its core is the arrival of the German student Hans Mohring, carrying only a satchel. Actual historical incidents—including a German U-boats sinking of the Nova Scotia-Newfoundland ferry Caribou, on which Aunt Constance Hillyer might or might not be traveling—lend intense narrative power to Normans uncannily layered story.
Wyatts account of the astonishing—not least to him— events leading up to his fathering of a beloved daughter spills out twenty-one years later. Its a confession that speaks profoundly of the mysteries of human character in wartime and is directed, with both despair and hope, to an audience of one.
An utterly stirring novel. This is Howard Norman at his celebrated best.
A novel about the murder of a German youth in Canada during WWII.
About the Author
Two of Howard Normans novels, The Northern Lights (1987) and The Bird Artist (1994), were nominated for the National Book Award. His other novels include The Museum Guard, The Haunting of L, Devotion, and What is Left the Daughter. His books have been translated into twelve languages. Norman is the recipient of a Lannan Award in fiction, and he teaches at the University of Maryland.