My Enemy's Cradle

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 fathers custody or taken away.And then in the space of an afternoon, life falls apart A nCyrla 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 fathers custody or taken away.And then in the space of an afternoon, life falls apart A note is left under the mat Someone knows that Cyrla, sent for safekeeping with her Dutch relatives, is Jewish She 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 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.
My Enemy s Cradle 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

  • Title: My Enemy's Cradle
  • Author: Sara Young
  • ISBN: 9780156034333
  • Page: 456
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “My Enemy's Cradle”

    1. You know when you read a book and you love it so much, you’re sad that it’s over? Well that’s how I feel about this one. I loved it SO much!“Prisoners. From the camp there. Hundreds. They all looked the same, with their grey skin, their shaved skulls, their grey uniforms. I couldn’t tell one from the other; I didn’t even know if they were men or women. They were skeletons.”Anneke and Cyrla were cousins who looked very similar in every way except for one thing, Cyrla was half Jewish [...]

    2. I’m quite sure that I say this entirely too much, but I could not put My Enemy’s Cradle down. I was completely riveted, enthralled with the characters, and sucked into a part of Nazi Germany I knew nothing about. It’s a strong book, all the way through. Beginning to end.My Enemy’s Cradle is love story filled with tragedy, heartbreak, and devastation. Which sounds incredibly contradictory, but it contains so much hope and love that the contrasting feelings pull the reader in one hundred d [...]

    3. I picked up Sara Young’s My Enemy’s Cradle after reading a review in USA Today a few weeks ago. The book centers around the German Lebensborn, and I was intrigued.Despite inundating myself with “Third Reich” literature over the last several years, I’d never before heard of the Lebensborn, homes for women impregnated (both willingly and unwillingly) by German soldiers.Fair-haired Cyrla, the book’s protagonist, has a Dutch mother and a Polish-Jewish father. For five years, she lives wi [...]

    4. I really wanted to like this book because I am a fan of historical fiction, particularly that dealing with Jews and WWII. Unfortunately, I found the plot predictable, the characters flat, and the tone of the book to be too light for such a serious issue as a half Jewish woman living as a fraud in a Lebensborn (home for women pregnant with children of Nazi fathering to add to the "Master Race.") Although I do not know enough about Lebensborn, I feel as though the author paints too glossy of a pic [...]

    5. This novel has the most irritating protagonist I’ve ever encountered in fiction. Completely self-absorbed, oblivious to what’s happening around her in Nazi-occupied Holland, utterly unconcerned with anyone’s feelings but her own…God, what a useless wench. The only reason I kept on reading was that it concerned the mysterious Lebensborn program during World War II. Little is known about it, and that little is still not talked about very much. It concerns illicit sex and unmarried motherho [...]

    6. This was an interesting book about a part of WWII that I knew little about. The story highlights the Lebensborn, a birthing center for Aryan children. The story is about Cyrla, a half-Jewish young woman who is finding that life in the home of a Dutch relative is getting increasingly more difficult as the Nazi's impose stricter and stricter laws on anyone Jewish. Cyrla is best friends with her beautiful blond cousin, Annika . Not only are they best friends but they look quite alike. Without givin [...]

    7. The woman whose kids I babysit lent me this book. Apparently she got it as a gift and couldn't put it down. This one is definitely a page turner. It's kind of like historical chick-lit. I liked that it dealt with an aspect of Nazi Germany that isn't talked about very often, which is the Lebensborn project. This project was a breeding program designed to propagate the Aryan race. Girls who passed rigorous tests to determine their heritage and who were carrying German babies were allowed to give b [...]

    8. I did not enjoy this book at all, the main character, Cyrla was very immature and shallow. Besides the poor character development, the main concept of the book was interesting, because I had no idea such pregnancy homes for women existed during World War II and how the Nazis took these children from the mothers after they were born. Most of the book consisted of Cyrla wallowing around pregnant and thinking about Izaak, a man who got her pregnant so she could go take on the identity of her cousin [...]

    9. Anytime I can read about something new in well-written historical fiction, I'm all for it! The author of this adult novel taught me something and had me googling before I had even finished the book. It's a tale of the Lebensborn, a home for girls who were breeding good German stock to carry on the work of the Fuhrer. Wow.[return][return]Cyrla is 1/2 Jewish and her father sends her to the Netherlands before Hitler starts raising too much heck. But the war catches up with her in the Netherlands. N [...]

    10. I am one of those people that love books on the Holocost, true or not. (Call me morbid if you have to). This was a novel, but focused on Lebensborns, which are an aspect of the Holocost that has never been focused on before, and something that I didn't even realized existed. The characters in this book were so well-defined that I felt like I knew them and could understand all of their thoughts and feelings. I was so touched by this book. I loved the characters, I loved the ending, and I really r [...]

    11. Cyrla and Anneke are cousins who look enough alike to be twins. Cyrla, who is half Dutch, has been sent by her father to safely live with her mother's Dutch relations in Holland as Hitler's army occupies Poland. Being half Jewish from her father's side life is any thing but safe for Cyrla as the neighbors are afraid to associate with her when it is apparent that Holland is about to be occupied by Hitler's army. In the meantime, Anneke falls in love with a Karl, a German soldier. He shortly aband [...]

    12. I absolutely LOVED this book. I found it very interesting, a page turner, and I didn't want to put it down. My only complaint was the ending. All of a sudden the book ended very abruptly. It definitely could have gone on at least another chapter or two. It also could have had a sequel written but this book was originally published in 2008 so I don't see that being very likely. I thought about taking a star away because of the ending, but decided against it because the book gave me so many hours [...]

    13. This is an amazing story about a little known Nazi plan to create babies for the Third Reich. A great read!

    14. Viết về đề tài Thế chiến thứ II, nhưng tiểu thuyết không hề đi vào lối mòn của sự đàn áp, giết hại người Do Thái như những tác phẩm viết về đề tài này trước đây. Dĩ nhiên là nó vẫn được xây dựng trên cái nền muôn thuở là sự khốn đốn của người Do Thái trước sự nhẫn tâm của phát xít Đức, thế nhưng, "Trong vòng nôi kẻ thù" lại đề cập đến một vấn đề khác, riêng t [...]

    15. This is a very compelling book about World War II, told from an entirely different perspective. It is told not from the point of view of the war and the soldiers or the camps, but rather the innocent citizens caught up in the turmoil and terror. The main character, Cyrla, is a mischling, which is what Germans called a person of mixed heritage, one not totally Aryan. She is young, barely 19, and often because of her pride she is careless and foolish. Her mistakes endanger others. She might even b [...]

    16. This one is a really hard one to rate. It was quite gripping, and I read it in a couple of days as I had to keep going to find out what happened next. It was, however, somewhat disappointing from a historical fiction perspective. Judging by the author's note and acknowledgements at the end of the book, the author was trying to write a historical novel about the Lebensborns, maternity homes set up by the Nazis for suitably Aryan women pregnant with the children of Nazi officers. This could have m [...]

    17. A very memorable story of young ladies and how they suffered during WWII. They weren't put in concentration camps, but they were victims of cruelty just the same. The author uses the backdrop of Hitler's maternity homes as she paints the story of one girl's search for safety during the war. I enjoyed this book because it's a very interesting plot line that keeps you constantly on your toes as you read it. And the author does a wonderful job developing the characters, peeling away layer after lay [...]

    18. This book is incredibly powerful. I tend to have a difficult time reading books set during the Holocaust. Both my husband and I have German heritage and it makes the atrocities so much more real to me knowing what I do about family history and conscription. That being said, I couldn't put this book down. I was hooked from the start. The storyline is intriguing. The Lebensborn is a home for mothers pregnant with German babies. Cyrla's cousin, Anneke, is pregnant and has passed the admissions requ [...]

    19. Prior to reading this book I knew nothing of the Lebensborn -- Nazi-sponsored homes for German or "suitably Aryan" women carrying babies fathered by German men -- yet another atrocity of the Nazi regime. These babies were treated as a commodity -- more future soldiers or future mothers of soldiers -- and the women were encouraged to produce as many children with German soldiers as possible. Against this backdrop we are offered the story of Cyrla, a young woman of partial Jewish parentage who ent [...]

    20. I read this book really quickly and I enjoyed it the whole time. I have read a lot of books about the holocaust (and I even took a Holocaust & Genocide Studies class) but never knew about the Lebensborn. It was really interesting. Cyrla's character is well-developed and you really feel for her. At times the plot was a bit soap opera like, but I didn't really mind it because the book held my attention really well and I was emotionally invested in the story. The love scenes were kinda intense [...]

    21. What a great, quick read. I found it very interesting – I learned about something of which I had little knowledge. It felt like this was a real survivor’s account and not fiction. A worthwhile read.

    22. The Nazi Lebensborn program-that's one area I haven't found much to read outside of non-fiction. So I was intrigued, to say the least, about this book. I need to stop getting my hopes up, and just go into reading a book with zero expectations.It started out great-a Polish Jew hiding in the household of an unstable Uncle in Holland. Cousin finds herself pregnant by a Nazi Officer and quickly commits suicide. Interesting so far! And then little things here and there made me wonder if I had somehow [...]

    23. 3.5 StarsThe story for My Enemy's Cradle was very intriguing. I've never read a novel that centered on the Lebensborn program until now. And to have Jewish girl hiding in that setting?!?! Definitely a unique story. Once Cyrla got into the center, I was on pins and needles working my way through the novel. I desperately wanted to know how, or even if, she survived the ordeal and what ever happened to her baby. The actual story was the strongest part of this novel. It sucks you in, all the way thr [...]

    24. An enjoyable read that pulled you in and kept you reading. The lightness of the book belies the heaviness of the reality that the story was set in, the horrific Nazi regime in Germany and neighbouring, occupied countries during WWII. In this case, Holland.Cyrla, our protagonist, is young. 19 in years but possibly younger emotionally. She's an immature and naïve woman living in terrifying and dangerous times, and she's ill-equipped to both deal with the situations she finds herself in or to smar [...]

    25. My Enemy's Cradle chronicles the Nazi Lebensborn Project or, at least gives a fictional account of a girl who uses it for protection. Cyrla is half-Jewish and living with her Gentile relatives in Holland during the occupation. When her cousin (who could be her twin) turns up pregnant, she's referred to a facility for girls carrying German babies. Tragedy ensues and Anneke dies, leaving Cyrla with a decision. Things are getting seriously bad in Holland for Jews and it's becoming more and more dan [...]

    26. Nineteen-year-old Cyrla is half Dutch and half Jewish, sent to live with her mother´s relatives five years prior for safekeeping in Holland. When her cousin Anneke becomes pregnant by a German soldier, her father (Cyrla´s uncle) decides to send Anneke to a Lebensborn home for girls carrying German babies. However, tragedy strikes and worse, someone knows Cyrla´s secret. Now Cyrla must make a tough choice: attempt to escape or take Anneke´s place in the maternity home (Anneke and Cyrla look a [...]

    27. I would like to give this book 3.5 stars. I did really enjoy reading it but there were just a few thinks that seemed a little “too” out there as far as coincidences to me in the storyline. I do like historical fiction a lot, so I had no prior knowledge of the Lebensborn (the German “baby station” of women that turned their babies over to Germany to be future soldiers). Since I am not familiar with these, parts of this were hard to read in the things that the women went through or had to [...]

    28. I have read a lot of books on the Holocaust. So far I have enjoyed every one of them. Some more than others. This book is not on that list. I couldn't even finish it and I almost never leave a book unfinished! My complaint was the way it was written. I felt it was very "child-like". The main character, Cyrla, when I started reading this book seemed like she was around 12 years old. Turns out she is nineteen. Yet she had a very childish mind. To be a 19 year old whose mother had died and whose fa [...]

    29. I just thought this was beautiful. I am utterly in love with the way Sara Young wrote this. In terms of style, this was frequently poetic and delicate and just so lovely to read. I was honestly inspired by the descriptive writing in this book and I found it very easy to really see and feel what Cyrla saw and felt due to the eloquence and clarity with which she 'spoke'. I found myself reading certain paragraphs and actually having to stop for a minute to contemplate just how gorgeous what I had j [...]

    30. Beautifully written, this story of Cyrla and Anneke covers not only the choices they make but also how actions - particularly within war - are often layered with emotion, decisions, moral choices, and conflicting loyalties. Which is more important: to be half-Dutch or half-Jewish, to serve your country or to follow your dreams, to be a niece or a cousin, to be a friend or a lover, to be an advocate or a father, to be a mother or a wife? It's never clearcut, and although one character might perce [...]

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