I don't normally care for novellas, but I like WWII books and opted to try this one. I'm glad I did. Countless thousands of families were torn apart in the war and afterward when the Iron Curtain came down. Here are stories of an East Berlin family where dad, brother, and mother disappear until only Katia, crippled by polio, is left; Katia's Aunt Maria survived the concentration camps and despairs of ever finding her 3-month-old twins; other babies were tossed off trains heading for the camps, their desperate parents hoping someone would keep them safe. Decades pass before the mysteries are solved, and they are the precious few.
Those who love history along with the flavor of mystery will be captivated in no time at all! These aren't recently published with Katia in 2010 and For Maria in 2012 were written by Brice Judisch. The last novel written by Sharon Bernash Smith, The Train Baby's Mother, was published in 2013. The novels take readers back to a time when life in other countries was anything but stable or safe.
Madeline is an exchange student specifically requested by an older German woman who wants her to write her memoir. When Madeline first meets Fraulein Mahler in her home, the older woman has more spirit than Madeline is prepared for. The first action Fraulein Mahler does is to see how much she can push Madeline around. As the student journalist begins her assignment, what comes next as the interview progresses takes your breath away.
For Maria (2012)
What Madeline sets off to do is to try and locate other family members she learned about when interviewing Fraulein Mahler. Her heart's desire is to bring about a family reunited after such a long time apart, but Madeline discovers just how difficult a job she has undertaken. Trying to balance her family life with her heart's desire may be more than she can accomplish. Readers will be engrossed to follow the journalist's adventure.
The Train Baby's Mother (2013)
Jammed into a train headed for certain death a couple must find a way to save their baby before it is too late. Their choice is throw the baby off while they are near a village, hoping that the children nearby will take the baby to someone who will take good care of their little girl. The one decision brings about a chain of events that touches not only the little girl, but a whole village.
At first I found it hard to get involved in the first story not sure how to pronounce some places overseas where the first story takes place. Yet, the rich history of WW II pulls the reader deeper into the pages, making it impossible to put down, plus curiosity in how the conclusion was going to be brought about made it worth turning pages!