There was so much that needed to be done. Liesl felt overwhelmed. This was a household used to servants, and she was alone with three little boys. Alone and hungry and cold. Hans resented her, wouldn’t do as he was told, but Ani was younger and needed a mother, needed her love. And the baby, of course, needed her very much. But this was such a struggle. Did she do the right thing? When his wife died in childbirth and he was drafted to go to a hospital at the front, Frank asked her to marry him, to care for his children. She worked at the spa where he was a doctor and she had known him for years. But this was far harder than she had imagined. This was too hard. This was Germany’s starving winter of 1945.
The struggle to feed and care for her step-sons while not knowing the fate of her new husband was grinding. And the air raids were terrifying. I was completely drawn in and shared Liesl’s despair, felt her helplessness. The book is loosely based on Maria Hummel’s grandparents’ experiences in Germany during the last year of World War II. It is a book not easily forgotten. I highly recommend it.
Publication date 01.14.14