My Enemy's Cradle by Sara Young

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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.


About Sara Young

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Under the name Sara Pennypacker, SARA YOUNG has written seven books for children, including the acclaimed Stuart series (Stuart's Cape) and Clementine. She lives on Cape Cod.
Published October 6, 2008 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 385 pages
Genres: History, Travel, War, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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In children’s author Young’s first novel for adults, a Polish Jew in World War II Holland finds temporary safety in the Lebensborn, a maternity home the Nazis set up to breed Aryan babies.

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Publishers Weekly

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When cousin Annika, whom Cyrla closely resembles, becomes pregnant by a German soldier, Annika's father enrolls her in a Lebensborn, a birthing center for Aryan children, where the slogan is “Have one baby for the Führer.” In a tragic turn of events, Cyrla discovers her only chance of survival is...

Oct 01 2007 | Read Full Review of My Enemy's Cradle

Book Reporter

Finally, in a tragic turn of events, Cyrla and her aunt decide that the only safe course of action is for Cyrla herself to "escape" to the Lebensborn --- using Anneke's papers and her name.

Jan 07 2011 | Read Full Review of My Enemy's Cradle

Entertainment Weekly

Renowned children’s-book author Sara Young makes an ambitious foray into adult fiction with My Enemy's Cradle, a tale of one woman’s survival during WWII.

Jan 25 2008 | Read Full Review of My Enemy's Cradle

USA Today

Then, one night, she is raped by a German soldier.Cyrla, assuming Anneke's identity, enters a Lebensborn, a maternity home for girls who become pregnant by German men.Here, deep inside Germany, Cyrla hides in plain sight, carrying the child she is sure is Isaac's.The Lebensborn were part of the N...

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The Bookbag

Through one young girl’s experience of a war that for her does not involve bombings and shootings, starvation or the gas chambers – other than as a little known and less understood backdrop to the way life is – Young takes us to the heart of the Nazi ideology and explores yet one more aspect of i...

Nov 15 2012 | Read Full Review of My Enemy's Cradle

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