Today Mandie is taking over with a review of The Orphan’s Mother, the brand new novel from Marion Kummerow, and we’d both like to wish the author a very happy publication day. Thanks to Bookouture for including us in this #booksontour programme and providing an advance copy for review. Here’s what it’s all about:
About the Book
1945, the German-Polish border: With Nazis on one side and Soviet forces approaching on the other, a mother and her little boy are torn apart, and so begins an unforgettable tale of courage, heartbreak and motherhood in wartime.
“If you ever get lost, Jacob, you need to stay where you are and wait, because I’ll come looking for you. And I’ll always find you.”
In the icy grip of winter, Emma is trying to escape Poland, with her two young children and little more than the clothes on their backs. With the Russian Red Army advancing, she knows their safety relies on them crossing the border. She swears to herself that she’ll do whatever it takes to keep their family together.
But before they can reach the border, her little boy Jacob falls ill, his once-sparkling blue eyes getting dimmer with each moment that passes. And Emma knows she has to get him to a hospital, where she hands him to a kind nurse.
She feels sure they will be reunited the next day. But then the bombing starts. And when she reaches the hospital again, she finds it deserted, her darling son gone.
Though her heart tells her she has to stay and find him, she faces an impossible choice. She would risk her own life for Jacob in a heartbeat, but as her daughter Sophie’s cold, little hand slips into her own, Emma is forced to make a heartbreaking decision. Unable to find any trace of her beloved son, she knows she must at least get her daughter to safety.
But she can never forget the promise she made to her little boy. That if they were ever separated, she’d come looking for him. That she’d always find him.
Whatever the danger, whatever the risk. She knows what she has to do. Because there is nothing stronger than a mother’s love…
An utterly unforgettable and devastating story, perfect for fans of The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Stolen from her Mother and Sold on a Monday.
The Orphans Mother centres mainly around two women, Emma, and Irena. These women could not be more different. Emma is a German mother of 2 children who is fleeing her hometown to escape the Russian Army, Irena is a polish nurse working in a hospital who is desperate to have children with her husband but is unable to have them. By a twist of fate, the paths of these women cross in a time of confusion and brutality linking them together for ever.
After an arduous journey in harsh conditions Emma is forced to leave her son Jacob in a polish run hospital whilst she takes up residence in a nearby refugee camp. When they are forced to flee she is unable to get back in time for her son and she reluctantly has to abandon him in the hope that somehow he will be safe, and she will eventually be able to go back for him. Irena finds Jacob scared and alone and in a moment’s decision takes him home with her. To keep him safe she adopts him and despite the rocky start due to mistrust and the inability to communicate eventually Jacob comes to accept Irena as his mother.
This is a heart wrenching and heart-warming story in equal measure. Emma has had to make some tough choices in her life in order to stay alive and protect her children. You can’t help but feel for her and understand her actions as they are ones I am grateful I have never had to make. She was forced into a situation that she did her best with, eventually managing to make a new life but she still wanted to fill the hole left by her missing son.
I admired Irena for her compassion in taking in a child of someone who she would see as the enemy, even if there was a partially selfish motive behind it. Her actions could have landed her in trouble as she was essentially harbouring someone who would have been seen as the enemy even though they were only a child. And then there is Jacob. His struggles to understand what was going on and to finally accept and adapt to what had happened to him is heart-breaking and as he is finally settled his world gets torn apart again.
I have quickly become a fan of Marion Kummerow books, and this is just another brilliant addition to her catalogue.
About the Author
USA Today Bestselling author of historical fiction.
Her books are filled with raw emotions, fierce loyalty and perpetual resilience.
She loves to put her characters through the mangle, making them reach deep within to find the strength to face moral dilemma, make difficult decisions or fight for what is right. And she never forgets to include humor and undying love in her books, because ultimately love is what makes the world go round.
Marion Kummerow was born and raised in Germany, before she set out to “discover the world” and lived in various countries. In 1999 she returned to Germany and settled down in Munich where she’s now living with her family.
After dipping her toes with non-fiction books, she finally tackled the project dear to her heart. UNRELENTING is the story about her grandparents, who belonged to the German resistance and fought against the Nazi regime. It’s a book about resilience, love and the courage to stand up and do the right thing.
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