Why I love to read books about the Holocaust period, I have no idea, but it has always intrigued me and did yet again with this title by Sara Young. A love story, filled with tragedy, heartbreak, and devastation, My Enemy's Cradle is not for the faint of heart, however there is an infinite amount of hope within the story, as well, making it a worthwhile read.
Cyrla is half-Jewish, having been sent to live with her aunt, uncle, and cousin in Holland when the war made living in Poland too dangerous. She gave up celebrating any Jewish holy days, though constantly kept track of them in her head, always pretending to be her cousin Anneke's sister. When Germans begin posting restrictions for Jews in Holland, Cyrla knows she must be more careful than ever and when Anneke gets pregnant and is set to go to a Nazi maternity home for unwed mothers, life instantly becomes incredibly dangerous for everyone involved.
After a strange and cruel twist of fate, Cyrla must go to Lebensborn in Anneke's place, taking over her cousin's identity. Having been promised she will be helped to escape in a matter of weeks, Cyrla goes to the home without much fear. As the months pass and Cyrla remains at Lebensborn without being freed she knows she must take her life into her own hands before her true Jewish identity is discovered and death becomes imminent.
I had never heard stories of these Nazi-run maternity homes until I came across this book, but I finished it wanting to do more research. I had no idea places like that even existed, though I can't say I'm surprised with all the other horrible things that were accomplished during those years. Another cool fact I discovered once I picked up My Enemy's Cradle was that it was also written by the one and only Sara Pennypacker of Clementine fame!She made a great transition from hilarious children's books to super-serious adult fiction!