Archive for February 24th, 2018


Surviving the Fatherland: A True Coming-of-Age Love Story Set in WWII Germany

By Annette Oppenlander

Spanning thirteen years from 1940 to 1953 and set against the epic panorama of WWII, SURVIVING THE FATHERLAND is a sweeping saga of family, love, and betrayal that illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the children’s war.

SURVIVING THE FATHERLAND tells the true and heart-wrenching stories of Lilly and Günter struggling with the terror-filled reality of life in the Third Reich, each embarking on their own dangerous path toward survival, freedom, and ultimately each other. Based on the author’s own family and anchored in historical facts, this story celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the strength of war children.

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Annette Oppenlander

Author’s Bio

Annette Oppenlander is an award-winning writer, literary coach and educator. As a bestselling historical novelist, Oppenlander is known for her authentic characters and stories based on true events, coming alive in well-researched settings. Having lived in Germany the first half of her life and the second half in various parts in the U.S., Oppenlander inspires readers by illuminating story questions as relevant today as they were in the past. Oppenlander’s bestselling true WWII story, Surviving the Fatherland, was elected to IWIC’s Hall of Fame and won the 2017 National Indie Excellence Award. Her historical time-travel trilogy, Escape from the Past, takes readers to the German Middle Ages and the Wild West. Uniquely, Oppenlander weaves actual historical figures and events into her plots, giving readers a flavor of true history while enjoying a good story. Oppenlander shares her knowledge through writing workshops at colleges, libraries and schools. She also offers vivid presentations and author visits. The mother of fraternal twins and a son, she recently returned to her home, Solingen, Germany where she lives with her husband and old mutt, Mocha.

“Nearly every place holds some kind of secret, something that makes history come alive. When we scrutinize people and places closely, history is no longer a date or number, it turns into a story.”

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My Review

5 stars

Whenever I think of a WWII story, the first thing that comes to mind is how the Jews suffered in the concentration camps. It’s easy to think of the Germans as being Jew hating monsters. But in reality many of the Germans were just trying to survive the war the best they could. This is a story of two children and how they survived the war.

Lilly and Gunter are kids that are missing their father who has gone off to fight in the war. But things are not any easier for them even if they are German. Their mother has to entertain men just to make it through. Both kids do what they can just to survive too. They all face tough decisions and find themselves is very bad situations.

This is a touching story that is hard to read. It’s heartbreaking to follow along with the children but there is that glimmer of hope that they will survive. It’s so easy to sweep the past under a rug and pretend that it didn’t happen. But books like this show you true heart and the willingness to keep fighting no matter what.

This is an amazing story and one that I feel everyone needs to read. Annette Oppenlander is a wonderful author and I can’t wait to read more books from her.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

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