A Child for the Reich

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Pub Date 04 Jul 2023 | Archive Date 25 Jul 2023
Harper 360, One More Chapter

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From the USA Today bestselling author comes a gripping new emotional WW2 historical novel. Inspired by a true story!

Easily my favorite historical novel of the year If you love WWII fiction, this is a must read’ Soraya M. Lane, Amazon Charts bestselling author of Wives of War and The Last Correspondent

Rumours of the Nazis coming for Czech children swept through the villages like a breeze through the trees, and the story was always the same… They wanted our children to raise as their own

Since her husband, Josef, joined the Czech resistance three years ago, Anna Dankova has done everything possible to keep her daughter, Ema, safe. But when blonde haired, blue-eyed Ema is ripped from her mother’s arms in the local marketplace by the dreaded Brown Sisters, nurses who were dedicated to Hitler’s cause, Anna is forced to go to new extremes to take back what the Nazis have stolen from her.

Going undercover as a devoted German subject eager to prove her worth to the Reich, the former actress takes on a role of a lifetime to find and save her daughter. But getting close to Ema is one thing. Convincing her that the Germans are lying when they claim Anna stole her from her true parents is another…

A powerful story told with humanity, skill and empathy’ Kate Thompson, author of The Little Wartime Library

'A moving story of a mother's love battling against the determination of the Reich to create a pure Aryan race' USA Today bestseller Glynis Peters

'An intensely moving, brilliantly researched novel about love, loss, and the lengths a mother will go to for her child' USA Today bestseller Deborah Carr

'Pulls you in on page one and never lets go! A chilling look at a Nazi program most of us have never even heard of…Historical fans will love this one!' Sara Ackerman, USA Today bestselling author of The Codebreaker's Secret

'Oh my heart! This was such a poignant and powerful story…It will stay with me for a long time.' – Gill Thompson, USA Today bestselling author of The Lighthouse Sisters

From the USA Today bestselling author comes a gripping new emotional WW2 historical novel. Inspired by a true story!

Easily my favorite historical novel of the year If you...

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Featured Reviews

The best historical fiction novels either teach you about something you did not know or further enrich your knowledge of an important historical event. Having read hundreds of novels about WWII, I was actually surprised that I had never heard of the German Lebensborn Program and the over 200k children that were stolen from their families due to their Aryan features and adopted by Germans. Tragically, most were never recovered and returned to their families. They were lied to, indoctrinated and assimilated into German culture. Those that didn't assimilate were sent to camps to be exterminated. Those surviving children would now be in their 80's.

"A Child of the Reich" by Andie Newton is a heart wrenching fictional story about a Czech family who had children stolen by the German nurses known as the Brown Sisters...and the extraordinary steps a mother will take to find her daughter. With their husbands part of the Resistance, Anna, her mother and sister deal with their absence and the destitution caused by the German occupation. The loss of her daughter, Ema, forces Anna to embark on an unimaginably dangerous journey to find her daughter. This is definitely a page turner that will leave you stunned by the inhumanity and cruelty exhibited by the Nazi. It's not a lighthearted read. Nor is it a literary novel due to some uneven pacing and writing that definitely improves as the story gains momentum. I do think this is an important contribution to the genre of WWII historical fiction, and I'm so glad I read it. I want to thank NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC in exchange for a honest opinion.

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Anna Dankova has been trying everything to keep her daughter, Ema, safe since her husband, Josef, left to join the Czech Resistance. When Anna is at the marketplace selling goods, Ema is taken by the Brown Sisters, nurses who traveled to occupied lands to find blond hair and blue eyed children for German families to adopt. Anna will do anything to find her daughter, even going undercover as a devout German in the Lebensborn nursery.

This was an intriguing novel about a program that is really unknown. Over 200,000 children were stolen from their families, and many were never reunited after the war. It was a fast read with a lot of information.

Thank you to NetGalley for the opportunity to read this novel in exchange for my honest opinion.

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In Andie Newton’s novel, A Child for the Reich, Anna lives with her daughter, Ema, in the Czech Republic while her husband is off helping the Resistance counter the Nazis. Life isn’t easy. She must keep her daughter hidden, along with her sister’s children because the Brown Sisters are looking for blonde haired children that they can steal and adopt to German families to increase the Aryan population. With her sister’s name on a list, their awareness is heightened, but they must carry on as normal as possible or risk being reported by someone who is observing them. When Anna goes with a neighbor to the market to sell her vegetables and herbs, Ema is taken in the madness of the end of the market that day. Determined to get her daughter back, Anna comes up with a plan.

Obtaining false documents that show her as German, Anna makes her way to Dresden to find Ema and take her back. What she doesn’t count on is the difficulty and secrecy that would be a huge part of it. Risking not only her own life, but that of her daughter, will Anna be able to take her daughter away from the Germans and make her way back home? This story truly tells that a mother will stop at nothing to get back her child and keep her safe from the evils of the world. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thank you to NetGalley and Harper 360 for the advanced copy. Opinions expressed are my own. This book is set for publication on July 3, 2023.

#netgalley #arc #bookstagram #andienewton #achildforthereich #harper360

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"A Child for the Reich" is beautifully written and made me cry. Based on true events with the seldom talked about Lebensborn program, this book details a mother's love and how she will risk everything to save her child. The narrative follows three mothers, and the trials they face. The use of first person narrative give exceptionally close insight into the mind of Anna and the struggle she's facing when she goes into the German nursery as an undercover nurse.

Personally, I felt Andie Newton did an exceptional job capturing the fear and constant scrutiny of living under Nazi command. Every tiny detail is questioned and one wrong answer can lead to death.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in WW2 historical fiction, particularly someone looking to know more about the Lebensborn program and the little discussed "Brown Sisters".

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This is a difficult story to read. It is about a Czech family whose children are stolen by the Nazis with the idea of them being adopted by German families and turned into good little Nazis. The story is fictional but it based on actual events that occurred during WWII. This is a story about a Mother who will stop at nothing to get her child back and keep her safe. Thank you to net galley for an advanced readers copy.

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Child for the Reich
“I plunged my spade into the garden dirt and Ema scooted closer on her knees, dragging her bottom-heavy seed bag. The sun shown brightly for the first time in many days and somewhere between the third hole and the last, with a honey breeze lisping through the linden trees and the sun warm on our backs, I’d slipped away into another world, thoughts and breath like sands sliding through an hourglass. I swept a lock of Ema’s golden hair behind her ear as she laughed from playing with a wiggly worm.” (pg12)
Thus begins the harrowing tale of Child for the Reich. Set in the German Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia in June 1944, the story features an immigrant Czech family of two sisters, their children, and grandmother. Their husbands have joined the resistance and haven’t been heard from in three years.
Sisters, Dasa and Anna, live in fear that their blonde, blue-eyed children will be stolen by the Reich’s dreaded Brown Sisters. The Nazi’s steal Aryan-looking children to be adopted by German’s. It is a dangerous time not knowing which friend can be trusted and which one is working with the Nazi’s. Any neighbor could inform the Nazi’s where to find children and be paid handsomely.
One day, it happens. Anna is knocked unconscious while an SS officer and a Brown Sister steal her beloved Ema.
Anna refuses to accept that her Ema is gone forever and hatches a clever plan to get her back. As the story progresses, the reader learns of another horrific Nazi operation involving “orphans,” babies, and women.
Child of Reich is a quick read mainly because it’s impossible to put down. The suspense is intense throughout the story. With skilled characterization, Anna comes to life for the reader. We can feel her angst. “I still had a smile on my face when I noticed the man who’d stared at us outside was now in the street talking to a German policeman on patrol. He pointed his cigarette at the butcher shop. I felt my insides shrink, and the character I’d been playing evaporated from my grasp like water on a hot pavement.” (Pg. 74)
Newton’s vivid descriptions take us into the time and place. “The gate rattled and clanked as I breathlessly clawed at the iron bars, before collecting myself in fear of drawing attention, dropping my arms and appearing clam, though my pulse was pumping. There were so many children, oh so many, and I looked for Ema’s blonde bunches among the others, but every girl had braids. A piercing whistle called the children inside and then they were gone, and gardens were empty.” (Pg. 122)
Child for the Reich is a unique historical story based on facts regarding the Reich’s Lebensborn program.
I highly recommend this book and give it a rating of 5.

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A heart wrenching read.
Nazi scum stole thousands of children from their homes during WWII and most were never recovered.
My heart beat in fear as Anna and Desa try to shield their children from the predators. I felt Anna’s heartache and desperation as she hatched a dangerous bid to get back her child and then another child also appears.
It’s a pulse pounding, have to see what happens kind of book.
It does have a good ending when most of the true life stories didn’t.

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A Child for the Reich by Andie Newton is the first book I've read by this author, and I will definitely be seeking out more of her work. Based on the horrific Nazi Lebensborn program, this story is absolutely hearbreaking, but it's also a testament to the strength of women in general and motherhood in particular. This story made me cry, but I was amazed as to how people are able to overcome the evil that is thrust upon them.

In the German Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia (Czechoslovakia) in 1944, there are instances of the Reich's Brown Sisters - nurses dedicated to Hitler's cause - stealing Czech Aryan-looking children to be raised by Germans as their own. Three years previously Anna Dankova's husband Josef left her to join the Czech resistance. Since then, Anna has done everything possible to keep their beloved daughter Ema safe...their blonde haired, blue-eyed daughter. Despite her care, Ema is ripped from Anna's arms by a Brown Sister at the marketplace, and Anna vows to do everything in her power to take back what the Nazis have stolen from her. A former actress, Anna seeks employment at a Lebensborn nursery to find and take back her daughter. Can she give the performance of her life to save the child who means everything to her?

I am interested in World War II fiction, and I was especially drawn to this story as the heroine is Czech. My father's family is Czech, and my mother and I visited Prague, one of the most beautiful cities in the world. What I wasn't expecting was the horrors of the Lebensborn, the Nazi Selective Breeding and Child Abduction Program. How had I never heard about this?! It's truly terrifying what humans can do to each other. It is believed approximately 200,000 were stolen from their families. Not only were children kidnapped to be raised as German children, but women were encouraged to be good German women and breed with elite SS officers to replenish the lives of the Reich who perished in war. The children were treated horribly. They torn away from their loving families and told they were truly German and had been taken away from their "real" parents. Children were forced to have UV light "treatments" in order to make them paler and more Aryan in appearance. Babies were left to cry in their cribs; to pick them up and comfort them was considered coddling, and they were being manipulative. Babies...being manipulative! Children who resisted Germanization would be beaten or starved. Older children who wouldn't comply or still spoke in their native tongue would be taken to camps. In order to steal children, Brown Sisters would often tempt them with treats, then grab them and spirit them away. Simply evil!

Anna was a wonderful character. Her husband and brother-in-law joined the Czech resistance a few years ago, and she didn't know whether they lived or died. She lived with her daughter Ema, her sister Dasa, Dasa's children and their mother Matka. Matka mainly stayed in bed after her husband was killed, but when her family was in danger she became all Grandma Bear! I loved her. Some of her comments brought a bit of humor to a dark tale. A Brown Sister attempted to steal one of Dasa's children, and it didn't end well for the Brown Sister. Good! Anna did everything she could to keep Ema safe, yet the child was grabbed at the market, and no one would help her. Anna knew what she had to do. She was able to get a position in a Lebensborn nursery, and she did locate her daughter. But how was she to rescue Ema? The tale became quite harrowing, and I held my breath throughout the book. Some of the characters were nothing as they initially appeared, which made Anna's mission even more difficult. Supporting characters were excellent, though not always likable, especially Mrs. Lang and Ursula. Matka was my favorite, and other characters such as Kurt, Dasa, Paula and Mrs. Greta Strohm were particularly compelling. It was a difficult story to read, but very hard to put down. It's heartbreaking, but also shows the undying love of a mother willing to do anything to save her child.

I received an ARC of this book courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley. I received no compensation for my review, and all thoughts and opinions expressed are entirely my own.

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“A Child for the Reich” is a heart wrenching story of a mother whose child is stolen from her by the Reich, and the brave and dangerous lengths she goes to to get her daughter back. While this story is fictional, it is based on interviews and diaries of actual survivors. The Reich did take children they felt they could pass off as Aryan from occupied countries and put them up for adoption to German families.

The author wrote that when she learned of this Nazi kidnapping program, her “thoughts went straight to the mothers,” and that’s why she wanted to write this story. She did an excellent job of taking the reader along with the main character, the mother, through every emotion and fear the character felt throughout the book.

Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher Harper Collins 360, and the author Andie Newton for the advanced reader copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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4.5 out of 5 stars! Great Book!

Based on a true story, A Child for the Reich by Andie Newton dives into an often overlooked part of history, the Lebensborn Program. Aside from caring for children born of Nazis and Arian women, members of this program stole over 200,000 Arian children from their parent's arms. These children were raised for the Reich, to continue the Arian line and continue the Nazi line.

This story takes place in occupied Prague as Anna Danova has her daughter snatched from her at the market. To find her child, Anns goes undercover in the Nazi government to Nurse at an orphanage where her daughter, and other stolen children, are being kept.

This is a fascinating and fast-paced story. I highly recommend this book to any WWII historical fiction readers.

Thank you, Harper Collins and One More Chapter for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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A gripping and historically significant tale, "A Child for the Reich" by Andie Newton sheds light on a lesser-known chapter of history, the Lebensborn Program. Set against the backdrop of occupied Prague, the story delves into the heartbreaking reality of the program, which not only cared for children born of Nazis and Aryan women but also callously separated over 200,000 Aryan children from their parents. These children were raised to serve the Reich, perpetuate the Aryan lineage, and advance the Nazi cause.

The narrative follows Anna Danova, who endures the unimaginable tragedy of having her daughter snatched from her arms at a market. Determined to reunite with her child, Anna embarks on a daring undercover mission within the Nazi government, posing as a nurse in an orphanage where her daughter and other stolen children are being held.

The book weaves a fascinating and fast-paced plot, keeping readers engrossed from start to finish. I wholeheartedly recommend this captivating read to enthusiasts of WWII historical fiction, as it offers both an enthralling story and valuable insights into a little-explored aspect of the past.

I extend my gratitude to Harper Collins and One More Chapter for providing me with an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Just how far would you go to save your family and bring back your child who had been kidnapped? Is there really a point that would be considered “too far” or “the end”?

Anna goes to the end of the world and back to find and save her daughter who had been cruelly and wrongfully snatched from her in the middle of a market square, only to find out that there’s another child that she has to save. She puts on one of the best acts of her life in order to succeed on her mission. But what does it feel like when you realize that you’ve achieved your goals, yet lost so much?

I loved this book and everything about it. What would have made it a 5 star book would have been if there was more detail about what happened to Anna after getting to Greta’s home, the process of returning home, and the attempts to either return to her life before Ema was kidnapped or try to create a new life for the whole family. Otherwise, really a great read for fans of historical fiction.

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Received this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you. While I read this book, and liked it I forgot to post on either of my go to sights.
The story was compelling, and I liked the book, but when I received a reminder to post a review, I had not remembered I had read it. So I started again. and recalled the plot. So while the story was good, it left somewhat of an impression. It does have good historical value on a little know problem of Nazis moving into non Germans and stealing Aryan looking children.
While I value this story, and the some of the lesser know crimes that took place during this time, I do question plausibility the plot. The book was well written, and I do not recall any errors. I would read more from this author.

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A Child for the Reich is like World War II meets the Handmaids Tale. What is scary is these practices actually happened.
Anna’s child was stolen right from her arms. She goes to extreme lengths to get her back. Including agreeing to having Aryan looking children for the German families.
This story was full of shocking situations and heartbreaking losses. If you like stories centered around true historical events then you will enjoy this read.

Thank you Andie Newton and NetGalley for the ARC.

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Not at all what I expected but an interesting and heart-touching read. If you want an unexpected WWII adventure this is it!

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Another great addition to the historical fiction genre based on WWII. This was a different aspect than I have typically read. And one that will grab you and not let go. I was not aware of how many children who fit the “German” approved blond hair and blue eyes “Aryan” features were stolen and Germanized. I continue to be amazed at the lengths Hitler and his regime went to in their attempts to create a nation for the Reich. Anna is a strong and dedicated mother and I admired her unwillingness to give up on finding her stolen daughter, Ema. This story will touch your heart and have you cringing at the inhuman actions of Hitler’s regime. The focus on family, relationships, dedication, and strength will have you flipping through the pages to see how things end.

Thank you to NetGalley and One More Chapter for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

For more reviews, please visit my blog at: https://www.msladybugsbookreviews.com/. Over 1000 reviews posted!

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A true to life story where Nazi Germany was stealing children and then sending them off to live with German families. This is a fascinating story and one that you will instantly be drawn into.

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