An Innocent Child
by Roberta Kagan
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Pub Date 15 Nov 2023 | Archive Date 13 Nov 2023
In the haunting backdrop of a world in turmoil, love, loyalty, and lineage converge in this gripping sequel.
As the specter of Nazism looms over Germany, Margot finds herself torn between two men—Ben, the Jewish doctor who sees her potential, and Max, her childhood confidant and now husband.
Their lives are further complicated by Margot's sickly son, Erik, who grapples with a life-threatening illness. Ben might have the expertise to help Erik, but the rising tide of anti-Semitism means he lacks the resources.
In a desperate bid to save his son, Max is forced to make a heart-wrenching choice that shatters bonds and creates unlikely alliances.
In this dire situation, Margot's sister, Trudy, plays a dangerous game. Married to an ambitious Nazi officer and harboring feelings for Max, she is armed with a secret that could devastate her sister's life.
One wrong move could shatter families, and betrayals could be fatal.
Warning: This is the second installment to the series. It is recommended that you read The Secret They Hid first.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 38 members
An Innocent Child by Roberta Kagan
I loved reading book two of Roberta Kagan’s latest serious Margot’s Secret.
In this book we learn more about the adult years of three Schroder sisters; Margot, Mattie and Trudy. What kind of people they grew up to be, with what type of morals.
I enjoyed this book very much and I cannot wait for the next book in this serious.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Book Whisperer for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Roberta Kagan’s novels are always difficult to read due to their subject matter— the atrocities committed by the Nazis in the period leading up to and during World War II. An Innocent Child focuses on the so called cleansing program which the Nazis considered “not murder but mercy killing of useless eaters!” The novel depicts the lives of the sisters we have met in Ms. Kagan’s previous novel and what their lives have become with children and the various relationships they have with the Jews (particularly Ben and his needed medical skills). The book includes poignant descriptions as well as several examples of cruel unnecessary murders for no reason other than the amusement of the Nazis in their attempt to “perpetuate our Aryan race.” I thank NetGalley and Roberta Kagan for the opportunity to read and review this novel prior to publication and will wait (not patiently) for the continuation and/or the conclusion in the next book.
An Innocent Child by Roberta Kagan is her second in the Margot’s Secret series. I did read the first one however it is not a necessity. The beginning of the book brings you up to date on the lives of the 3 sisters and their husbands. Margot does not get along particularly well with her twin sisters Trudy and Mattie. Trudy is married to a high ranking Nazi officer who is constantly trying to get Margot’s husband to join the party, mostly for his own advancement. Margot and Max have a sickly son and have been bringing him to their Jewish doctor friend Ben when he is sick. When laws against Jews go into affect, this is forbidden. Against Max’s better judgment, he consents to join the party so he has better medical services available for his son Erik.
The goal of the Germany under Hitler is to have a pure Aryan society. Anyone that is not should be done away with. Erik is entered into the T4 program which Margot and Max are told is a cure for his afflictions. This is not the case and the outcome is very unsettling. Trudy knew this but kept it to herself because she has always been in love with Max and is constantly trying to keep him close by so she can get him to want her. There are many side stories within this book, all pertaining to the secret that Trudy carries along with her obsession for Max. There is an awful lot of back and forth going on amongst these stories which makes it confusing.
As with the first book, I was not thrilled with the writing. I felt it was very choppy which for me did not present a smooth story. Also as was with the first book, I was left with an unfinished ending. I assume it left you with questions that will lead to the next in the series, but I find this unsettling. I like a book to have a clear ending.
I would like to thank Net Galley for giving me the opportunity to read this advanced copy.
“Margot’s Secret” book #2
It is highly recommended to start with the first book “The Secret They Hide” in order to enjoy and not be lost. Book#2 picks up where the first left off and we have little back information to situate us.
Nazism is right around the corner. Margot is married to Max and they are close friends with Ben, a Jewish doctor. When their sickly son Erik grapples with a life-threatening illness they turn to Ben, but the rising tide of anti-Semitism, Ben doesn’t have the medication to take care of him. In desperation Margot turns to her sister Trudy, who is married to an ambitious Nazi officer but Trudy has deep feelings for Max and wants his attention at no cost.... She is holding back a family secret that could change everything if revealed and will shatter families....
Although this historical fiction is set before and during WW11 it is mainly of sisters and how far one is willing to go to help a sick child. Ms. Kagan doesn’t shy away from the horrors of Action T-4 a program set by the Nazis to euthanized individual not deemed to be part of the Aryan society: mentally ill or physically deformed individual. These poor souls where sent to a hospital who would give them special care...the author also tackles in her storyline the Lebensborn Program, a program set to increase Germany’s population.
We have a lot going on which fans of historical fiction may find repetitious but around all the known events we do have an interesting family saga and an intriguing backstory of Trudy’s maid. As usual Ms. Kagan has painted a dramatic story that could have happened during war time. The emotional struggles and the many changes the citizens had to endure are well noted and highlight how power to a group ruined the lives of many. I am with some reviewers saying that Ms. Kagan’s words are not simple words but words we need to learn from....
The writing is simple and well-done. The narration flow smoothly and keep a steady pace, in all very active. This is an interesting storyline that held my attention from start to finish. I cared for the characters; they each have a strong personality to love or to hate. In all this is a good book.
Another emotional read from Ms. Kagan. This one tells the story of Max and Margot and their son Erick. It intertwines with Margot's sister, Trudy, and her husband Rudy's story in the rise of the Nazi party in Germany. These stories must be told and told again so people will never forget what happened to the innocent lives of the Jewish people. #neverforget. Roberta Kagan, thank you for keeping the memories and truth alive in your novels.
“An Innocent Child” is a historical fiction book by Roberta Kagan. This book is the second in the “Margot’s Secret” series by this author. This book can be read as a stand-alone, as Ms. Kagan does a great job getting the reader up to speed on who is who and what’s what from the first book. On the plus side of this book, the historical aspects are interesting. Ms. Kagan does weave historical facts into her character’s lives very well. From the opening prologue - and from the first chapter - it’s easy to tell what is going to happen by the end of the book. Ms. Kagan doesn’t shy away from the horrors of Action T-4, but it still makes for difficult reading. I believe that this book wasn’t easy for Ms. Kagan to write - meaning it’s hard when parents believe they’re doing the best for a child, but sometimes situations - and people - don’t make parenting decision easy. While I think this book was more tightly written than the first book in this series, there’s still a bit of repeated information. I also found the backstory of the maid interesting, but it came out of nowhere toward the end of the book and was rather jarring - I wish it had been woven into the story earlier. This book focuses a lot on two of the sisters and their husbands, which at times felt like a warped wanna be love triangle, although it was more like a one-way street of obsession - or maybe teenage high schoolers. I feel this book was stronger than the first book in the series as there was a clear focus over a short time period. However, if you’ve lost a child, this book may be a difficult one to read. I’m giving this a 3.5 rating, down to 3 stars because while I think the overarching story is an important one, at times it seemed all over the place with side characters and secondary subplots, which distracted from the main focus. I’d recommend this book and I do want to continue reading the series.
This was the first of Roberta Lagan’s books that I read. It held my attention. I will read the next when it comes out because I do want to know what happens. I did struggle with the writing, and the chaos of so many different love triangles. Trying to tell 7 versions of a time period is difficult and I often felt confused about why a storyline was incomplete or another rushed. I still want to know what’s next.
First, I have read almost all of Ms.Kagan’s books and they are all amazing! This one is by far my favorite book from her. It is well written and truly heart wrenching and I was completely engrossed in the all the characters. Very sad time in our history and this author tells it honestly and accurately. . Would definitely recommend! Thank you netgalley for letting me give an honest review of this book. .