When midwife Maggie helps a mother to birth her child the mother asks her to keep her safe and return her to her father. A immersive and heartrending story of war and a mother's love and a midwifes determination.
A beautiful insight in to the loves, lives and loss during this period of history.
Th story captured just how horrendous the outlook was but also the sheer determination and strength of people when they are working together.
Wow! The only thing I would change about this book is to write it chronologically instead of as flashbacks. Other than that, amazing story with wonderful characters!
Thanks to Netgalley, the author and the publisher for allowing me to read this ARC.
This is my first title by this author and will read more in the future.
Will recommend this to anyone looking for a new title.
This book is a gripping, heart-wrenching historical novel which the characters displayed so much courage, strength and resilience
I requested this book as i was drawn in by the cover and thought it looked interesting.
Thanks again for allowing me to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
The Midwife's Child is the 3rd book in the WW2 Resistance series, but it can be read as a standalone book. The majority of the story takes place after the Concentration camps have been liberated, but there are some chapters interspersed at the beginning that give information about what happened to Maggie and others while in Auschwitz. Maggie is a junior doctor who was arrested in Lyon, France trying to blow up railway lines. She ended up in Auschwitz working in the camp hospital with the notorious Dr. Mengele. She also works at the camp midwife. When Eva, a young Jewish woman gives birth in the barracks, they don't have any choice but to transport her to the hospital so she doesn't die from blood loss. Mengele allows her child, Leah, to live hoping to use her in one of his experiments when she is old enough. Before he has a chance, the Germans abandon the camp and march the prisoners west to get away from the advancing Russian troops. The allies are also advancing from the west and at one point, Maggie, Leah and a young nurse Hanna escape the group and are rescued. The rest of the story takes place after that time with Maggie trying to get back to France to find Leah's father. She falls in love with a British Soldier who saved her, and when they are separated and both on dangerous missions they are both in danger of losing their lives. Will they find each other again?
I have read a lot of WWII fiction lately and wasn't sure if I would be okay reading another one, but the emphasis on after the war intrigued me. Yes, there are some tragic and horrific scenes and descriptions set in the camps, but more of the book is set after that. Reading how they had to travel in areas that were held by the Russians, as well as some still under German control before getting to the allies was very interesting. I also learned a lot about the displaced persons and how the nazis tried to sneak into France to escape to Spain. I knew about Mengele, but this was so much more realistic and shared about the people affected not so much his experiments that I had read about in other books. This story was about the people who survived, those fighting in the resistance and for the SOE and SAS. The risks they took to end the war and bring war criminals to justice. It also tells about the everyday people and their trials and tribulations to try and get their lives back after the war. I liked the stories of friendship and yes, even the romance that develops under these terrible conditions. Little Leah was a beacon of hope to so many and I loved that she was such a strong baby and a survivor herself. This is a story of hope, forgiveness, strength, friendship, moving on, love, and courage. I also liked the notes at the end that Amanda Lees shares about her research and the people she met and talked to. If you like historical fiction and want to know more about how the prisoners of the camps survived and some of the spying and missions that went on to capture the nazi war criminals, then I recommend you pick up this well written story.
As midwife in the brutal Auschwitz concentration camp, Maggie finds herself saving baby Leah, born in the last days of the camp. Marching through freezing weather and vicious Nazi soldiers, rescue from a group Scottish soldiers give her the heart to keep going, struggling for both of them to survive. Well written historical fiction.
The Midwife's Child is an emotional rollercoaster that although is work of fiction, it's based on things that actually happened and real people with the love story element between Maggie and Jamie being based on the true story of a Scottish Commando who met a young woman in a displaced persons camp who had survived the death march.
This is the third in this series but I think it works successfully as a standalone because whilst there are recurring characters, each book is a separate story which focusses on one of those recurring characters.
The Midwife's Child centres around Maggie, a former SOE Special Operations Executive) but now incarcerated in Auschwitz following her capture. There she finds herself working in the camp hospital where the devil incarnate, Joseph Mengele, practised his infamous experiments and where Maggie is determined to save the life of her friend Eva and new born, Leah. The end of the war is fast approaching and the Russians are getting close, Eva is too unwell to go on the forced march so she begs Maggie to save her child and reunite her with her father. A seemingly impossible task but one which Maggie vows to complete.
Told from two timelines, from her time as a doctor working in the 'hospital' at Auschwitz towards the end of the war and the period afterwards, The Midwife's Child is a story of exceptional courage, duty, love, friendship and hope and a story that I highly recommended to those of you who enjoy this genre and I have to thank Bookouture and NetGalley for enabling me to read and share my thoughts of The Midwife's Child.
The Midwife’s Child, is the third book in the World War 2 Resistance series by Amanda Lees. It has a harrowing and emotional opening as a woman lies on the brick stove at the centre of her block in Auschwitz. Eva is a French Jew who has lost her twins to the hands of Dr. Mengele and is now giving birth to a little girl Leah. She calls her for her husband Antoine but he is not at the camp but she has Maggie, who was training to be a doctor and a nurse Hanna by her side, both fellow inmates at the camp. January, 1945 and orders are issued to begin marching from the camp. The Germans know the Soviets are drawing ever closer and they are trying to get rid of every piece of evidence of their crimes and brutality. Eva is in no fit state to be moved so Maggie agrees to smuggle baby Leah from the camp in the hopes that she can reunite her with her father. Maggie realises she knows Antoine through her work as a Resistance member and she is determined that she will fulfil Eva’s wish.
The chapters move back and forth between the months prior to the evacuation and the present where Maggie suffers greatly on the way and what follows thereafter is also detailed. My feelings regarding this are detailed further on. The scenes that are described are haunting and harrowing as an already weakened group suffer through the Polish countryside in winter. But Maggie is steadfast in wanting to keep her promise and as baby Leah clings to her she hopes with all her might that a miracle may occur in that she may reach safety and ultimately reunite with her Resistance colleagues. The group are ambushed as they walk but thankfully it is the Soviets who pick off the German soldiers and amongst them is a British man named Captain Jamie MacClean.
The minute Jamie set eyes on Maggie he fell in love with her and it was as if she was the one, he had been seeking his entire life. As the chapters progress and Maggie finds herself in a displaced persons camp, she too begins to reciprocate the feelings that Jamie has. But the love they share is to be severely tested time and time again. At times, I did think the connection and romance between the pair was down played a little bit in that other factors of the story took more precedence and I suppose this did initially annoy me but I came to realise that their relationship was a backdrop of sorts to a bigger story unfolding and that it would come to the fore and slot into place at the appropriate time. As the pair are separated due to the nature of Jamie’s war work, Maggie’s priority lies with Leah and her dedication is nothing short of remarkable. But at the back of her mind is always the hope that Jamie will survive the challenges that war will bring him and that they can be reunited but there is a lot of water to flow under the bridge before any of that could possibly happen.
I have to say that I much preferred the chapters when Maggie reaches Paris as opposed to the ones which focused on her time on the camp. I questioned why they were there given we knew the outcome but having had time to reflect they were necessary for the reader to really gain an insight and good understanding of what fuelled the fire in Maggie’s belly. She had been to hell and back, to the eye out of the storm and knowing what she knew and what she had experienced, it only inspired her to keep going with the cause. I thought the scenes set in Paris and the ones in particular which featured a hotel now turned into a centre for displaced people were great as they allowed a sense of mystery to develop as to what unusual characters were up to. It also showed how people freed from camps had to cope in their new, alternative world so very different to the one they had previously known. I loved how Maggie got right back into Resistance work and some of the characters that had featured in the previous books made a reappearance. One in particular, I feel there could be a further book about but that mightn’t happen. Maggie wants to strike back for all the people that were needlessly killed in Auschwitz and the millions of other people too. How she goes about doing this whilst staying true to her morals and beliefs was very good and also her longing for Jamie remained evident throughout also.
The first half of the book I did find quite confusing sometimes because it felt like I had skipped chapters and I knew I hadn’t. Which meant you really had to take note of the chapter headings which detailed specific dates and places in which the events of that chapter occurred. I found the chapters really moved around the place, back and forth up until halfway the halfway point and when this ended, I was slightly relieved because I then found the events and strands of the story much easier to follow. There was no more crossing over or repetition which didn’t move the story on. Instead things settled into a much better rhythm and I found my self enjoying the story much more as I didn’t have to be as aware of the headings as I needed to previously. The setting and the content within each chapter was clearer and much more structured than it had been before. This sounds like I have a major gripe with the book but honestly I don’t as once I what I found to be a problem sorted itself out I found it easier to follow what was going on and my empathy for the characters grew. So much so that I think Maggie, has been the best female protagonist out of the three books.
The words that strongly sum up Maggie would be for me resilience, persistence, determination, devotion and strength. She is just relentless in terms of her passion throughout the book. That once she makes a promise she never goes back on it and despite having suffered such trauma, suffering and brutalisation at the hands of the Germans at Auschwitz, she still wants to carry on to the bitter end and help her colleagues and friends in the Resistance network in any way shape or form that she can. It says that she spent only five months in the camp as she was captured when trying to plant bombs on a train line near Lyon and although this was a relatively short time period in terms of the overall war and how long other innocent people spent there still the effects of what she witnessed and endured are not to be under estimated.
Maggie’s burning desire to seek revenge on Dr. Mengele for all that he put young children through deserved nothing but admiration. She was like a dog with a bone. Once she had something set out in her mind she was determined to see it through to the bitter end no matter the hardship, hurt and anxiety that she would have to go through. I loved her for all of these traits and just the fact she had such a no-nonsense attitude. She always laid things on the line as they were and if she made a promise to someone as she did regarding baby Leah she would fulfil it no matter the challenges that presented themselves in the process of doing so. There was no messing around with Maggie. She wasn’t evasive or shirking away from her duties or responsibilities and having spent so long working for the Resistance Network she had built up so much strength both physically and emotionally that I really felt she was the right woman to show that love can conquer all and her inner strength and steadfastness are qualities which she had in abundance and what made me think of her as the stand out character in the series.
The Midwife’s Child was a great read and without question the best book in the series. If this proves to be the last in the series than it has ended on a high but I wouldn’t say no to another book as I think Amanda Lees writes so well about the work of women in the Resistance. She has given the women and their bravery, courage and strength a very strong voice. At times, this is a harrowing and difficult read which only further opens the readers eyes to the unnecessary atrocities committed by Hitler and his accomplices. The story that unfolds is very intense and detailed but amidst it all are rays of hope, positivity, unity and love which help in some small way to balance out of all the evil and horror that unfolds. It’s definitely one not to miss out on regardless of whether you have read the previous two books or not.
Having read Paris at First Light, the book right before this one in the WWII Resistance series I knew this book would be hard to get through. Yes, it was not an easy read, how could humans be so brutally cruel to each other without even seeming to care how it affected the ones on the receiving end. But more importantly this book is so important to read because despite its dark happenings it is a beacon of light. For in each situation there is hope. The characters display incredible bravery, and you see this displayed time and time again during war and tragedies. People going out of their way despite the incredible danger they may be putting themselves in they are right here doing all they can to help.
I highly recommend this book.
May 16, 2023 publish date.
I was given a complimentary copy of this book.
All opinions expressed are my own.
A dual timeline story that tells the harrowing last days in a concentration camp and the months after liberation. I love WWII historical fiction but this was not my favorite book. The book started strong but I found my attention wandering later on in the book. I think the closeness of the dual timeline impacted the way I read the book. Things were talking about in one timeline but we’re talking about in the other timeline much later in the book.
Maggie is a midwife and a former secret agent, and she saves the life of baby Leah. Leah is in extreme danger, with everything going on around her, the Nazis, the freezing weather and no food. Maggie is her only hope of survival and Maggie will risk everything and do anything she has to, to make sure Leah survives. Captain Jamie Maclean becomes Maggie’s hope in doing everything he can to help her find Leah’s father. But Maggie’s mission for Leah changes course when she gets word that the horrible Dr. Mengele has escaped Auschwitz. Maggie may be the only one that can locate him. Maggie is so torn between protecting baby Leah, finding Dr. Mengele before it’s too late and the feelings she has developed for Jamie. This is the most terrifying thing she has ever had to do, but it must be done and she absolutely cannot fail.
The Midwife’s Child by Amanda Lees is the third installment in the WW2 Resistance Series. This story was so heartbreaking to read. It was an emotional and gripping story of sacrifice and survival in the most horrible and terrifying circumstances. I cried so many times while turning the pages. But I was engrossed and had to find out the ending. I couldn’t put it down. Read it with the Kleenex box by your side because it will be your best friend throughout the tale. This incredible story is one that I will remember for a very long time and I highly recommend it.
The Midwife’s Child is book three in the WW2 Resistance series. Books one and two were The Silence Before Dawn and Paris at First Light. All three books in this stunning trilogy are five star reads. In this latest book, Maggie saves the life of tender newborn Leah. Born in a concentration camp, with a cruel doctor conducting horrifying experiments, especially on young children, Maggie does everything within her power to save little Leah. Willing to risk life or limb, Maggie is determined to deliver Leah safely to her father, a man who has lost most of his family.
Major Jamie Maclean proves a formidable ally when it comes to the lengths he goes through to assist Maggie. However, at some point, the
pair become separated, but not before strong feelings had arisen between them. Maggie has no choice but to assume the worst. However, she decides not to give up, and does what she can to find Jamie, even if this means fighting the powers that be when it comes to the responsibilities that she has.
Having read a considerable amount of historical fiction, as well as remembering history lessons from school, imagining the pain and travesty at Auschwitz and other concentration camps breaks my heart. However, this story surprised me. While on the one hand it brought tears to my eyes, there was also reasons to cry for joy. I love how strong Maggie was despite terrible opposition. I also loved how real her feelings were when it came to the despicable doctor who was conducting those experiments. I am sure had I been in her shoes I would most likely have felt the same way. And then, when you consider how much she loved the baby she saved, how compassionate she was to other concentration camp prisoners and how she wondered about happiness for herself, this book was utterly compelling and truly impressive. Amanda Lees writes amazing stories and I loved meeting all of the strong women in this series.
Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
This was an intense read for me. When I read of the atrocities that were committed, it is very emotional and heartbreaking.
The Midwife’s Child is a story that shows bravery and strength during a horrible time in our history. What courage!
Very well written WW2 novel by author Amanda Lees.
Many thanks to NetGalley, Bookouture and the author for the opportunity to read this book for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
After reading the first two books in Amanda Lees' WW2 Resistance series, I couldn't wait for this one. Wow! Powerful writing. I can only imagine how difficult this book was to write, but the author did it and did it well.
Book 3 in the series tells Maggie's story beginning with her time in Auschwitz. Her inner strength and determination see her through harrowing experiences, yet she comes out the other side stronger for them.
All the characters are well-written and easy to relate to, except for the bad guys, but even they were well-written.
Thanks to Bookouture and NetGalley for a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
Straddled between the final months of the war and the months right after, the resistance team struggles with the ravages of the war.
Maggie is intent on exacting revenge, especially hunting down the bastard Mengele.
Some scenes are pretty intense and effectively capture the emotions and danger.
The love story between Jamie and Maggie serves to soften the grim reality of 1945.
It’s a good piece of historical fiction, interlaced with factual bases.
This book was fantastic. I read it in 2 days, hard to put it down. It really drew you into the story. A book you need a box of tissues for. The story of Maggie who was a Doctor captured by the Germans and was placed in Auschwitz. It was a gripping book on what went on in the camps and how they struggled. I can not wait to read the others in this series,
Maggie is in the Resistance but is captured after trying to blow up a train line in Lyons and taken to Auschwitz. Fortunately, Maggie is also a doctor and so she is made to work in the hospital, where she witnessed horrendous torture of the camp prisoners as well as witnessing the people who were chosen to go to the gas chamber by Josef Mengele.
Eva is pregnant and dying & Maggie helps her to give birth to a beautiful baby girl called Leah. But Leah has blue eyes and it is down to Maggie and Hanna, who also helps in the nursery to save her.
With the Russians fast approaching, Maggie takes Leah with her as the Germans match them through the woods to who knows where. We follow Maggie and Leah’s escape and journey back to France, where Maggie wants to find Leah’s father, Antoine and give him back his surviving child.
This is an emotional and powerful book, full of love and hate. A poignant story that even now, 78 years later, we still need to learn from it.
A story of courage, bravery, love and hope. A story that I will never forget.
You can see the research that has gone into this book. There are no holds barred and so there shouldn’t be. Millions suffered and died during WW2 and we all owe these people a massive debt. They died so we could live. Lest we forget.
My thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
The Midwife's Child is the 3rd instalment of the Resistance Series by Amanda Lees and it didn’t disappoint. The Midwife's Child is a beautiful written, emotional novel following Doctor, POW and resistance fighter Maggie as she struggles to keep a promise that needs to be kept. A story of bravery, survival, strength, friendship and love with the most perfect ending. A page turner that had me up until all hours. A highly recommended series.
I would like to thank Bookouture, NetGalley and the author for the opportunity to read this complimentary copy for an honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Any time I start reading a World War 2 book, I know it is going to be emotional. The Midwife's Child is exactly that! The plot is emotional, hard to read at times, but beautiful. I loved the characters and felt connected to them. The ending was absolutely perfect. This was my first time reading a book by the author Amanda Lees, but it definitely will not be my last!
The Midwife’s child
By: Amanda Lees
This is the 3rd book in the Resistance Series, but can be read as a standalone. I loved all of these books. The first one was The Silence Before Dawn, followed by Paris at First Light and now this one The Midwife’s Child.
Auschwitz in 1945-Maggie is Auschwitz as a doctor, following Dr. Mengele’s orders, which is very hard as he is a Nazi. She is a resistance fighter who was in prison for her actions. One day she delivers a baby and the mother is dying. Her last wish as she pleads with Maggie’s is to “Save my baby. Find her father. And reunite them.” Dr. Mengele wants the little girl because she has blue eyes and he does experiments. Maggie must do everything in her power to get little Leah out of the camp.
Then the march begins, and Maggie along with others manage to escape in the hands of soldiers from the Red Army. Captain Jamie Maclean rescues them and will do everything in his power to help Maggie get Leah to her father. He realizes he is in awe of Maggie and feelings develop.
While on the search for Antoine, the father of little Leah she finds out Mengele has escaped and she knows he has something that was left behind that can prove what he and other Nazis did to the people of the camp.
This novel has intrigue, depth and had me up super late as I was thoroughly engrossed to find out if Leah would be reunited with her father in time. I highly recommend this novel as well as the others in the series.