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The Blue Suitcase

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4.20  ·  Rating Details  ·  56 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
It is 1932, Silesia, Germany, and the eve of Antonia's 12th birthday. Hitler's Brownshirts and Red Front Marxists are fighting each other in the streets. Antonia doesn't care about the political unrest but it's all her family argue about. Then Hitler is made Chancellor and order is restored across the country, but not in Antonia's family. The longer the National Socialists ...more
Kindle Edition, 292 pages
Published (first published January 1st 2010)
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(showing 1-30 of 125)
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Josie
May 28, 2016 Josie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the best books I have read in a long while.
I became aware of Marianne Wheelaghan when I was in Kiribati last year, as she has written Food of Ghosts however due to my little idiosyncrasy that I read an author's books in the order they were written, regardless of whether their books link on to one another or not, I couldn't read that one until I had ticked off this book as its her first novel.
So rather unsuspectingly I picked this up yesterday in an aim to get it out the way so I
...more
Juliet Wilson
Oct 07, 2012 Juliet Wilson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novels
Lots of novels have been written about the Second World War. Very few of them though are told from the point of view of ordinary German people.

The Blue Suitcase is Marianne Wheelaghan's first novel, based on her mother's diaries, the family's letters and additional historical research.

Told in the format of a diary, the novel follows Antonia from 1932 when she was 12, growing up in Silesia, a part of Germany that is now in Poland and ending in 1946, when she leaves Germany to start training as a
...more
Louisa J.
Sep 26, 2011 Louisa J. rated it it was amazing
The Blue Suitcase is historical fiction, set around World War II. Antonia lives in Silesia, formerly part of Germany, with her opinionated family. Her parents are outraged that one son, Hubert, wants to join Hitler Youth and the other, Hansi, is a member of the Communist Party. Antonia's two sisters are fighting over which one of them should be sent off to become a nun. But all Antonia wants to do is celebrate her 13th birthday in peace! Things only get worse in 1933 when Adolf Hitler becomes Ch ...more
Robert Davidson
Jun 08, 2011 Robert Davidson rated it really liked it
The consummate quality inherent in the prose of this work is enviable. The novel excels on so many levels; style, storyline, characterisation, development, pace etc. are flawless throughout. The depth of the research and the utilisation of its results are impressive. The plot, powerful yet expertly underplayed, is revealed with masterful control as the reader grows with Antonia, at first youthfully naive and flushed with her own importance, then bewildered and bruised by the hard lessons of the ...more
Geoff Woodland
Jul 30, 2012 Geoff Woodland rated it it was amazing
I have just finished The Blue Suitcase and found it to be a fascinating book. The story is `now' rather than the reader being told about the political situation of Germany in the 1930's. In many ways it is a happy / sad story of a young girl growing up in Germany, during that disturbing decade. The author held my attention throughout the book - not once did I skip forward, because I wanted to know every detail of the main character's life. The story is wrapped around the changing political situa ...more
Tracey Mitchell
Dec 26, 2012 Tracey Mitchell rated it it was amazing
Amazing diaries of a young girl growing up in Nazi Germany
Lindsay (Little Reader Library)
'Everyone is on edge and scared - scared to say what they think, and scared of what might come. Those not killed by the bombing are collapsing in the street from stress and anxiety.'


The Blue Suitcase is a fictional work that was inspired by actual letters and diaries which the author Marianne Wheelaghan found amongst her mother's belongings after her death, and it tells the story of a teenage girl growing up in Nazi Germany. The author writes in her prologue:

'I discovered the story of a vital pe
...more
Kath Middleton
Oct 06, 2012 Kath Middleton rated it it was amazing
This is the story of Antonia, a girl growing to womanhood in Silesia, then part of Germany, in the 1930s and 40s. We see the rise to power of Hitler and his insidious beliefs from the viewpoint of her family members. It divides the family as some feel the Nazi movement is bringing Germany back her pride and self-belief while others start to notice what is happening to the weak, the non-Aryan, the mentally ill. Some refuse to believe what is happening. Some believe it and are mortally afraid to s ...more
Murdo Morrison
Nov 02, 2011 Murdo Morrison rated it it was amazing
The Blue Suitcase is a welcome addition to the literature of World War 2. Written from the point of view of a German family, the book addresses the universality of suffering in wartime in a very compelling way. Using family documents as a base, the author has creatively blended non-fiction and fictional elements. The story is told in the form of diary pages written by a young woman. This format, which might have been problematic in the hands of a less talented writer, adds a sense of immediacy a ...more
John Gaynard
Dec 10, 2012 John Gaynard rated it it was amazing
This powerful, informative and entertaining novel had been sitting on my Kindle for more than a year before I got around to reading it. By the end of the first chapter I realized that I had been depriving myself of a real treat. That feeling stayed with me until the end of the story, which is told in diary and letter form by Antonia (Toni), the youngest daughter of a middle-class German family.

The novel begins in Breslau in June 1932 and ends with the bloody displacement of ethnic Germans at th
...more
Amira
Dec 10, 2012 Amira rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction-general
This is one of the best historical novels I have ever read. The book takes the form of diary entries written by a German girl named Antonia that span a period of almost 15 years; starting before the rise of Hiltler and the Nazi party to power- when she was just twelve years old- until the end of the Second World War.
It is a real eye-opener and it sheds light on a side of the story that is rarely covered in most of the books; the suffering of ordinary German families under Hitler's rule.
It is wo
...more
Karen (Kew)
Dec 06, 2011 Karen (Kew) rated it it was amazing
I've just finished reading The Blue Suitcase which I can highly recommend to anyone interested in the history of Germany during the rise of the nazis and world war 2. Although this is termed a novel, it is based on the life story of the author's mother. I hadn't realised before how terrible life was for the ordinary german during that time. We all know how dreadfully the Jews were treated as well as other groups - but I hadn't before realised how difficult things were for people in general, how ...more
Wendy Bertsch
Aug 31, 2011 Wendy Bertsch rated it really liked it
We’re all familiar with World War II from the Allied perspective. The Blue Suitcase presents an unfamiliar view of the pre-war and war years in Germany.

Antonia is a German girl of 12 when the book begins in 1932 – an unremarkable young girl living in a remarkable time – and her diary allows us to see the rise of Hitler and the Nazis in quite a different way. In fact, the members of her family are radically split in their views, and the effect Nazi Germany and the war it engendered have on them i
...more
Katrina Hart
May 11, 2015 Katrina Hart rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourite-books
The Blue Suitcase.

The Blue Suitcase, has an amazing start and very strong characters throughout the book.
I felt as though the story dragged you into the war and bloodshed.

However the letter from each family member was so well put together, and I couldn't stop reading it, In fact I read it all in a couple of hours it was that mind affecting, you just felt almost like you were travelling with each page.
John Barratt
Sep 02, 2011 John Barratt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: will-read-again
A friend highly recommended this book, so I had to have a read myself and see what all the fuss was about!
Although not usually a fan of historical fiction, The Blue Suitcase was a thrilling story about the the life of a typical German family during WWII. Even though I say 'typical', the story is far from mundane, with heart wrenching family problems and scarily true stories of what life was like in the Second Word War under Hitler's rule and during his uprising.
This book touches on an area which
...more
Damien Holahan
Sep 01, 2011 Damien Holahan rated it it was amazing
This was an excellent read! My girlfriend got this for me and at first I was a bit wary as I'm not usually interested in books written in diary form but as soon as I started I couldn't stop! I also prefer to read non-fiction but because this book is based on real facts I would recommend it to both people who love fiction or non-fiction. The author obviously did a lot of research before writing it which made it a really interesting read. It gave me a fresh insight into how the WW2 affected german ...more
Rhona Arthur
Nov 20, 2013 Rhona Arthur rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really got hooked on this after hearing Marianne speak at a Readers' Day event. Even the other authors got drawn in to the story as she described it. Amazing historical events woven in to a painful coming of age novel. If you're interested in the horror of war, man's inhumanity to man or our tremendous capacity tour survival, this is one to read.
Alexander
Nov 15, 2012 Alexander rated it really liked it
A well written and always interesting story detailing the life of a girl who lives through Nazi rule in Germany, from a young girl in 1932 through to post war Russian rule in Poland. Written via the medium of letters and diary entries, it shows how abominations can happen, although it remains unforgiveable.
Kazimiera pendrey
Oct 03, 2011 Kazimiera pendrey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorate
a great read it was iteresting to read a second worldwar diary from a german perspective i would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical diaries
Gabriele Goldstone
Dec 16, 2015 Gabriele Goldstone rated it it was amazing
This is one of those "inspired by a true story" books. The author discovered her mother's diary and created narrative out of them. What a serendipitous gift for Marianne Wheelaghan to find that blue suitcase. The book is set in Silesia, Germany (now Poland) beginning in 1932 and ending in 1947. I grew up with people who lived through similar experiences and this book only reinforced the history of my own family. Their displacement brought them to Canada. The Blue Suitcase is gripping and enlight ...more
K.P. Vorenberg
Sep 27, 2012 K.P. Vorenberg rated it it was amazing
A stunning read . . . .


As a child of the 1940s, I generally tend to shy away from reading books that deal with World War II. Each uncle and cousin that served in that war filled our ears with references to it well into our late teens. That said, I want to congratulate Ms. Wheelaghan for presenting us with another side of the story.

This is not a book that once read will leave your thoughts. Perhaps because I knew the ultimate outcome of the Nazi regime, I found myself cringing and gasping at the
...more
Melinda Freeland
Aug 25, 2013 Melinda Freeland rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Readers interested in hearing a different tale about the time of WWII
Recommended to Melinda by: Author is a member of my GR Women & Books Bookclub
Author Marianne Wheelaghan did an excellent job of writing a novel that shows a side of World War II that hasn't been covered extensively, and that is the story of what a Christian German family went through around this time frame. Inspired by the true story of the author's mother, who was a German citizen, this novel is told in diary format. The first entry is in 1932 when the narrator Antonia is 12 years old, and the last entry is written in June of 1947, when she is 27.

The typical "blunt hone
...more
Jana
May 17, 2016 Jana rated it it was amazing
It's fascinating to read about the WWII events from German point of view, and from a person who witnessed the events since 1932. It just goes to show that ordinary people will suffer the most horrific faith on both sides of the conflict, regardless of what the conflict is about.
Historical events aside, it was heart breaking to read about the mother in this book and how easily relationship with a daughter can go so terribly wrong. It scared me.
I could not put this book down.
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UK Amazon Kindle ...: The Blue Suitcase by Marianne Wheelaghan 11 19 Apr 03, 2012 02:46AM  
Writers and Readers : Marianne Wheelaghan and The Blue Suitcase 6 12 Sep 23, 2011 02:41PM  
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I left home at seventeen and returned to Edinburgh after twenty-five years, where I now live with my family.

The Blue Suitcase is my first novel. An historic fiction, it was published in 2010. The interest shown in it has been remarkable. It was inspired by my mother's life and based on letters and diaries I found after her death. The novel tells the story of an ordinary Christian girl girl growin
...more
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