The Blue Suitcase
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The Blue Suitcase

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4.32 of 5 stars 4.32  ·  rating details  ·  37 ratings  ·  19 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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Juliet Wilson
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.
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
Bob Crickard
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
Kath Middleton
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
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
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
Karen (Kew)
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
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
Geoff Woodland
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
John Barratt
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
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
Kazimiera pendrey
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
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
Tracey Mitchell
Amazing diaries of a young girl growing up in Nazi Germany
K.P. Vorenberg
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
Amira
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
Melinda Freeland
Aug 25, 2013 Melinda Freeland rated it 3 of 5 stars
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
Rhona Arthur
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
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.
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UK Amazon Kindle ...: The Blue Suitcase by Marianne Wheelaghan 11 18 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. I now live here with my family. When I'm not writing, I'm running the online writing school, www.writingclasses.co.uk, celebrating 10 successful years this 2012! My first novel, The Blue Suitcase, was published in 2010. The interest shown in it has been remarkable. It is an historic fiction, inspired by my mother's life an...more
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