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Suitcase of Dreams

(The Girl from Munich #2)

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  361 ratings  ·  48 reviews
The eagerly anticipated sequel to the bestselling The Girl from Munich

After enduring the horror and chaos of postwar Germany, Lotte Drescher and her family arrive in Australia full of hope for a new life. It’s a land of opportunity, where Lotte and husband Erich hope to give their children the future they have always dreamed of.

After years of struggling to find their fee
Paperback, 448 pages
Published November 1st 2018 by Simon & Schuster AU
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3.67  · 
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 ·  361 ratings  ·  48 reviews

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Arriving at Bonegilla, the migrant camp in rural Victoria near the NSW border, after the long sea voyage from Germany on the Skaubryn, Lotte Drescher and her husband Erich, plus daughters Greta and Johanna, were excited but nervous about their future in Australia. Their life was beginning anew; it was 1956 and they were filled with hope.

But life wasn’t easy – Erich struggled to find a job after their arrival in Sydney. His qualifications as an engineer weren’t recognized in Australia and he had
Dale Harcombe
Jun 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After living through Nazi Germany and then the hardship of the post war, Erich and Lotte Drescher and their two daughters arrive in Australia. The year is 1956. Lotte and Erich view Australia as the land of opportunity which will give them and their two daughters a better life. But when they arrive they find everything is not as they had been told. Undeterred they struggle to make the best of a less than ideal situation. Too often it seems to be one problem after another. Just as things start to ...more
After thoroughly enjoying The Girl From Munich I was really excited to read the next installment in Lotte and Erich's journey. I have to say that though enjoyable it didn't quite engage me as much as the first book. I found it interesting and at times it made me angry the way migrants were treated by the Australian people and the struggles the went through. I wonder how much has really changed for people coming into our countries bringing their differences with them. I found the union angle inte ...more
Dec 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
This is a sequel to The Girl from Munich and continues Eric & Lotte's story with their immigration from Germany to Australia. It felt like a history lesson as well as a great family saga. You couldn't help but feel sorry for them with the situations they found themselves in - after promises of employment Eric found his qualifications not recognised here and they lived at the Bonnegilla migrant hostel in Victoria as well as the Villawood hostel in Sydney. They struggled through the years and ...more
4.5 stars. Wonderfully written picture of a German family emigrating to Australia after WW11. Their life as immigrants and the hardships and challenges they faced. The terrible Vietnam War that impinged on their lives. What stands out are strong characters who were able to search for the freedom and safety they desired for themselves and their descendants. Well done Tania Blanchard.
Nov 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
‘I didn’t even know why we were here. It wasn’t like we were wanted when there’d been nothing but disregard, disrespect and lies since our arrival.’

Tania Blanchard wrote a tremendous debut, ‘The Girl from Munich’ (HERE) and therefore I was most excited to read her follow up story of Lotte and Erich. Once again, this proved easy to read with that familiar mix of fiction and nonfiction, that this time, will have you disembarking on Australian shores during the years of post war migration.

After su
Suitcase of Dreams by Australian author Tania Blanchard is the sequel to the hit, The Girl From Munich. As I haven’t read The Girl From Munich, I saw it as an opportunity to see if this saga could be read as a stand-a-alone. Blanchard has provided enough background information that it could be read without reading The Girl From Munich first. While the prequel is set in Germany, Suitcase of Dreams is set in Australia between 1956 and 1976, based on the life of Blanchard’s grandparents. The narrat ...more
Alicia Tindall
Nov 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read Suitcase of Dreams written by Tania Blanchard.
Lotte Drescher, her husband Erich and daughters Johanna and Greta leave Germany after the horrors of World War II and head to Australia. It's 1956.
They begin to dream of a peaceful life and more importantly they begin planning for the future. They first set foot in the migrant camp Bonegilla in NSW then spent some time in the Villawood hostel in Sydney. before finally moving into their own prop
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: australian, own-it
A book with an item of clothing or accessory on the cover ✔ ...more
Deb M
Dec 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was really looking forward to reading Suitcase of Dreams as I had read The Girl from Munich and fell in love with the characters and Tania Blanchard’s abilities as a storyteller. I was certainly not disappointed, Suitcase of Dreams was every bit the emotional, heart pounding story I had expected.

This story reminded me of my own family who experienced many similar circumstances as they arrived in Australia and lived in a shanty on the outskirts of Sydney. It amazes me the bravery of families wi
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Suitcase of Dreams is a beautifully written story that depicts the difficulties and hardships faced by post-WWII European migrants who decided upon a move to Australia for a better life. 

Blanchard, through her familial links and obvious research on the topic, portrays not only the strengths that were required of the migrants in order to withstand the massive cultural shock that followed them throughout their life journey as new Australians but also the subsequent challenges related to identity,
Jo Hartley
Ok - pretty simple storyline - readable but not gripping
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can see the mini series already.... this is the sequel to The Girl from Munich and brought the trial and tribulations confronted by migrants post WW2~ the struggles, the joys of seeing their children living in a 'better' country is very evident in this book. The schisms brought about by the Vietnam war (a pointless war that Australia had NO place in being involved) are evident in this someone whose family came from Europe I had empathy for the characters in this book; saying that, m ...more
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was a lovely story with bucketloads of history imbedded throughout. The subjective perspective of protagonist Lotte was imposed on its readers as intended so that we could appreciate the challenging plight of the post-war European "new" Australians and understand their hardships and the discrimination they faced while carving out a new life for themselves in a foreign country that apparently had "freedom" from the evils of war and corrupt government. In terms of the writing style, I felt th ...more
Jan 18, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Very informative with regard to the social history of the time, but the writing style resembles a journal, full of facts but lacking in description or emotion.
Ashley Di Terlizzi
A beautifully told tale of Australia post-WWII from the perspective of a strong-willed German-Australian woman.
Dec 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very emotional journey with German immigrants arriving in Australia to find things were not as promised
Feb 10, 2019 rated it liked it
I've picked up a few books about immigrants and how they've tackled life in Australia over the years. They're usually pretty good. Eye opening.
I'm an Irish immigrant to Australia with absolutely no appreciation for how hard mum and dad would have found it. On the surface, everybody loves the Irish, don't they? But then you read or hear stories about Irish migrants being treated badly, assumed stupid, laughed at for having too many kids, etc.
Most of the migration stories (novels) I've read the mi
Kellie Hoffman
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fantastic follow up to The Girl From Munich which I have read previously. It’s set in a period of time that I haven’t read a lot about & gives great insight into the migrant experience in Australia in the ‘50’s & ‘60’s. I was shocked to learn of some of the treatment for those that were coaxed to our country during this time. Lotte & Erich are hard-working, creative, passionate, loving & likeable characters. They are battlers striving for a better future for themselves ...more
Feb 19, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book while in Sydney because it was featured on a shelf of Australian authors in the bookstore. I did not realize it was the continuation of a story until about half way through. The author kept referring to things in the past, and I figured she'd just have flashbacks. When it became apparent that wasn't going to happen, I looked it up and realized it was a continuation of the story.
But, I still think it was a really good book. I loved learning more about Australia and the immigrat
Dec 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Julene Matthews
Mar 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful story of immigrants from Germany after WW2 and their lives in Australia. As a baby boomer, it took me back to those times. Struggling in the 1950's,Vietnam war, moon landing, swinging 60's,women's liberation etc.
The changing attitudes to migrants since the war is in the forefront and also the daily joys and problems in Australian life during those times. The author points out how hard the couple worked to prosper and thrive over those years and the benefits their children enjoyed.
Was pretty good, but a bit wishy-washy in parts.

Possible Spoilers

Some plot lines were never answered, ie:

1. Erich said he would talk to Franz about Ernst, but we never do find out if he did or not;
2. Build-up of possible trouble in regards to Erich's union work, but not much came of it. Did they ever find out who wrote the letter?;
3. Lotte wrote to Erich's older children and was hinted throughout that she would go and see them. Did she ever go and see them? Did they ever write back? Was left in
Eva Lehmann-Bauer
Dec 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Another fantastic book from Tania! I loved this. I cried when Lotte found out about Erich (both times - I won't spoil it! 🙂)

I love these stories. They make me feel good because like myself ( who had ancestors in Hitler's Germany too) it's nice to know that my ancestors were not the only ones who were caught up in it all. Excellent story telling Tania has, I couldn't put it down. Like 'The Girl From Munich', 'Suitcase of Dreams' is faultless. Well worth a read!! 5⭐!
Alison Davies
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this perspective of a parallel life in Australia for a migrant family compared with mine from a fairly typical WASP family. Their struggles to survive and assimilate and the strengths of relationships were the essence of the story but the still newly developing nation of Australia from the 1950s was also well documented. Very well written. I’m keen to read her novel “The Girl From Munich”. I’d definitely recommend this novel.
Ann Denee
Apr 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
A good story I enjoyed reading. The characters were believable although the ending was abrupt and a big jump from the story. The author shares afterward that the main characters were based on her grandparents and their actual story of immigration to Australia, the challenges they faced and overcame, which obviously adds authenticity to the overall story.
Nov 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After being a huge fan of the first book I couldn’t wait to pick this next one up! This is as thrilling and as much as a page turner as the first and reeled me into Lottie’s story more and more. All of the twists and turns kept me enthralled and I loved learning about their children more! I couldn’t suggest this book more and will defiantly be rereading this in a months or so time!
Mar 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Based on her family history, this novel has a ring of authenticity. Blanchard chronicles the highs and lows of moving from Germany to Australia in the 1950’s, along with so many many other immigrants. The perspectives of the main characters are fascinating and I couldn’t help admiring their tenacity and integrity. Most enjoyable.
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Tania lives in Sydney with her husband and three children. Coming from a family with rich cultural heritage with a German mother and Italian father, stories have always been in her blood. Following a career in physiotherapy, it was only when she had her family that she decided to return to her passion of writing.

Her debut novel is The Girl from Munich, the story she has always wanted to write, in

Other books in the series

The Girl from Munich (2 books)
  • The Girl from Munich (The Girl from Munich #1)