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Under Darkening Skies

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In the shadow of World War II, one young woman must make an unthinkable sacrifice for those she loves.

Norway, 1940. Nazis pour into Oslo, a shroud of dread looms over the city, and eighteen-year-old Ingrid Solberg fears the worst. Under German rule, harsh rationing and the exorbitant cost of medicine threaten the lives of many, including Ingrid’s mother. And when Ingrid meets a young SS officer, she’s forced to make a desperate choice.

Seventy years later, after the death of Ingrid in her adopted country of Canada, her son, Arnold, finds a disturbing letter in her belongings. Though mired in his own personal problems, Arnold puts his troubled life on hold and embarks on a journey to Oslo to understand his family’s history.

As Arnold confronts the past, he discovers dark secrets and the long-lasting repercussions of decisions his mother made long ago. But as disturbing as his discoveries are, he has come too far to shrink from the ugly truth now…

364 pages, Paperback

First published January 14, 2020

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About the author

Ray Kingfisher

13 books155 followers
I've written stories in a few different genres, but my historical novels are the most successful to date.

My latest release is Three Tales from Vienna , an epic story spanning a century and three generations of an ordinary Viennese family as seen through the eyes of three sisters.

The three 'Holocaust Echoes' novels: The Sugar Men , Rosa's Gold and Beyond the Shadow of Night depict the long lasting effects of the Holocaust.

Then came a sideways step in the shape of Under Darkening Skies . Set in Norway during the German occupation, this is a story of how the Lebensborn program left an equally serious legacy for many ordinary people.

An Ocean Between Us is a Historical Romance set in the Republic of Ireland during WWII, and was released under the pen name Rachel Quinn.

Matchbox Memories is a gentle comic drama, and Tales of Loss and Guilt is a diverse collection of early works short stories, which is a pretty representative mix of what I like to write.

I have also written a few gritty thrillers: Never Be Safe (a novel), Slow Burning Lies (a novel), and Bad and Badder (5 short stories) under the pen name Ray Backley , and also a few silly (and, I guess, very British) comedies as Ray Fripp , most notably I, Smith (co-written with Harry Dewulf) and Easy Money .

I live in Hampshire in the UK, and I love to hear from readers. If you want to know more about me, please take a look at www.raykingfisher.com, or email me at raykingfisher@gmail.com, or even just send a Goodreads message.

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5 stars
694 (46%)
4 stars
539 (35%)
3 stars
216 (14%)
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40 (2%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 95 reviews
Profile Image for Brenda.
3,977 reviews2,590 followers
July 30, 2020
In Norway of 1940, Ingrid Solberg lived a quiet life with her mother after the death of her Pappa when his fishing trawler was destroyed by the Germans. It wasn’t long before rationing was a way of life and bartering a way to make things a little easier for themselves. Olav, a nearby neighbour, had had his parents taken by the Nazis and he was distraught with his guilt uppermost in his mind. Olav did his best to help Ingrid and her mother with firewood and any repairs they needed. But one day Ingrid drew the attention of a Nazi SS officer while she was queuing for bread and her life was not the same from that day forward.

Seventy years later in Toronto, Canada, Arnold Jacobson was by his mother’s side in the hospital with his sister Barbara and his daughters keeping watch as well. After her death and the funeral, Arnold discovered something while cleaning out his mother’s things, something that made him realise he didn’t know his mother as well as he’d thought. Arnold had been born in Oslo, so where else would he go to find answers to the secrets that appeared to have been hidden for the duration of his life?

Under Darkening Skies is my first by Ray Kingfisher and I really enjoyed it. I’d heard about the Lebensborn program that went on during the war, but never thought of what would happen once the war was over. Under Darkening Skies shows how terrible, humiliating and heartbreaking an event it was for almost all involved. Another of the Nazis horrific atrocities during the war years. Recommended to fans of historical fiction.
Profile Image for Karren  Sandercock .
715 reviews131 followers
May 3, 2020
Thanks so much to NetGalley, Amazon Publishing UK and Ray Kingfisher for giving me the chance to read his new book: Under Darkening Skies.

Oslo Norway 1940, Ingrid Solberg is eighteen, she lives with her parents, her father Anders is a fisherman and her mother Helga is a housewife. Of course they're concerned after the Germans invade Poland but like most Norwegians they didn't think WW II will effect them and why worry about it?
One day Ingrid notices that something is happening in the town square and she goes to investigate. In the distance she can see row upon row of a grey mass moving towards her, it's not long before German soldiers march into Oslo and Norway has been invaded. Hardly a shot was fired, the German army crossed the border and took over the country. Ingrid arrives home to tell her mother, she finds her crying and her beloved father has been killed when his shipping trawler hit a stray mine and the Solberg women's lives are changed forever.

German soldiers are everywhere, on every street corner and it's very intimidating.
Soon the German's start enforcing change, it's now illegal to own a radio, ration books are needed to buy food, many things like medicine are very expensive, everyone is issued with identity papers and they must carry them at all times. The couple next door are arrested, they had been involved in the publication of the Light Newspaper, part of the Norway's resistance, their son Olav was badly beaten up and he's not taken into custody. Olav and Ingrid become friends, he cuts fire wood for her mother, they work together in the community vegetable garden, to grow much needed extra food for everyone, they fall in love and get engaged.

Toronto Canada 2011, Arnold Jacobsen, is visiting his mother at the Toronto Western Hospital, she's 90 very unwell and is fading fast. His mother is losing her battle, she also seems to be confused, when she can speak she's not making a lot of sense and she keeps asking for someone called Ulrich? Arnold and his sister Barbra have no idea who he is, after their mother passes away, they have the horrible task of going through their mothers things, they find two suitcases, one contains a unopened letter and the siblings know very little about his parents life before they moved to Canada? Arnold has been divorced for years, he has very little confidence, he hasn't dated and his only friend is Merlene she's a nurse who cared for his mother in hospital. He had no idea at all that Merlene fancied him, he thought they were just friends and he pleasantly surprised when she wants to be more than a good friend! They decide to go to Norway together, to discover what happened to his parents during WW II, over 70 years ago, why they cut all ties with Norway and who is Ulrich?

Nothing could prepare Arnold for what he discovers about his mother, father, what happened to them both during WW II, it forced them to move to Canada, cut off all contact with their homeland and go into hiding.

His mother Ingrid had been stalked by a German SS Officer, his name was Franz Wahlberg and he was obsessed with creating a pure Aryan race. They had a program where women were impregnated by Nazi officers, the expecting mothers stayed at a place called Lindensborn, once they delivered their babies, they breast fed them for 9 months, the babies were adopted by German couples to be raised to be as perfect little German citizens and carry on the pure Aryan bloodline.

I knew pure Aryan babies were created during WW II, I assumed the couple's were willing, I had no idea what happened to the women and babies after the war ended. Yet, another way of the Nazi's treating women and children in a terrible inhumane way, it was brutal, mean and cruel.
Under Darkening Skies is a story about how a young woman must make the unthinkable sacrifice to protect the two people she loves, it's shocking, confronting, emotional and disturbing.
Ray Kingfisher's Under Darkening Skies is a brilliant, heart breaking story, it's a very unique book, one that you should read if you enjoy WW II historical fiction and I gave it five stars.
I have shared my review on Goodreads, NetGalley, Twitter, Barnes & Noble, Australian Amazon, Kobo and my blog.
https://karrenreadsbooks.blogspot.com/
Profile Image for Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede.
1,913 reviews764 followers
Read
November 24, 2019
I'm sad to say that this is just not a book for me. I thought the blurb sounded very intriguing, but alas I struggled both with the very predictable story and the flat characters. I really wanted to like the book. However, I felt I didn't even have enough willpower to plow through the book to even finish it.

Buddy read with Erin!
Profile Image for Historical Fiction.
919 reviews567 followers
January 3, 2020
Find this and other reviews at: https://historicalfictionreader.blogs...

Under Darkening Skies showcases Ray Kingfisher’s eye for intrigue and subject matter, but I’m not sure I’m the best audience for his style of storytelling.

Historically, this novel has a lot going for it. WWII fiction is riding high, but Norway is not a venue many authors have used and I appreciated the fresh perspective the setting afforded. Ingrid proved an interesting enough heroine, but I was fascinated by the men in her life. Historical fiction tends to focus on women and while I respect the motivation behind that trend, I liked how Under Darkening Skies approached masculine emotion and allowed Olav, Franz, and Arnold to be more than mere placeholders in Ingrid’s story.

Having said that, I found the novel highly predictable. Reading between the lines, I understood this story would touch on the Lebensborn program before I cracked the spine. For me, the hook was the mystery at the heart of the novel, but I deciphered the plot twist well-before the halfway mark and spent the vast majority of my reading hoping for a curveball that never materialized.

At the end of the day, I think Kingfisher has a lot of great ideas, but Under Darkening Skies lacked the historical depth I crave. I give it points for flirting with some interesting emotional arcs but can’t say it the page-turner I’d hoped for on picking it up.

Recommended for fans of lighter war stories and/or those discovering the material for the first time.
Profile Image for Celia.
1,141 reviews141 followers
January 25, 2023
Publishers Summary

In the shadow of World War II, one young woman must make an unthinkable sacrifice for those she loves.

Norway, 1940. Nazis pour into Oslo, a shroud of dread looms over the city, and eighteen-year-old Ingrid Solberg fears the worst. Under German rule, harsh rationing and the exorbitant cost of medicine threaten the lives of many, including Ingrid’s mother. And when Ingrid meets a young SS officer, she’s forced to make a desperate choice.

Seventy years later, after the death of Ingrid in her adopted country of Canada, her son, Arnold, finds a disturbing letter in her belongings. Though mired in his own personal problems, Arnold puts his troubled life on hold and embarks on a journey to Oslo to understand his family’s history.

As Arnold confronts the past, he discovers dark secrets and the long-lasting repercussions of decisions his mother made long ago. But as disturbing as his discoveries are, he has come too far to shrink from the ugly truth now…

I read this book because I love historical fiction. While reading it, I learned of the Lebensborn Program, promulgated by Heinrich Himmler to produce genetically pure children. I also learned about the effects of the Nazi occupation in Norway. Much of this book is dark and sad, but the ending is beautiful.

4 stars
Profile Image for Tammy Jones.
40 reviews
February 21, 2020
Wonderful!!!!

What a great read, one you don't want to end. There was never a boring part to this story.
I had not read of the horrific clinics before I read this book. What a tragic event to go through.
Profile Image for Corey Woodcock.
180 reviews17 followers
December 18, 2022
Under Darkening Skies by Ray Kingfisher - my first book by this author - is not a perfect book, it has issues that are tough to overlook at times. But it remains a very powerful story at its core, about an aspect of WWII that is rarely talked about and should be.

This book is about Ingrid Solberg and her soon to be husband Olav, as they navigate the oppressive German occupation of Norway. Ingrid is approached by Franz, a German SS soldier, and he proposes she take part in the Lebensborn program with him. This was a real eugenics program, brainchild of the truly monstrous Heinrich Himmler, that involved SS soldiers impregnating racially “acceptable” women to create more Aryan babies. This program took place in Germany and other parts of the Third Reich, but they really focused on Norway as they viewed the area as being nearly perfect genetically. What happens next is the saga of Ingrid and Olav. There is also a present-day story line involving Ingrid’s son Arne as digs for the truth regarding his parents and their experiences with Lebensborn and the war.

It’s a great plot, with parts that are very well executed, and other aspects that are unfortunately not as well done. The writing itself is okay. Serviceable, but rather flat. Unfortunately, the way the story is told just isn’t always believable, and often feels very simplified for the reason of storytelling, and this oversimplifies the characters as well. I really liked Olav especially, but none of these characters jump off the page; they often feel like fictional characters, behaving and speaking in ways that only fictional characters would. It’s a shame, because the story at the heart of this is a damned good one, and one that needed to be told.

That’s not to say it’s all bad—just average in most parts. I was cruising along through most of the book at a solid 3 star rating, but then the last 2 chapters happened, and my opinion changed. The last two chapters were very well done. They both wrap up the story in a way I really liked, and with the final chapter in particular, go into the belly of the beast inside the Reich in the 1930s to deliver an extremely powerful insight into the birth of the program and what made these sick people tick. I would give the final chapter itself 5 full stars, so I felt I had to bump up the overall rating because that final chapter will stick with me forever—disturbing, sickening, yet insightful.

Overall I’m going to go 3.5. While I’m not shoving children and old ladies out of the way to buy more books by the author, I would give him another go—especially another WWII book as he has a few. I recommend the book if you have an interest in the era/war, but would preface my recommendation with what I said here. There are issues, but it was still worth a read.
802 reviews4 followers
January 14, 2020
I am a huge World War II era historical fiction fan. Under Darkening Skies hits all the marks I enjoy reading about in this genre. I think one of the things that fascinates me in these type of stories is the heroism of everyday people. Citizens who just want to lead a quiet life and are thrust into unimaginable circumstances and can't help but do the right thing for their families, their country and sometimes complete strangers. I think Ingrid and Olav in this book are such heroes though their heroism is more self motivated than what is usually written for this subject.

This story is told in two time lines. There is 2011 where we meet Ingrid as a dying elderly woman and her devoted son Arnold. The other time line is the beginning of WWII and Germany's occupation of Norway. I was fascinated by this premise because I had never read any books or even seen any movies that have dealt with Norway's part in WWII. From this novel I learned quite a few things that I later investigated on my own to get a better perspective of it. It's high praise when a fiction book entices you to read more non fiction.

Ingrid is a young lady and lives a modest life in a small fishing town with her parents when Germany takes over her country. Her father is killed in a boating accident and her and her mother struggle to survive until her neighbor Olav, a carpenter by trade and a resistance fighter in secret, takes a shine to Ingrid and becomes her savior in so many selfless ways.

The main plot of the story cleverly involves the horrific program the Nazis implemented called Lebensborn. The goal of this program was to breed the perfect Nazi. A blond, blue eyed, sturdy child to be the future perfect specimen of a human as seen through the eyes of the Nazi leadership. In fact, one of the main reasons Germany invaded Norway was because of their highly concentrated population of blond blue eyed sturdy women.

The author, Ray Kingfisher, weaves a story that despite the horror of the times is also a beautiful love story. We should all have an Olav in our lives to be our partner or even better a father who truly knows the meaning of unconditional love. Though Ingrid is our heroine and she is forced to make the most disdainful of choices to save her family, for me it was Olav who brought me to tears with his selfless love for his country, Ingrid and her mother, and their children.

Sadly, when the Lebensborn program ended the children produced from it, as well as their mothers, we're treated as traitors rather than victims and by the time Norway acknowledged their mishandling of the situation most of them had already past away suffering untold discrimination and abuse. Incorporating this real life travesty into a story of love and heroism is beyond impressive.

The book contains some mysteries which I was quick to figure out but it didn't take away from me wanting to continue the journey that Ingrid and Olav were on from occupied Norway to the frontier lands of Canada and Toronto.

I was not in agreement with how the author represented the life of Franz, a Nazi soldier, who I believe would not have felt about his life the way he describes it at the end of the book. This feeling I freely admit has to do with my own Jewish heritage. Interestingly the plight of Jews during this time is mentioned only briefly in the book but it shows how other countries truly did not understand until it was too late the atrocities of the Nazi regime.

I recommend this book for historical fiction fans but also for romance fans. It's not a typical love story but it's a love that keeps the human spirit alive in this very original story.

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Shirley McAllister.
940 reviews114 followers
December 5, 2019
Desperate times call for desperate measures
This book takes place during the Nazi occupation of Norway. It is about how the Norwegian people were mistreated by the Germans during the occupation.

It is about the Lebensborn program started by the Nazis to breed a superior white race. The story is about a woman named Ingrid that was recruited to the program by Frank an SS Officer. She resisted but finally agreed to save the life of her mother that was very ill and medicine and treatment was not within the financial means of Ingrid and her husband to be Olav. Also Olav was working with the resistance and Franz would have him arrested if Ingrid did not agree.

This book is the story of the birth of the child called Ulrich. What happened after his birth, how he ended up with his mother and why they immigrated to Canada. How horrible life was for the family after the war because she had a child with a Nazi officer.

It is also the story of Arnold living in Montreal in 2011. His mother is very ill. Before she passes away she mentions the Norwegian town she once lived in. Thinking that Arnold was her husband Olav she said in her last words before she passed “Arne must never know the truth of his father”.

While going through his mother’s personal papers he finds an unopened envelope from Sweden. He reads the envelope and calls the lady that sent it. He ends up going to Norway looking for Ulrich he believes is his half brother. His friend a nurse he has been seeing goes with him. After talking to the lady in Sweden he finds out he is Ulrich. He meets Franz who is now 90 years old in a nursing home.

This is a story of a woman determined to give her family a better life and save them from the horrors of the past. It is the story of a man that loved his wife enough not only to forgive her for her part in the Lebensborn program, but raised the child as his own.

It is also the story of Franz who was so indoctrinated from an early age with the Nazi propaganda that he gave his life and his whole to the doctrine of the Nazi regime.

This book was interesting and thought provoking. What would any reasonable person due in a truly desperate situation? One more horrible program Put in place by the Nazi’s that I know little about.

I would recommend this book.

Thanks to Ray Kingfisher, Amazon Publishing UK, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review a advance copy of the book
68 reviews4 followers
February 11, 2020
Keep you reading.

Only a fiction read. Actually bought the book by mistake. Once I get into the book I found it hard to put down. Being a world war two history but I found that this story could have true. The way the German public fellow Hitler and the military believe it their right the dirty is very believe. Nice job Mr Kijngfisher.
Profile Image for Susie Seeber.
96 reviews1 follower
March 20, 2020
Simultaneous timelines in 1944 Norway and in 2011 Toronto Canada. Ingrid a young Norwegian woman is coaxed into the Lebensborn p
Program in order to get the medicine her mother needs to live and also to protect the man she loves Ivan from being exposed as part of the Norwegian resistance movement. Ingrid gives birth to a son in the program but with the help of her husband is later able to help him escape the orphanage and they move to Canada. Arnie/Ulrich comes to learn that the man he thought was his father was not and he was one of theLebensborne children.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
358 reviews
March 29, 2020
Under Darkening Skies by Ray Kingfisher is a story about the Nazi occupation of Norway during World War II and one family's struggle to survive. I am often taken aback, even after reading countless books about the war and the atrocities committed by the Third Reich. I had heard about a program during the war that involved genetically trying to create the "perfect human". This program was known as the Lebensborn program. The Germans would find women with what they deemed to be the correct traits and then have them sign a contract, stating they would have sex with a man that was also considered superb, and give the resulting child to the German government. This story focuses on Ingrid, a young woman who lives with her mama after her father dies. During the occupation, her mom gets sick and she must provide medicine for her. Also, her fiance is in danger and she is trying to keep him safe. The resulting union will haunt her for many years to come. This is her story. It could have been the story of any one of the ladies during that time. The book was very well written and hauntingly sad. It breaks my heart to see how women were treated. It is good to learn from history so we don't repeat the same mistakes though. As hard as the truth might seem, ignorance is so much worse. I would definitely recommend this book. It was very good and you will not be disappointed. I received a free copy of this story from NetGalley for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Sally Galvan.
6 reviews5 followers
February 7, 2020
Great book

Well written. Very Inc. It gives you a different perspective to the Nazis. We all know what they did during the war but never thought about what happened afterwards
February 5, 2020
Great book!

This was a great read. I most often do not review books, but this one was so good that I had to. It let my attention from the first to the last page. It also provided something new that I had not gotten from other books.
13 reviews2 followers
February 6, 2020
Touching

A beautifully written story containing both the best and worst parts of our nature. I look forward to reading more of this author's work.
Profile Image for Jodie.
55 reviews1 follower
February 3, 2020
Heartwrenching yet heartwarming

There's no end to a mother's love and what she would do to protect her child. So much is left out of what we are told re history... Based upon true events ,this story gives so much insight into more sides of WW2 as well as insight into the impossible task is knowing whom exactly a person truly is...
January 28, 2020
HORRORS OF WAR

I thought this was an excellent read, 5 Star Rating. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in some horrific happenings during WWII that might not be known!
Profile Image for Rex.
221 reviews
July 11, 2020
I have read all of Ray Kingfisher's historical fiction books as well as some of his other works. I think he's an outstanding writer. The research and accuracy he applies to his historical novels is impeccable and I'm always impressed with his attention to detail. So it is with regret that I'm only able to give his latest work three stars.

After much pondering I think I know what disappointed me about this novel.

Many years ago I took a course in Greek drama - actually I think it was call "tragedy." It taught me that the key to an interesting, intense story - a true drama - lies in conflict. But it can't just be casual, superficial conflict in which one character simply agrees with another and they decide to move on as friends. No, it has to be life-altering, live-or-die conflict in which both sides refuse to budge. The story then details their struggle to contend with or overcome the dilemma of their differing postions.

The Sugar Men and Rosa's Gold are steeped in heavy, intense, satisfying drama. There are a few sections of Under Darkening Skies that led me to believe this would be repeated, but ultimately not. Everything is too easily resolved and people come up with solutions to their conflict without a great deal of difficulty. What should be some truly heinous behavior is smoothed over and forgiven in ways that I found artificial. I can't go into much detail without delivering some extreme spoilers, but the personification of evil in the 20th century is Nazism. Not so much in this book. In fact, one of the most appealing and sympathetic characters is an SS officer who is more of a victim of National Socialism than an advocate. The way this sucked the drama out of the story is what left me wishing for more.

I hope Kingfisher is currently researching another obscure aspect of World War II history on which to base his next historical fiction novel. I'm not ready to give up on his skills as a storyteller!
Profile Image for Niki (nikilovestoread).
671 reviews75 followers
September 10, 2020
Having previously read Beyond the Shadow of Night by Ray Kingfisher, I knew I wanted to read his recent release, Under Darkening Skies. What I enjoy most about his books is that they focus on elements of the war that are largely unexplored by the massive amount of books written about WWII. He highlights areas of the war that I hadn't really read much about before.

In Under the Darkening Skies, Ingrid Solberg is faced with a terrible choice that she must make in order to protect the man she loves and save her mother, who is very sick. We, as a society, look back and judge people during the war who made choices we don't agree with, but we aren't living in that moment. We can never truly know what we would do when faced with the situations many people found themselves in due to no fault of their own. That's what I enjoy most of Ray Kingfisher's books. He really explores what it was like to be faced with difficult choices and living with the consequences the rest of your life.

My favorite historical fiction books inspire me to learn more about something. I really enjoyed, if that's the correct word for it, learning more about the Lebensborn program, which inspired me to do some research outside the book to learn more.

Thank you to the publisher for the free copy in exchange for an honest review!
2 reviews
Read
May 7, 2020
I think it was very good. I lived in Denmark at the exact same time as when this story took place.
What a very unique read for me. I was living as they but no program such as they had in the story.
Very truly portrayed and so sad how this came about. Good time to reinforce we do not want this happening again and that it is not the lowest down participant that is to blame it is the leaders.
I did find that the author did jump around a bit to much in dates. I would have liked more character buildup also. They were not fleshed out too much in their feelings.you knew exactly how each would react each time. A bit too stereotypical and lost opportunity to make different thoughts/reactions expressed by characters. Mom, in particular, always willing participant never fleshed out. Views would have been different from her past historical involvement. She would have experienced bit of time in WW1 repercussions.
So good read but could have been richer and fuller with more than one character’s true feeling and reactions explored.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Linda.
278 reviews
Want to read
August 24, 2020
When I say ‘I’ve finished this book!’, I don’t mean that I’ve completed it. I’m just finished with it. I just have to honor my preferences, and perhaps the most particular of those preferences is that not only does the story need to be compelling, but the narration and dialogue need to be sparkling and exceptional. I’m a stickler for believable conversation. I spent too much time trying to look past leaden interactions in this novel. Ultimately, I know this much: Nazis are bad. They probably didn’t wander around occupied Norway with pure white feathers ticked in their uniforms to leave as calling cards on their menacing missions, but I harbor no doubts that they did something unforgivable in this book. It is also highly likely that the progeny of one of the victims discovered what that unforgivable thing was, while gaining self-realization, appreciation for departed family members and the trials they went through, and, more than likely, love and connection. Where and with whom they least expected it. These types of WWII books are multiplying at an alarming rate. They’re not bad. But they are formulaic. Hard pass from me.
27 reviews1 follower
February 13, 2020
Excellent Story

This story captured my attention during Ⅰ chapter. This is Ⅰ book I have read about the Nazis in Norway and the Lebensborn program. Fascinating!
123 reviews1 follower
February 8, 2020
Children

I had not thought of all the steps the Nazis took to establish the perfect Aryan race. Establishing a breeding program where they would choose the perfect woman to have their children. The cruelty of people towards the women and their children. To have a normal life they would have to move.
13 reviews
January 26, 2020
Brilliant

Could not stop reading. Although fictional the story rang true.
Would definitely recommend.
A great read which I really enjoyed.
Profile Image for Lucy Meeker.
234 reviews84 followers
January 21, 2020
This book was outstanding and I couldn’t praise it enough. The author has produced a quite brilliant novel that personally I could not put down. I was completely absorbed, would highly recommend.
January 13, 2020
Brilliant so moving loved it, this author writes with skill his work is emotional and enjoyable couldn't put it down.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
194 reviews
December 30, 2019
This is a beautifully written story giving the reader an insight into a part of history I don't think many people probably know about or really understand. It shows you how strong the love of two people can be even under the most abhorrent circumstances. The story takes you on a journey between the occupation of Norway by Germany in the 1940 and 2011. Dipping from past and present throughout giving a clear picture of how this event in history affected the dependents of this period.
Profile Image for David Canford.
Author 16 books24 followers
March 28, 2020
This book certainly has an original storyline. I didn't know much about the Lebensborn program other than that Anni-Frid of ABBA and her mother had to leave Norway for Sweden after the war because of her father being a German soldier. I was shocked at how badly the babies remaining in Norway were treated after the defeat of the Nazis, but then we are lucky enough to be looking through the lense of many decades and haven't had to experience a brutal occupation of our country.
At times, I knew what was coming next and the book seemed predictable. But there were others when it took me by surprise and I'm glad I read it. The author didn't really capture for me a sense of Norway as a place but all kudos to him for bringing the matter to a wide readership and giving us an interesting and enjoyable novel.
Profile Image for Hannelore Cheney.
1,104 reviews20 followers
December 3, 2019
Thank you NetGalley and Amazon Publishing UK for the eARC.
I tried hard to get into this book, but for some reason I didn't like it. A bit was the writing which seemed simplistic, but none of the characters spoke to me either; they felt flat and I couldn't get invested in them. Too bad, because I was looking forward to reading the story; usually I like WWII novels and novels set in Canada, but this one just wasn't for me. Sorry!
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