A World War 2 Book that opened my eyes to another side of the suffering.

Are you one of those people who watch a show like the Crown, and spend half the time googling to check how factually correct it is? I am.  I have learnt so much about history by indulging in my passion for TV dramas and good historical novels. I recently read The Lost Mother, by Catherine Hokin and learnt even more.  I was honestly really torn as to whether I stayed snuggled up in bed reading or if I gave up, and grabbed my phone to check the factual history that underpins this wonderful story. It is hard enough to do this review without spoilers, suffice to say I loved it, I really did.  Excellent writing skills and a strong plot, complemented by intrinsically complex characters, this book has it all. Anna and her friend are budding actresses in 1930’s Germany. If you ever wanted an explanation of what a frenemy is – this is it.  It is a complex relationship that defines both their lives, across two continents and thirty years. The rise of Nazi Germany, and the effect this has, in Austria and Germany and also in America is a strong theme of the book, and is definitely based on history.  This is the backdrop to the story of two woman.  Anna Tiegel and Peggy Bailey.

Book Description:

She looked at the empty cradle where her baby had been. Her heart felt tattered and empty, like the hollow streets of Berlin after its people began to live in fear.

Berlin, 1934. Homes once filled with laughter stand empty as the Nazi party’s grip on the city tightens. When Anna Tiegel’s beautiful best friend catches Reich Minister Goebbels’ special attention, an impulsive act to save her brings Anna under his unforgiving scrutiny. First, she loses her job, then slowly, mercilessly, she finds her life stripped away. After her father is killed by the Nazis, Anna’s final hope is to escape to America with her boyfriend Eddy, but when she reaches his apartment on the agreed date, she finds it deserted. Alone and pregnant, the future feels terrifying, but she must try to protect the life inside her.

Rhode Island, 1957. Peggy Bailey stares in shock at the faded photograph of two laughing women which her beloved adoptive mother struggled to pass on to her before she died, whispering ‘It was inside your baby blanket when we brought you home’. As Peggy continues to stare, she realises that she has seen one of the girls before, in the most unlikely of places… Bursting at the realisation, she embarks on a mission which takes her across America to find the truth behind her heritage. Nothing, however, could prepare her for the tragic story her actions uncover…

A poignant and beautiful World War Two story about survival and a mother’s enduring search for her child against all the odds. A heart-breaking read for fans of The Tattooist of AuschwitzWe Were the Lucky Ones and The Alice Network.  

Author Bio:

Catherine Hokin is the author of two World War Two inspired novels set in Berlin, her favourite city. Following a History degree at Manchester University she worked in teaching, marketing and politics, while waiting for a chance to do what she really wanted which was to write full time. Her short stories have been published by iScot, Writers Forum and Myslexia magazines and she was the winner of the 2019 Fiction 500 Short Story Competition. She is a lover of strong female leads and a quest. Catherine now lives in Glasgow with her American husband. She has two grown-up children – one of whom lives, very conveniently, in Berlin – and a lifelong addiction to very loud music. Buy Links: Amazon: https://bit.ly/3iwFfKd Apple: http://apple.co/3qEkwa3 Kobo: http://bit.ly/2M5L2u6 Google: http://bit.ly/3dYfOPz


There was a huge part of me fighting against turning anything like fifty. It happens though and there is nothing we can do to fight it. Well we can’t fight the chronology of years and minutes ticking by but we can stay fabulous. I try to be fabulous, despite having a few things I am fighting against like RA, Diabetes and Pernicious Anaemia. This blog is simply about me embracing life. Food, make-up, fashion and more. My trials and tribulations. I hope you enjoy!

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