Saturday 6 January 2024

Review - the Children we lost by Catherine Hokin

The Children We Lost by Catherine Hokin
Publisher: Bookouture
Release date: 24 January 2024
Back cover blurb: ‘No! Not my child!’ she screams, her voice breaking as she pounds the window uselessly. But no one looks up as the man in uniform cradles her precious baby and strides away…Berlin, 1944. Nineteen-year-old Annaliese arrives at the imposing stone building, clutching her small suitcase. She has nowhere else to go after her father threw her out, ashamed of his pregnant, unmarried daughter. But Bruno promised they would live together as a family once the baby was born – and until then she’d be taken care of at this home for expectant mothers. But Bruno never comes, and Annaliese starts to feel unsettled by the silent, stone-faced nurses and the heavy doors that are always locked behind them. Nursing her perfect, pink-cheeked baby, her heart swells – she never imagined she could feel such overwhelming love. But a cold fear has caught hold of her. Has coming here been a terrible mistake? Berlin, 1979. Lawyer Evie has come to the city to investigate the horrifying stories of infants torn from their mothers during the war. One of the cases is Sebastian, whose yellowing birth certificate tells a heartbreaking tale. Evie is drawn to this lost man, and vows to do all that she can to help him. But poring through old records, it is Evie who recognises the faded photo in a newspaper article. Her heart stops as she realises her whole life has been a devastating lie – and that her and Sebastian’s pasts are impossibly, unimaginably connected…

I absolutely love this author's work, and this novel is no exception. 

1944 in Berlin and Annaliese is abandoned at the Lebensborn home, cast out by her own family and left to get on with things by her Nazi officer lover. She knows he will come for her eventually, but until then she must make the most of the situation she has found herself in, for there are many worse off.

1979 in the US and Lawyer Evie has been set a new task by her boss, dealing with Nazi war criminals who may have come the US legally under Operation paperclip but now need to be held accountable for their crimes.

Her first task is to investigate children who were misplaced during the war at the hands of the Nazi regime. A chance meeting with Sebastian who is looking for his birth Mother leads them both to travel to Berlin.

Neither of them are prepared for what they are about to discover, for the truth is worse than either of them could ever have imagined. 

Sebastian who has so desperately sought the truth is now wishing that he hadn't bothered as he learns that both his parents are potentially Nazis, and Evie who only wanted to help, has her own life turned upside when when she stumbles across a newspaper article featuring a high society Nazi wedding. 

It seems that everything she's understood about her own life up until then has been a lie. She now has her own story to deal with alongside Sebastian's. Which only makes her more determined than ever to bring the guilty to justice, no matter how dangerous that might be...

The Children we lost by Catherine Hokin is available to pre-order now via Amazon online and all good book shops.

Thank You to the publishers who approved my request via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

x Vicky-Leigh x

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