Wednesday, May 31 2017, 7:00 p.m.
My Enemy's Cradle by Sara Young
Cyrla's neighbors have begun to whisper. Her cousin, Anneke, is pregnant and has passed the rigorous exams for admission
to the Lebensborn, a maternity home for girls carrying German babies. But Anneke's soldier has disappeared, and Lebensborn
babies are only ever released to their fathers' custody--or taken away.
And then in the space of an afternoon, life falls apart. A note is left under the mat. Someone knows that Cyrla, sent
for safekeeping with her Dutch relatives, is Jewish. She must choose between certain discovery in her cousin's home and
taking Anneke's place in the Lebensborn--Cyrla and Anneke are nearly identical. If she takes refuge in the enemy's lair,
can Cyrla escape before they discover she is not who she claims?
Mining a lost piece of history, Sara Young takes us deep into the lives of women living in the worst of times. Part
love story and part elegy for the terrible choices we must often make to survive, My Enemy's Cradle keens for what
we lose in war and sings for the hope we sometimes find.
(From Publishers Weekly) Starred Review. Children's-book author Young (who, as Sara Pennypacker, penned the celebrated
Stuart series) makes a stunning adult debut with this beautifully told and heart-wrenching novel set in WWII Europe.
Cyrla, half-Jewish, is no longer safe hiding in the home of her Dutch relatives under the increasingly harsh Nazi occupation.
When cousin Annika, whom Cyrla closely resembles, becomes pregnant by a German soldier, Annika's father enrolls her in a Lebensborn,
a birthing center for Aryan children, where the slogan is Have one baby for the Führer. In a tragic turn of events, Cyrla
discovers her only chance of survival is to hide in plain sight: she must assume Annika's identity and live in the German
Lebensborn until rescued. Within the Lebensborn's walls, mothers-to-be receive proper nutrition and medical care until their
children are taken from them for adoption into Aryan families The horrors Cyrla witnesses are softened only by her resounding
optimism and strength. (Jan.)