Regular price: $24.95

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

***Winner 2017 'National Indie Excellence Award'***

***An IWIC 'Hall of Fame Novel'***

"This book needs to join the ranks of the classic survivor stories of WWII such as Diary of Anne Frank and Man's Search for Meaning. It is truly that amazing!" InD'tale Magazine

Spanning thirteen years from 1940 to 1953 and set against the epic panorama of WWII, author Annette Oppenlander's Surviving the Fatherland is a sweeping saga of family, love, and betrayal that illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the children's war.

Surviving the Fatherland tells the true and heart-wrenching stories of Lilly and Günter struggling with the terror-filled reality of life in the Third Reich, each embarking on their own dangerous path toward survival, freedom, and ultimately each other. Based on the author's own family and anchored in historical facts, this story celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the strength of war children.

When her father goes off to war, seven-year-old Lilly is left with an unkind mother who favors her brother and chooses to ignore the lecherous pedophile next door. A few blocks away, twelve-year-old Günter also looses his father to the draft and quickly takes charge of supplementing his family's ever-dwindling rations by any means necessary.

As the war escalates and bombs begin to rain, Lilly and Günter's lives spiral out of control. Every day is a fight for survival. On a quest for firewood, Lilly encounters a dying soldier and steals her father's last suit to help the man escape. Barely sixteen, Günter ignores his draft call and embarks as a fugitive on a harrowing 47-day ordeal--always just one step away from execution.

When at last the war ends, Günter grapples with his brother's severe PTSD and the fact that none of his classmates survived. Welcoming denazification, Lilly takes a desperate step to rid herself once and for all of her disgusting neighbor's grip. When Lilly and Günter meet in 1949, their love affair is like any other. Or so it seems. But old wounds and secrets have a way of rising to the surface once more.

©2017 Annette Oppenlander (P)2017 Annette Oppenlander

More from the same

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    43
  • 4 Stars
    23
  • 3 Stars
    14
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    4

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    40
  • 4 Stars
    20
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    4

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    46
  • 4 Stars
    18
  • 3 Stars
    8
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    4
Sort by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Not worth my time

I am a huge WW2 historical fiction and non fiction reader and thought this book, which I assume is based on real people, would give an interesting look at Germany during and after the war. It was very tedious, without a story arc just sort of lurching along year after year. The characters don't come alive and toward the end of the book the love story turns it into a sort of breathless teenage romance. Some of the facts of post war life in Germany were interesting but certainly not worth slogging through 13 hours - which felt like 20. The narrator is terrible - overly dramatic and sonorous. I can't recommend this book if you are a fan of good WW2 stories.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Narrator

I think the storyline would have been captivating but I couldn't get past the narrator.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

The performance almost stopped me from moving to chapter 2

The fact that this was a true story kept me going onto chapter2 and beyond. I learned much about what life was like for non-Jewish Germans living in small towns. Many men were conscripted while others believed it was their duty to blindly follow the crazed orders of Hitler. The main characters were children when their fathers left. They and their families experienced years of starvation even after the war in Europe ended .Stalin continued to obliterate millions in Russia, including Germans stuck in the hundreds of different gulag death camps. The performance improved toward the end third of the novel. Thank goodness for small mercies. This book deserved a top notch performer.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • DB
  • 04-26-18

Interesting perspective of WWII

So to call this a coming of age love story is a bit of a stretch. It is a compelling narrative on the conditions of war and unseen consequences. It is a compelling character study. It is a heartfelt examination of family life and relationships. The storytelling is amazing and the authors work is tremendous.

The narrator is inconsistent. At times she is mesmerizing and other times stiff and monotone. If you can get through that it is a tremendous story well worth the listen.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Long..

second half of book seemed unnecessary to the story. I was disappointed usually like these stories.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Breathtaking

Love love love this book! A perspective by German citizens who were caught up in Hitlers reign! Makes you think! Hopefully, it will speak to others who are caught up with a dictator to not stand for evilness! This book explains in great detail how the German people, along with children were terribly affected by this evil dictator! Nothing compared to the Jews, but still a perspective that sheds light on both the struggle and survival of mankind along with the love of strangers! A must read!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Most moving book I ever red

amazing deep love and survival describing the war from the view of the German civilians.
toped off by an amazing narrator.
highly recommend!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

The pain of WW2 children

This book could be written today. Somewhere in Iran or Iraq lives a child living this life. It’s good to see the war from the eyes of people who had no choice during the war. It’s good to ask the question what would I do if this happened in my country. How does a person stop a mad man. If your poor and have no talent for organizing large groups of people how can you stay away from a war someone else puts you through. My people came from Germany in the 1920’s we were lucky.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

A great book if it had not been for....

A great story line, however I do not think it necessary to detail sexuality in such a erotic way....I will delete the book and not finish it.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

WARNING!!!! Sexual violence against a child w Explicit details

I thought places were draggy and wordy so I fast forwarded.

I was repulsed by the details of explicit sexual acts including the rape. I felt it was not necessary for a reader to visualize the erotic behavior of lovers or that s grown man raped (fully penetrated) a young girl.)

I was needlessly traumatized due to my own childhood and a warning should be placed about these types of atrocities being so graphically described in this book. Readers do not need to be driving down the road and suddenly find themselves hearing every detail about every part of the attack.

I skipped great parts but learned just how dark and ugly war was described in this book was. Other places now are quite the same.

Thanks, JInn-A

War is ugly.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ursula
  • 06-16-18

Stunning

An unusual story told by children of their war time survival. Beautifully enacted. A rich history of real families, how they held up under extreme circumstances of which they had no control.
One of the best books I have come across revealing the suffering of innocent German children during the war. Well done to the author telling the story of her own family.