Book Review: Motherland by Maria Humel

[simpleazon-image align=”left” asin=”1619022370″ locale=”us” height=”500″ src=”” width=”338″][simpleazon-link asin=”1619022370″ locale=”us”]Motherland[/simpleazon-link] by Maria Hummel

My review: 4 of 5 stars

I was curious to read a novel of Nazi Germany that focused on the experiences of a German family. How complicit were they? What did they know and when? Although the novel was insightful to a point, it never answered those questions to my satisfaction. Maybe there is no clear answer. Maybe that was the point. Nevertheless, I was immediately captured by the fear, trepidation, and desperation of the main characters. The simple image of spilled coffee spoke volumes in this author’s deft hands. Nazis and the Jewish holocaust were the backdrop behind a German family’s struggle to survive. The tension palpable as neighbors proved untrustworthy and self-serving. While it was interesting to see the war from this perspective, it was difficult to feel empathy for the characters because I couldn’t help but feel that they had brought it all upon themselves. Still, a very good read that gave me much to think about. Recommended for fans of historical fiction.


“Every day, panic and mistrust pooled like black water in her gut” (p. 4).

“The last war. His father’s war, lost, lost badly, plunging Germany into a shame so deep Frank remembered the odor of it, like rotten potatoes, permeating his childhood” (p. 61).

“…she just wanted to fold him into her arms and fix him with all the love she had” (p. 170).

“Your days gaped like a ripped pocket: Everything that you put into them fell out again” (p 263).

Author: Allie

I was a Children's Librarian for 8 years and worked in Administration for several more. I love blogging about books, information, and other library related topics. Most of my blogs are book reviews.