eBook - 2014
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Frank is a reconstructive surgeon who lost his beloved wife in childbirth and two months later married a young woman who must look after the baby and his two grieving sons when he is drafted into medical military service. Alone in the house, Liesl must attempt to keep the children fed with dwindling food supplies, safe from the constant Allied air attacks, and protected against the swell of desperate refugees flooding their town.
Publisher: Berkeley, CA : Counterpoint, [2014]
ISBN: 9781619023543
Characteristics: 1 online resource (375 pages)


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Oct 29, 2016

Liesl and widower Frank are newlyweds; he with a newborn and two older sons. Drafted to do reconstructive surgery, Frank leaves Liesl to manage in his hometown as the war enters its final months. The book is based on letters written by the author’s grandparents.

Grim, but gripping, in its look at the struggles mothers faced, often alone. The book I was reminded of, read years ago, was Ursula Hegi’s ‘Stones from the River’ with its look at a small German town and its inhabitants in tumultuous times.

May 31, 2016

Motherland is set in Nazi Germany from December 1944 through early 1946. Liesel, a kindergarten teacher at the local spa that caters to high-ranking German officers, has married Frank Kappus, a spa doctor who has been drafted to a military hospital near Buchenwald. His first wife died during childbirth and left him with two older boys and a newborn. As Frank copes with his unwanted military assignment, Liesel is left coping with three children who are nearly strangers as the Third Reich collapses around them. This novel explores the themes of duty vs. family as Frank and Liesel struggle to stay alive and together. The author, whose grandparents "went along with Nazism", based this novel on family stories and letters between her grandparents that were discovered fifty years after the war. This book would appeal to those who liked All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr and The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. All three novels explore World War II from a European perspective.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further


Subject Headings


Find it at APL

To Top