Friday, September 28, 2018

{Fiction Guild Blog Tour} Auschwitz Lullaby: A Novel by Mario Escobar

Book Description:  On an otherwise ordinary morning in 1943, Helene Hannemann is preparing her five children for the day when the German police arrive at her home. Helene’s worst fears come true when the police, under strict orders from the SS, demand that her children and husband, all of Romani heritage, be taken into custody. Though Helene is German and safe from the forces invading her home, she refuses to leave her family—sealing her fate in a way she never could have imagined.

After a terrifying trek across the continent, Helene and her family arrive at Auschwitz and are thrown into the chaos of the camp. Her husband, Johann, is separated from them, but Helene remains fiercely protective of her children and those around her. When the powers-that-be discover that Helene is not only a German but also a trained nurse, she is forced into service at the camp hospital, which is overseen by the notorious Dr. Mengele himself.

Helene is under no illusions in terms of Dr. Mengele’s intentions, but she agrees to cooperate when he asks her to organize a day care and school for the Romani children in the camp. Though physically and emotionally brutalized by the conditions at Auschwitz, Helene musters the strength to protect the children in her care at any cost. Through sheer force of will, Helene provides a haven for the children of Auschwitz—an act of kindness and selflessness so great that it illuminates the darkest night of human history.
My Thoughts:  This is the first novel I've read by Mario Escobar.  I almost didn't read this story simply because I knew I would cry.  
But I couldn't resist reading the first page and then, well, I was hooked.
Helene's story bought me and grabbed me and just wouldn't let go.
Helene is the mother of five children and she is married to a Gypsy.  Helene is safe in Germany but not her family simply because she married a Gypsy.
I loved the way Mario wrote about gypsies.  He gives a complete and accurate description of a family who have the blood of gypsies but the heart of a christian.  Just because one is born into a certain blood line does not mean that they follow that pattern.  However, this is not the story.
The story lies with Helene.  Oh, this is based on the true life of Helene. 

If there is one sentence that gripped my heart in this whole book it is what Helene said, I thought that someone would stand up to him (Hitler).  I never thought it would be this horrible. ( a paraphrase) 
Oh, how my heart cried for Helene and all the terrible atrocities that Dr. Mengele and the horrible Nazis inflicted upon the people and children.
Yes, this is tear jerker.  Yes, the reader will try not to read this story but will be so taken in by Mr. Escobar's delivery of Helene's story that the reader will keep reading.  And, yes, the reader may leave with a sense of justice for Helene and the children.
**Never Forget!**
*This book was provided for review by the Fiction Guild*

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