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Publisher's Summary

The USA Today best seller. 

For fans of The Tattooist of Auschwitz and Kate Furnivall comes a gritty tale of courage, betrayal and love in the most unlikely of places.

Germany, 1944. Taken from the camps to serve the Führer himself, Anke Hoff is assigned as midwife to one of Hitler’s inner circle. If she refuses, her family will die.

Torn between her duty as a caregiver and her hatred for the Nazi regime, Anke is swept into a life unlike anything she’s ever known - and she discovers that many of those at the Berghof are just as trapped as she is. And soon, she’s falling for a man who will make her world more complicated still.... 

Before long, the couple is faced with an impossible choice - and the consequences could be deadly. Can their forbidden love survive the horrors of war? And, more importantly, will they?

Published in the UK as A Woman of War Mandy Robotham’s highly awaited next book, The Secret Messenger, is out now. 

©2018 Mandy Robotham (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

What the critics say

"Incredibly powerful, harrowing but ultimately uplifting. I couldn’t put this down." (Katie Fforde)

"A fascinating story which had me forgetting it’s fiction! So well written, I was left pondering if the events could actually be true. Enthralling!" (Kitty Neale)

"The German Midwife is a book to harrow the soul and linger long in the mind. Anke, a German midwife sent to a labour camp for aiding Jewish mothers against Third Reich law, is whisked from hell-scape to eerie luxury when she is brought to Hitler's private mountain estate to care for his pregnant mistress Eva Braun. Mandy Robotham writes movingly of the eternal human struggle to preserve reverence for life in the midst of genocide and horror. A powerful, haunting debut." (Kate Quinn)

What listeners say about The German Midwife

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Cat
  • 2019-11-09

Not as good as the critics’ reviews make you think

I did not enjoy this book at all. Started up promising, but it lacked any deep insight and character development. It was more a collection of graphic depictions of different child births than a narrative about the struggles of living during WW2. If you want to enjoy a good WW2 novel I highly recommend “the Alice Network”, or “The Nightingale”, or “the Room on Rue Amelie”. This one doesn’t come close.
And the narrator’s performance was tough, the whining was awful, exaggerated.

5 people found this helpful

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Absurdly far-fetched

If you're looking for a really great WWII story, keep looking... this isn't it.

I'm a lover of fiction, and I'm prepared to accept all kinds of implausibilities to enjoy a great story. But this book... no. It strayed too far over the line of absurdity to be enjoyed.

* * * SPOILER ALERT * * *

The astonishingly modern-minded Anke gets sent to a concentration camp where she witnesses unfathomable horrors, suffers extreme degradation, and is nearly starved to death. But then... crisis averted! She is plucked from the fire, hand-picked to offer her midwifery skills to Eva Braun. (There are apparently no skillful nazi-sympathizing midwives in Hitler's Germany.) You'd think that the trauma of the camp would have lasting effects on this poor woman's psyche, but no! After a few twinges of guilt she moves on, not only to assist Hitler's pregnant mistress, but to fall in love and start a sexual relationship WITH AN SS OFFICER. Again, you'd think that a woman freshly released from Ravensbruck would be unable to suppress a shudder of horror at those double lightning bolts, but not Anke! She can see right through the uniform to his gentle, tender, self-sacrificing SS heart. Neither of them have any misgivings about verbally criticizing the Reich while living in Hitler's Berchtesgaden retreat. The whole story was just so ridiculous and far-fetched that I found myself snorting with derision during scenes that were meant to be tense and exciting. What a waste of a good credit.

I will say that the author comes alive when writing about about labour & delivery -- those bits of the book were wonderfully written and absorbing!

2 people found this helpful

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not what I was hoping

I found this book to be presented as being along the same lines as the Tattooist of Auschwitz.
It's not.
it's a fiction, and although the premise is extremely interesting, the story present several situations that are highly unlikely..
I do not read romance novels and that's pretty much what this was.

1 person found this helpful

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A great book

This was a wonderful book! It held my interest to the very end. The story was interesting and well performed. I would recommend this book to anyone.

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Excellent

I found this book to be excellent. Despite the love story being a little far-fetched, the great details about the differences in pregnancy and delivery between the two groups of women was astounding and teaches us so much about the realities during WWII. I enjoyed how the descriptions in the book made me feel an array of emotions, which is what I like when reading, as it feels more like an immersive experience than just reading words. Highly recommend.

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Realistic WWII creative work

This book keeps you engaged and satisfied throughout. Well written and well performed. I enjoyed it very much.

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Good listen

I enjoyed the story, but did struggle several times with the narrator's whiny depiction of some of the minor character's voices. Overall, an enjoyable listen.

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Gripping

This was gripping, suspenseful and powerful. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and the narrator was easy to listen to as well

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Intense Well Written Frightening Story

Very well written, and very well performed! It was very upsetting to know what things went on in the Nazi regime.

Having been born of German descent, I have always felt the German people to be good people and that most soldiers and defenders were forced to do the things they did. My grandparents and husband’s grandparents were kind loving people.

This book shows the horrific nature of this regime but still leaves me with pride in my heritage.

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Great WWII story that felt very real

This book caught my interest right away. I am someone who likes to listen to audiobooks while I do other things (e.g. chores, crafts, whatnot) but there were some instances during this read where I just sat and listened to what was happening because it felt so raw. Lots of emotional scenes that really depicted the pain women went through during those times.

It was interesting to hear about midwifery practice during the war, something I had never thought about before.

The reader was okay overall, but I did hate how whiny she made Anka sound whenever she spoke to her love interest. Made her sound a bit like a desperate young girl instead of the empowered woman I imagined her to be.

Not to give any spoilers, but I gave 4 stars instead of 5 because I did not like the way the story finished off. Up until the last little bit, it felt like something that could easily be a true story. SPOILERS AHEAD*** I felt that how the final baby turned out was a little bit too "convenient" you might say for this story - a bit of a stretch. It definitely gets the reader thinking about ethics and what they would do in that situation, but it did feel like the chances of that child being born with such a rare deformity a little bit too ironic to be believable. I will say that the ending broke my heart a little and made me wish the characters had chosen another route, but I suppose it was on-par with the tragedy of wartimes. I can't always expect a happy ending!

Overall, great read and would definitely recommend to people who like wartime romances and wartime medicine.

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  • Jaymee O
  • 2019-09-23

Call the Midwife fans: READ THIS

This was a charming story about a midwife wrapped up in the struggle of WWII Germany. Highly recommended. I'm not usually a historical fiction fan, but this story and the angle of a midwife working in a concentration camp immediately drew me in. I ended up researching the story of real-life German midwives in labor camps and found the descriptions in the novel to be very realistic.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Wendy
  • 2019-07-03

I would love more from this author!

I simply loved this book. My career has been in women's health care and the birth stories are all too familiar. This story traces the life of a German Midwife during WWII in Germany... from the camps to becoming a midwife to a very important mother-to-be. I won't spoil the plot here, but the feelings of hope and rebirth are paramount to the story. Great narrator, great story.... I was sorry to get to the end.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Amy N
  • 2019-06-12

Incredibly well-written, absorbing, haunting......

I can't recommend this novel more. I am not a huge WWII fan, but I do have a huge interest in midwifery, and through that curiosity I learned a lot of horrible things that happened in Germany during WWII, but also the beautifully written birth scenes, and through that the transcendence of love. The love story in the book is wonderful, and I wept at the end. Performed by the narrator perfectly.

9 people found this helpful

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  • paula wright
  • 2019-03-28

Since this book is historical fiction and Mandy could take liberty why was I almost crying at epilogue

Such a great book. I got so involved with main characters This is my favorite genre of books and Mandy didn’t disappoint I will wait for more from her

7 people found this helpful

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  • Erica Lea Barclay
  • 2019-06-17

A lovely fiction for any midwife!

As a home birth midwife, I travel by car several hundred miles a week and go through audiobooks like mad. I decided I should try a midwifery fiction story and am so incredibly pleased I chose The German Midwife. Everything about this book, was a turn on. The love story is merely a sweet occurrence in the background of the main plot. The birth scenes are written as if a midwife wrote them, detailed and full of experience, trust & love for the birthing client. The narrator is engaging and refreshing. I will be listening to this again and have already told many midwives in the community about this book!!

10 people found this helpful

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  • E. Lea
  • 2019-11-24

DONT WASTE A CREDIT

If you’d like to listen to about 57 stories of detail after detail about labor, buy this book. Otherwise, don’t waste your money. I’m not exaggerating, 90% of the book is just pointless graphic details about women in labor. Most of the woman have no role in the book and theres zero purpose to the story line by discussing their birthing process. And yet, the author will go on and on about the “lubrication of the vagina during birth” and “massaging the cervix”, etc etc. I kept waiting for there to be a purpose to all of it. There was not. It seems the authors sole purpose is to sell the audience on using a midwife. Which I’m all for but I have zero interest in listening to a book that consists only of story after story of labor. It was repetitive,pointless and boring. Don’t waste a credit.

15 people found this helpful

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  • David Tousey
  • 2019-12-27

Inspiring

This book - whether based in truism or not & given the current political climate - inspires us all to be TRUE to our belief systems.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Mollie Priebe
  • 2020-01-23

Narration almost ruined it

The inconsistent pronunciations of German names was awful. The various british accents nearly ruined it.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Aussi
  • 2019-09-01

Loved this one!

Beautiful, tragic story. Couldn’t stop listening. Well-written and performed. One of the best stories from this genre I’ve read.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Mary L. Gutierrez
  • 2020-01-01

Was captivated from the very beginning

It normally takes me a few chapters to really fell committed to a book, but not this time. From the very start of this book, I was hooked! I’m looking forward to listening to more books by Mandy Robotham and will be equally excited if they are narrated by Julia Winwood as good narrators are hard to find.

2 people found this helpful