Ruins of Castle Hanstein near Bornhagen, Germany

Visiting the ruins of Hanstein takes us back to medieval times - Castle Hanstein near Bornhagen, Germany in 2012 More »

Vietnam War protestors demonstrate - Wichita, KS, 1967.

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Solingen, Germany after the bombing, November 1944. - Stadtarchiv Solingen

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My grandmother Grete with her sisters in the early 1920s in Germany.

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B17 Bomber above German Airfield in WWII

U.S. Bomber flies above German airfield in WWII. More »


Category Archives: Book Review

Crowned Heart Review for ‘Surviving the Fatherland’ by InD’tale Magazine

I’m very happy to announce that ‘Surviving the Fatherland’ received a 5-star rating and coveted ‘Crowned Heart Review’ from InD’tale Magazine.

Here is what they said:

cover for surviving the fatherland with BGS gold seal of approvalLilly and Gunter are seven and twelve when WWII begins.  In this remarkable true story, these children are faced with the atrocities of war and daily survival, yet somehow, they miraculously maintain their humanity through preserving hope, kindness, and love.  As the war comes to an end their suffering is far from over.  Lilly and Gunter, along with all of Germany, struggle to repair their homes, hearts, and minds.  Even amidst the chaos and hate, Lilly and Gunter show us that love is still a force that can always prevail over the greatest of evils!

a young couple standing in a garden

Lilly & Günter

Ms. Oppenlander’s vivid writing style sweeps us away to 1940s Germany and takes us through a thirteen-year time span including post-war recovery.  This story, written in a first-person memoir style alternating between Lilly and Gunter, is immediately gripping, with characters so lively, the reader is engaged from beginning to end.

Often historical memoir can be stagnant with wandering scenes devoid of purpose.  Contrarily, Ms. Oppenlander is a master at seamlessly weaving historical context into the plot. The reader is given a clear picture of the broad events, while simultaneously holding one in constant suspense through character interaction.  Ms. Oppenlander writes in a sensitive manner, but readers should be warned there are near-skirmish rape and mob violence scenes, which might pose as slightly disturbing to some readers.  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!

New Release and Great Reviews

Here are a few things that happened during the last week:

book cover surviving the fatherland by annette oppenlander‘Surviving the Fatherland’ Released 

On Bestseller List in Canada! 

Now an IWIC Hall of Fame Novel

You can now order the eBook or paperback directly without wait. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve seen a steady uptick in orders and it seems that Canadians are quite interested in the story. So, thank you, Canada! In fact, right now, SURVIVING THE FATHERLAND is in eleventh place on their bestseller list. I’ve kept the eBook price at a very affordable $0.99 so there is no reason to wait.

The First Reviews

I received an outstanding ***Five Star*** editorial review from International Writers Inspiring Change (IWIC). Here is an excerpt:

“It is difficult not to give this book, Surviving the Fatherland, by Annette Oppenlander, a five-star rating. Surviving the Fatherland is an historical fiction based on true events, the lives of those who survived World War II, during the war and then in post-war Germany…the story is not gruesome, but rather, it is a statement about the depth and strength of the human soul, and ultimately, really, of the love that drives people on in spite of all the reasons not to love. Highly recommended.” Read full review

cover image for Escape from the Past, book 3Midwest Book Review for ‘Escape from the Past: At Witches’ End’

“Annette Oppenlander has a genuine flair for original and compelling storytelling and as with the first two volumes, “At Witches’ End” will keep the readers rapt attention from cover to cover. Unfailingly entertaining from beginning to end, and also available in a Kindle format ($5.38), “At Witches’ End” is unreservedly recommended.” Also available in the Midwest Book Review March 2017 edition of Cowper’s Bookshelf.

book cover Escape from the Past written by Annette OppenlanderI’ve asked my publisher, Lodestone Books, to lower the eBook price of the first in the ESCAPE FROM THE PAST series to $2.99. I’m hoping this will create more interest in readers who don’t know me and who would like to try out the first in the time-travel adventure series. I absolutely adore Max, so I’m hoping my new readers will too.

Additional Background Information about ‘Surviving the Fatherland’ 

I will soon post more photos and information to go along with Surviving the Fatherland. I’m also contemplating a story about Wilhelm, Lilly’s father, who spent nine years in Russian gulags. The original manuscript contained three chapters detailing his experience. In order for me to write about his time, I’d read a number of books about life in a gulag. Unfortunately, these chapters did not make it into the published version. I plan to share some of this knowledge at some point soon.

Read the interview with International Writers Inspiring Change (IWIC) which also shows some original photos from the era.