Welcome to FAB Lovelies!

A Lifestyle blog that focuses on all things from fashion to beauty; fitness to weight loss; recipes to coupons; books to movies; travels to entertainment; and everything in between.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Surviving the Fatherland by Annette Oppenlander - Book Tour - Review - Giveaway - Enter Daily!

Hi lovelies! It gives me great pleasure today to host Annette Oppenlander and her new book, “Surviving the Fatherland”!  For other stops on her Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tour, please click on the banner above or any of the images in this post.

Be sure to make it to the end of this post to enter to win a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card!!  Also, come back daily to interact with Annette and to increase your chances of winning!

Thanks for stopping by!  Wishing you lots of luck in this fabulous giveaway!

Surviving the Fatherland
by Annette Oppenlander


GENRE: Historical Coming of Age



Spanning thirteen years from 1940 to 1953, SURVIVING THE FATHERLAND tells the true and heart-wrenching stories of Lilly and Günter struggling with the terror-filled reality of life in the Third Reich, each embarking on their own dangerous path toward survival, freedom, and ultimately each other. Based on the author’s own family and anchored in historical facts, this story celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the strength of war children.

SURVIVING THE FATHERLAND is a sweeping saga of family, love, and betrayal that illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the children's war.



Lilly: May 1940

For me the war began, not with Hitler’s invasion of Poland, but with my father’s lie. I was seven at the time, a skinny thing with pigtails and bony knees, dressed in my mother’s lumpy hand-knitted sweaters, a girl who loved her father more than anything.

It was May of 1940, my favorite time of year when the air is filled with the smell of cut grass and lilacs, promising excursions to town and the cafes in the hilly land I called home.

Like any other weekend, my father came home that Friday carrying a heavy briefcase of folders. Only this time, he flung his case in the corner of the hallway like it was a bag of garbage. You have to understand. My father is a neat freak, a man who keeps himself and everything he touches in absolute order. And so even at seven—even before he said those fateful words—I knew something was different.

My father had been named after the German emperor, Wilhelm, and Mutti called him Willi, but to me he was always Vati.

Ignoring me, he hurried into the kitchen, his eyes bright with excitement. “I’ve been drafted.”

At the sink, Mutti abruptly dropped her sponge and stared at him. Her mouth opened, then closed without a sound.

I didn’t understand what he was talking about. I didn’t understand the meaning of a lie, yet I felt it even then. Like others detect an oncoming thunderstorm, pressure builds behind my forehead, a heaviness in my bones. There is something in the way the liar moves, his limbs hang stiffly on the body as if his soul cringes. His look at me is fleeting and there is something artificial in his voice.



Wow!  This book tells an impressive story of two children who are brave, courageous, and have the strength to fight against all odds to survive.

This book tells the true story of two children, Lilly and Günter in the 1940s in Germany during the Hitler era.

From right off the first page, I was emotionally invested in this book – it’s hard not to be.

This story is based on the author’s family and you feel the authenticity and pain just leap off the page.

My heart just broke reading what these children endured and how they just kept going.  I don’t know if I personally would have had the strength to keep going.  It was inspiring to see their persistence and determination.

The main characters, Lilly and Günter, are true, pure, and genuine.  You will develop an instant bond with these characters and find yourself not only pulling for them, but praying for their safety and wellbeing.

I honestly feel somewhat changed after reading this book.  Not in a bad way, perhaps by now having a deeper understanding of empathy, insight, and compassion to children of war.  As a millennial, I was lucky to have not grown up during war times.  Yes, 9/11 was a sad, and forever changing time, but I lived in the U.S. and at no time did I ever feel unsafe or violated or tortured like others have had to endure during other war eras.

This book was such an interesting and intriguing story and I found myself further invested in the characters and storyline than I expected to be or tend to be with other books.  That should the definition of a great book – a book that causes you to feel the emotion of the characters and become fully engaged and invested in the characters and the storyline.

I would recommend this book as this is such an important story to read and understand.  Anyone that is put through such obscene and difficult obstacles deserves to have their story told and appreciated.  Beware that you may need a box of tissues nearby, as this book is filled with so much emotion that will cause your heart to race, your eyes to water, and your body to cringe.  I felt every sentence.

**Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book and have voluntarily provided an honest, and unbiased review in accordance with FTC regulations.**

Did you find this review helpful?
If so, please, please, please mark it as helpful on Amazon here:



As a historical novelist Annette Oppenlander spends much of her time in archives and historic neighborhoods. When she isn’t studying the past, she shares her knowledge through writing workshops and indulges her old mutt, Mocha. In her spare time she travels around the U.S. and Europe to discover amazing histories. The mother of three ‘former’ teens, Annette lives with her husband in Bloomington, Ind.

“Nearly every place holds some kind of secret, something that makes history come alive. When we scrutinize people and places closely, history is no longer a date or number, it turns into a story.”








Goodreads Author Page:

Goodreads Book Page:

Amazon Author Page:



Amazon Kindle:

Amazon Paperback:

Barnes and Noble:




Annette will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

**This post contains affiliate links and if clicked and a purchase made I may receive a small commission to help support this blog.  This does not cost you anything, it just helps pay for all those awesome giveaways on here.**

This contest is sponsored by a third party. Fabulous and Brunette is a registered host of Goddess Fish Promotions.  Prizes are given away by the sponsors and not Fabulous and Brunette. The featured author and Goddess Fish Promotions are solely responsible for the giveaway prize.


  1. Congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

  2. Annette ~ It is great to have you here! Congrats on your new book and good luck on the book tour! I really enjoyed reading and reviewing your book, thanks for providing the copy! :)

    1. Hi Ally, thank you so much for hosting and reviewing. I'm very happy you enjoyed the story. It was a hard one to write and I often thought over the years, I'd never get it finished. Have a lovely day!

  3. Hello everyone, Annette here. I'll be hanging out today in case you have any questions regarding 'Surviving the Fatherland.' I interviewed my parents in 2002 and the story took me 15 years to write. Wishing all of you a great day!

  4. the book sounds amazing! thanks for the chance. What inspired you to write it? rc12d@yahoo.com

    1. Thank you for asking, Rachael. I wrote the story because I wanted to share my parents' plight, their coming of age during the war, with others. Much has been written about battles from the soldiers' perspective, the Holocaust and Allied Forces. But the civilian side, especially what it was like to grow up in Hitler's Reich, hasn't really been covered.

  5. What is the best book that you read last year. Thanks for the giveaway. I hope that I win. Bernie W BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

    1. "Memoirs of a Geisha" by Arthur Golden was my favorite book last year. I love historical novels. Thank you for asking!

  6. I really enjoyed reading the entire post, thank you!

  7. Wow! What a story! It was good that you were able to hear about it before your mother passed away.

  8. What are you reading at the moment?

  9. It's amazing that you worked on this for 15 years!

  10. People forget that the German people were regular people who had to endure bombings and hunger while a madman decided their fate.