The Willow Wren by Philipp Schott

This was a different read for a WWII novel, as it was written from the perspective of a young boy who had no choice, and was enrolled in the Hilter Youth camp along with his older brother. Ludwig’s mind was a little different than other, he took notice of nature and things surrounding him, and often his questions got him in trouble with his father.

Ludwig’s father is a senior Nazi, and true believer in Hitler and the goals he ultimately has in mind. Germany can and will succeed there is no doubt about that, and so this story is told through Ludwig who lived through seeing his father belong to a part of these people who were hurting others, his mother who was not blind to it all and often questioned their father on right and wrong of what was happening and the kids stuck in the middle.

Ludwig and his older brother had to quickly grow up, and were sent off to the Hitler Youth Camp as soon as could be, as family did not have room for them, and the allied bombings has denigrated their house. Wilhelm as too busy always working for the Nazi, and that left his mother to fend for herself and all the kids. Doing what she thought was best, the two boys went off to become part of training for what their father believed, would be the future generations running Germany.

This was an interesting novel, based on the true story of a family and boys who lived this. Where they were sent to the Hitler Youth Camp, and managed to survive after the war. It was a different perspective than a lot of the WWII novels, and I greatly enjoyed reading about the war through the eyes of a child who had parents that were on opposite sides. A lot of people did not like to talk about what they saw and the war after, and I am glad that Ludwig shared his stories with is family, grandkids and so on so it could eventually be told.

Thank you to the author, and the ECW Press for the free book.

~ Goodreads – About the Author ~

Philipp was born in Germany in 1965. A year later his family emigrated to Canada. Philipp grew up in Saskatoon, regularly returning to Germany to visit. He studied biology the University of Saskatchewan before switching to veterinary medicine. After graduation in 1990 he moved to Winnipeg with his classmate and future wife, Lorraine. Except for a year taken to travel, Philipp has been in the same small animal practice since 1990. His first book, The Accidental Veterinarian, was published in 2019. He and Lorraine live in a creaky old house on the river with two children and several pets. 

Philipp Schott

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