Book Review “A Mother’s War” by Helen Parusel


WW2 Historical Novel

Length : 353 pages

Publisher : Boldwood Books

SYNOPSIS/BOOK BLURB & purchase links

A forbidden romance in occupied Norway…

Narvik, 1940. After Laila awakens to the sight of warships in the fjord, it isn’t long before she turns resistor to the brutal Nazi regime. She is horrified when local girls begin affairs with enemy soldiers, yet against her own principles, she finds herself falling in love with German soldier, Josef.

Josef is not like the others. He becomes involved in helping her and the locals with resistance activities, risking his life on more than one occasion.

But then Laila finds out she is pregnant. With Josef sent to the Russian front, and Laila cast out by her family, she turns to a home for women which promises to care for her and her unborn child. But instead, she finds herself caught in a system of evil far beyond what she thought possible…

Purchase Link:


Well what can I say about this phenomenal debut book by Helen Parusel other than, Go and buy a copy right now! The End 🙂

A Mother’s war is a superbly written book about the occupation of Norway during WW2. This is not a topic I know an awful lot about so it made a change to read another new viewpoint based on the war. I fell in love with Laila, the main character and her utter hatred of the occupation and everything it is doing to her country and her people. She wants to help the resistance but also knows she must keep her family safe. Then against all her deep rooted beliefs she falls in love with a German soldier and her life changes more than she could ever have expected. She is beautifully written character and we get to know her well. Her feelings, her thoughts, her desires are all so realistic that I became really invested in her and just wanted her to be safe.

The Lebensborn program was a fascinating part of this book and one that I had heard of but again didn’t really know that much about it. The things that happen to the mother’s and children here, on the suffice appear to be good. They are fed and looked after but scratch beneath the suffice as Laila does and all is definitely not as it seems. Babies disappear, babies are adopted against the mother’s wishes and a whole host of other unjust and undignified events occur that pushes Laila to her limit. Laila is a woman who puts others before herself and she needs to get out of the awful Lebensborn program. Does she manage to escape? Can she keep her baby? Will her family accept her back after the worst betrayal? Well no spoilers so you really do need to buy this book. It is truly a sublime read that creates a picture of beauty, sadness, lose and the ability to overcome. I LOVED IT!

Author Bio –

I am from London but now live in Hamburg, Germany with my husband and daughter. I gave English lessons to retired Germans for twenty years and became intrigued by many of their wartime stories. My mother comes from Linz, Austria and I spent my summer holidays there for years which inspired my next novel. I have always loved reading and writing, and now finally have the time to devote to writing.

Social Media Links –  


With Thanks for the Advance Copy to ……………..

Rachel Gilbey

Helen Parusel

Boldwood Books



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