NewsWar Child by Annette Janic and Catherine McCullagh

War Child by Annette Janic and Catherine McCullagh

War Child is a true story that spans 100 years, a tale of Nazi Germany, the lingering effects of war, the 1950s Australian migration experience and a modern-day search.

Magdalena (‘Leni’) is an illegitimate child born in pre-World War II Germany in a small town steeped in superstition. Spurned by her Catholic grandfather, Leni and her mother live in poverty in a country sliding towards war. At school Leni joins the Hitler Youth, leaving at  14 to work to support her family. A sadistic employer forces her to submit to secret systematic rape or face having her mother interned.

Fleeing the advance of the Red Army, Leni and her family survive on their wits, and she is transformed from a meek, cowed girl to protector. In the post-war chaos she falls pregnant to her Yugoslav boyfriend, marrying him in a bid to avoid the hardship that blighted her childhood. The little family migrates to Australia, crossing the war-torn continent, enduring appalling conditions in Bagnoli Refugee Transit Camp and finally facing the enormous task of beginning a new life in an alien land.

Researching her mother’s life after the death of both parents, Leni’s daughter Annette makes a startling discovery. With her dying breath, Leni’s confidante reveals another secret. A complex search that crosses three continents follows as Annette gradually unravels the web of intrigue that protects her mother’s ultimate secret.

To win a copy of the book, enter your name, address and phone number in the feedback forum below and a winner will be selected at random

Join the conversation

FiftyUp Club
War Child by Annette Janic and Catherine McCullagh

Share your views with other members. 

Want to leave a comment? or .
Read our moderation policy here.
Anonymous from NSW commented:

Had to share this comment from my friend #Magdalene Phillips who posted on FACEBOOK today. She says: "I loved this book - BUY IT!!!! I gave a copy to my mum, a friend's mum, their friends... It's written in a way that's easy to read even if the story itself is sometimes hard to stomach but it shows an incredible woman's resilience and hope in a better life. It's a part of Australian/European history which I love. Needs to be made into a mini-series or a movie... BUY IT PEOPLE!!! :) 

Christine from QLD commented:

Christine Gordon 40 School Road Victoria Point Brisbane 415 QLD telephone number 0437347091 

Gary from WA commented:

Gary Thompson 7 waratah circle halls head wa 6210 0400243908 

Anonymous from VIC commented:

Margaret Cornwall 69 McKimmies Rd Lalor. Vic. 3075 0408350548 

Bill from QLD commented:

This sounds like a wonderful book. Anne Woodley 4/26 Girraween Rd Girraween NSW 2145 mob.0422901489 

Gertraud from ACT commented:

I think I'll skip that one. Reading the prologue and first few pages, I see little credibility in that story. 

Moira from NSW commented:

Sounds a very interesting novel. 

Gwen from QLD commented:

Gwenith Tyburczy PO Box 2, Warwick Qld 4370 Phone (07) 4661 0214 Email 

Comment Guidelines