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Stone Mother, by Malve S. Burns

Imagine growing up in a German family right after WWII with no knowledge of your country’s horrendous Nazi past or an understanding of your own family’s fierce internal struggles.

Marie is a dreamy child of a doctor whose family is offered refuge within the walls of Falkenburg Castle after the war. Within the safety of this thousand-year-old “stone mother,” Marie begins her coming-of-age journey dominated by her troubled, often violent mother and comforted by her beloved father.

Soon, Marie is forced to leave the castle and is bounced from a Dickensian Children’s institution, to an inspiring private prep school for girls in Heidelberg, to the wild Alaska Highway, and back to Germany, where, at age fifteen, she discovers the full extent of Nazi atrocities and contemplates suicide.

With the help of her mother’s former teacher and the spirit prince of Falkenburg Castle, Marie begins to understand her mother’s pain. She finds a way to accept—though never condone—what she cannot change. Ultimately, when she faces the transgressions of both her mother and her motherland, she is inspired to engage more fully with her new Germany.

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