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Two Mothers Desperate Fight During WWII - an Editorial Review of "Our Daughter's Last Hope"

Book Blurb:

Amsterdam, 1940 Herta lives a contented life until Nazi Germany invades the Netherlands. As Jews, she and her family face persecution. Across town, Julia finds herself in the midst of upheaval when her husband becomes involved in Nazi activities.

Then Herta and Julia’s husbands go missing—one to hide from the Nazis, and the other to collaborate with them. As the Jewish population faces rising tension, Herta feels compelled to find a hiding place for her daughters. Unexpected developments bring the mothers together, but their potential for true friendship becomes compromised when their identities surface. They are confronted with dangerous consequences that could harm not only them but also their daughters.

Following We Shall Not Shatter, book 1 of the Resilient Women of WWII Trilogy, this captivating story of friendship questions whether two mothers, striving to ensure their children’s future, can overcome the issues of religion and heritage that could lead the Nazis right to their doorstep.

Author Bio:

Elaine Stock writes Historical Fiction, exploring home, family and friendships throughout time. She enjoys creating stories showing how all faiths, races, and belief systems are interconnected and need each other.

Elaine’s grandparents, on both sides of her family, narrowly escaped World War II by immigrating from Poland and Austria to the US. Fascinated by the strong will of people to overcome the horrors from this era, she wrote We Shall Not Shatter, Book 1 (out in May 2022) of the Resilient Women of WWII Series, inspired by her deaf great aunt who was left behind as a teenager in Poland and perished in the Holocaust, while her other deaf siblings were permitted to enter the US when their young ages helped them to circumvent medically-revealing exams. Other extended family members also remained in Poland to lose their lives in the Holocaust.

Although multi-published in award-winning Inspirational Fiction, and a past blogger and online magazine contributor, Elaine now pens novels for the General reading audience. She is a member of Women’s Fiction Writers Association and The Historical Novel Society. Born in Brooklyn, New York, she has now been living in upstate, rural New York with her husband for more years than her stint as a city gal. She enjoys long walks down country roads, visiting New England towns, and of course, a good book.

Visit with Elaine at:

Book Trailer:

Editorial Review:

A heartfelt story of two mothers grasping the magnitude of the loss of family and friends who survive the atrocities of World War II and form an implausible friendship.

“Julia’s will to survive and to think of her children made her incredibly similar to Charlotte.”

Believing each is the other’s enemy, Herta and Julia navigate obstacles of the Nazis in the German occupation of the Netherlands. Herta has a Jewish family and Julia, a Nazi family. As the Germans become more aggressive towards the Jews, Herta’s husband, Kurt, goes into hiding. Julia’s husband, Luuk, leaves to work for the SS.

“Luuk despised anyone who wasn’t purely Aryan.”

Luuk steals a necklace from a Jew on the streets who notices his unique eye color, one brown, the other green. The necklace was a beautiful butterfly that the Jew, who happened to be Kurt, had made for Herta. Kurt relays the story to Herta including the color of the thief’s eyes. Herta doesn’t forget. Kurt gets new names and identification expunging their Judaism for the two of them. They are now Helmut and Charlotte Beck, ready to deceive the Nazis.

“Paratroopers dropped from planes like rain from clouds. We’re at war.”

Captivating descriptions engage the reader.

“The constant hushing to quiet the children sent a viperous buzz through the stale air…” Telling Julia, “…they are on the right side of the German takeover…”, Luuk is an NSB coordinator and is happy about the war because he needs to feel influential. “Let’s just say that though there will be more restrictions for the Jews, there will be more benefits for the rest of us. It’s about time, don’t you think? Time for us Aryans to enjoy the liberties and opulence that these creatures don’t deserve.” Shortly he adds, “You must see that I’m right and trust my decisions. Don’t you?”

The author’s thorough statement from Luuk shows his growing insecurities that fuel his abuse of his wife. Herta decides to send her two daughters into hiding. Before she leaves, she explains to them, “They called me names. Names attacking me for being a girl, for being Jewish, for having the parents I had, and for living in the particular house and neighborhood my family love.”

Julia has a baby she names Ada that Luuk doesn’t know about. Charlotte saves Julia’s daughter, Edith, from drowning, brings her home to warm her and ends up inviting Charlotte to live with them. After they have become friends, Julia shares Luuk’s abuse with Charlotte.

“White society doesn’t do much to protect women, it’s women that need to protect themselves.”

When Charlotte learns the color of Luuk’s eyes, which is a nicely done character trait, and that he had given Julia a butterfly necklace, she knows who she’s living with. Here, they realize the true enemy is Nazism and that they are in this together. Charlotte begins working nights to help Jewish children escape the horrors. When Julia becomes aware of what Charlotte is doing, they share their true identities. Julia’s grandmother is Jewish, and Charlotte is “Herta” - a Jew. At the height of the war, Julia decides to build a safe place in her home to hide children.

Kurt returns, finds Herta at Julia’s home, and shares that he has been living on the streets creating false IDs to help escaping Jews. He offers to kill Luuk when he returns, but Luuk’s brother Liam winds up killing him.

Told through the eyes of two remarkable women – a Jewish mother and a Nazi mother, the author brings the carnage and slaughter of the documented history of the extermination of an entire population alive. Maternal love fuels this novel driving two women into unfathomable danger and religious persecution confronting powers they cannot possibly comprehend. Challenging unspeakable abuse, hunger, excruciating cold, deprivation, and sickness all the while hiding from the evil German empire, these two unstoppable women compromise their own safety again and again. Nurturing and helping others cement the well-developed bond between the two main characters poignantly tells a story of love and friendship.

A thoroughly researched, well-formatted story guides the storyline to the end of the war with the noted symbolism of the death of an abusive husband along with Nazism. History has told the reader how this story ends, but two mothers with completely diverse backgrounds present a compelling and unique narrative.

With dramatic details and edge-of-the-chair suspense, the author delivers a beautifully written, authentic, and decisive version of a rare perspective of World War II. This is a great read.


“Our Daughter's Last Hope” by Elaine Stock receives five stars and the “Highly Recommended” award for excellence.



If you would like to have your historical novel editorially reviewed and enter the 2022 HFC Book of the Year contest, please go HERE


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