Title: Season of My Enemy
Author: Naomi Musch
Series: Heroines of WWII
Major Themes: Wisconsin, Farming, Prisoners of War, Germans, World War II
Synopsis: Even though she knows they are necessary to keep the farm going, Fannie hates having the German POWs around—but for some reason, she can’t stop watching their leader.
Season of My Enemy was a book I took a chance on liking. I have never read anything by Naomi Musch before, but this sounded like it would be an interesting story, so I gave it a go. I ended up really enjoying this book, and I’ll be interested to read more by this author in the future.
Fannie was doing her best to hold the farm together with the help of her younger brother Jerry. Last year, she had been a beautiful young lady in a normal school. Now, with her two older brothers overseas, one a prisoner of the Germans and the other missing in action, and her father dead, life was much different. How could they possibly keep up with all the work on their farm in Wisconsin, supplying vegetables to the canneries? Mom came up with a solution. Despite her objections, Fannie found herself working alongside German prisoners of war.
There is no way Fannie could trust these POWs. They were part of the nation that had made her lose her brothers and her father! As the summer went on, however, she found herself watching and admiring the leader of their German crew, despite her determination to remain aloof. Mysterious problems made her wonder…. What was going on?
I find it very interesting that it is hard to find information about the German POWs working on farms in the United States. I do remember hearing, when I was a little girl, that that had happened in my area of Michigan. The way I remember hearing it, the German prisoners were used for cheap labor on farms, picking fruits and vegetables. After the war, after they went back to Europe, Mexican migrant workers started coming to take up the slack. In Season of My Enemy, it was the other way around, which makes me wonder whether it was different in Wisconsin, or whether I remember wrong, or whether this author got something confused a little bit. Anyway, I found the story very interesting on a number of levels. Of course, I enjoy the history part of it, because that’s who I am. I also liked seeing how Fannie’s perspective of the POWs changed, and how she learned to forgive and to see past stereotypes to view people as they really were.
I received a review copy of this book from NetGalley, and these are my honest thoughts about it.
WARNING: Chapter 7: Jeepers. Chapter 12: Gee. Chapter 15: the darn beans. Chapter 21: a man attacks a girl. Chapter 28 (last page): a kiss is described.
Reading Independently—Ages 15 and Above, Adults