The Blue Suitcase

by Marianne Wheelaghan | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 095661440X Global Overview for this book
Registered by Wyando of Köln, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on 6/16/2023
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
6 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Wyando from Köln, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Friday, June 16, 2023
It is 1932, Silesia, Germany, and the eve of Antonia's 12th birthday. Hitler's Brownshirts and Red Front Marxists are fighting each other in the streets. Antonia doesn't care about the political unrest but it's all her family argue about. Then Hitler is made Chancellor and order is restored across the country, but not in Antonia's family. The longer the National Socialists stay in power, the more divided the family becomes with devastating consequences. Unpleasant truths are revealed and terrible lies uncovered. Antonia thinks life can't get much worse - and then it does. Partly based on a true-life story, Antonia's gripping diary takes the reader inside the head of an ordinary teenage girl growing up. Her journey into adulthood, however, is anything but ordinary.

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This book is a gift from our lovely AirBnB host Marianne (yes, the author of this book 😎) while we‘re staying in Porty, Edinburgh. As we will attend the BookCrossing UnConvention in Falkirk, we would love to see this book going at least a few journals as a sort of bookray (*), before it takes its unknown travels into the world…

Wyando & Dartqueen

(*) before releasing in the wild, please check if you don‘t know anyone, who could be interested in this book to which you could pass it on personally or by postal way. Would be lovely to gather a few journals this way.

Bookcrosser who showed interest during the convention: (in no particular “reading” order)
Edit 20/08/2023 - This list is not a final list. The more this books travels from BookCrosser to Bookcrosser, the better. I've add rainbow3 on request, but there is no neccessary need to. The one who knows someone who knows someone who knows is interested can always get the book and then leave a comment...

Bookfrogster (who will start this ray)

Last but not least: Thank you Marianne for this book donation. We hope you enjoy the journey of your book.

Journal Entry 2 by bookfrogster at Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Sunday, June 18, 2023
I am so excited to be the first reader for this. I had previously read "Food of Ghosts" by this author and LOVED it, so what a coincidence to find that 2 new bookcrossing friends were staying with the author!

Journal Entry 3 by bookfrogster at Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Thursday, July 13, 2023
This was a really good read with the injustices starting as small seemingly innocuous new ways of doing things, then building and building to the horrifying conclusion. I felt there were some parallels with the current racist attitudes being enacted in policymaking regarding refugees to the UK. This one is reserved for Cassandra2020. Thanks so much for sharing this book with me Wyando and Dartqueen.

Journal Entry 4 by bookfrogster at Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Saturday, July 15, 2023

Released 7 mos ago (7/16/2023 UTC) at Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom


Passing on to Cassandra2020 at the Old Gang meet up. Happy reading!

Journal Entry 5 by wingCassandra2020wing at Roslin, Scotland United Kingdom on Monday, July 17, 2023
Thanks for passing this to me. I shall try and read ASAP.

Journal Entry 6 by wingCassandra2020wing at Roslin, Scotland United Kingdom on Friday, August 18, 2023
The Blue Suitcase by Marianne Wheelaghan - Good

I should preface my review by saying that my family history makes it difficult to have sympathy with the characters in the book...but I have endeavoured to keep an open mind.

The premise is that the author found her mother's old blue suitcase when clearing her house after she passed away. In it she found old diaries and letters from when her mother was a child, growing up in Breslau, Silesia (Wrocław) in the 1930s and living in Germany through to the end of the war. Once she had translated and read them she turned them into this novel.

I must admit I wonder how much is fact and how much fiction, but nevertheless it rang true for me. There is an obvious narrative voice change from that of a child as she grows up and we watch as the family and the nation are slowly but surely brainwashed and indoctrinated as they go from a devout catholic family with fairly liberal ideals (for the times) to fully fledged party members in some cases. Mostly, they went along with everything that was done in the name of a stronger Germany even when they knew it was wrong - just like everyone else - too scared to stand up for what was right. It really is true that "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph in the world is that good men do nothing".

I didn't like the early entries but once she began to grow up and events began to increase in pace, it was an engrossing read. I just wish the author had added a little note at the end to let us know what became of the family members that survived the war. I'd love to know what actually happened to them.

We always think it could never happen again but you only have to look at what is happening in Eastern Europe with an aggressive Russia, UK with Brexit and fear of immigrants and the US with Trump/MAGA to see that it would be so easy to slip back into something horrific. How brave will we be?


Journal Entry 7 by wingCassandra2020wing at Edinburgh Book Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Friday, August 18, 2023

Released 6 mos ago (8/20/2023 UTC) at Edinburgh Book Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom


Bring to the Old Gang BookFest meetup for LittleSuz or Kinedi to read next.

Although this book is registered at, you don't have to be a member. It's perfectly OK to just take the book and enjoy it. Of course, if you can visit the website and let us know that you've picked it up, that would be even better - you don't even have to join, you can add your comments anonymously - you can also post your review when you've read it, then return it or pass it on to someone else.

If you do join Bookcrossing, you'll be able to see what happens to it afterwards - for ever!

Journal Entry 8 by wingLittleSuzwing at Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Sunday, August 20, 2023
Caught at the meetup today. Thanks!

Journal Entry 9 by wingLittleSuzwing at Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Monday, September 4, 2023
I found this a very engrossing book. Given the nature of those times, it's difficult to tell which aspects of the plot were probably real and what is more likely fiction.

Toni is an interesting narrator, though it's sometimes not possible to feel sympathetic towards her. Some of the opinions she expresses are awful. Her gradual character development is well-written, and she does feel somewhat real. The novel demonstrates how difficult it is to separate out people's politics from their personal needs and relationships. Toni and her siblings develop opposing political opinions partly as a reaction to events and other family members. Joining the Hitler Youth, BDM, or the Communist Party are forms of teenage rebellion. They also provide a social life and sense of emotional connection with friends.

When reading about WWII and its aftermath, I'm always taken aback by the true awfulness of it all - for everyone. This novel skirts mostly around the worst crimes of that period, but they remain forever in the reader's mind.

On a personal note, I was interested in Breslau and its history as I visited modern-day Wroclaw in 2002. I remember being fascinated at how the city's old town had been rebuilt from scratch by the Soviets as so little remained by 1945. I went on a walk in the former Jewish quarter, hoping to see some surviving buildings, but there was absolutely nothing there of that nature. Having read The Blue Suitcase, I feel like I understand the city's history much better.

This copy will travel to Kinedi soon.

Journal Entry 10 by kinedi at Rushyford, County Durham United Kingdom on Thursday, September 14, 2023
Now arrived in Co. Durham- had almost forgotten about it so am looking forward to reading it next.

It was ever so lovely seeing Wyando and Dartqueen in Falkirk too!

Journal Entry 11 by kinedi at Rushyford, County Durham United Kingdom on Monday, February 5, 2024
A tough read and to say I enjoyed it is maybe not quite right but still Toni's story needs to be told and heard/read

Journal Entry 12 by kinedi at Rushyford, County Durham United Kingdom on Saturday, February 10, 2024

Released 2 wks ago (2/10/2024 UTC) at Rushyford, County Durham United Kingdom


On its way to Poodlesister now

Journal Entry 13 by wingPoodlesisterwing at Walthamstow, Greater London United Kingdom on Monday, February 12, 2024
Thanks for passing on the book kinedi and for the postcard. I’ve got a couple of books to read before this one.

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