Certain words sprang to mind when I finished this story - vulgar, sad, angry and disturbed. It makes no difference where a child is born or under what circumstances - all children need a mother's love. Ella, Thomas and the twins didn't. They had Kathe, a mother who was selfish, political and unloving. Yes, life was difficult in East Germany but made more so with Kathe's coldness to her children which led to a tragic ending.