I am one of those readers who must finish a book no matter how hard I’m struggling with it. Whether that be the plot, the main character, or something else entirely, I will put in the time to get that final page. Because, sometimes, sticking with a story pays off.
Or does it sometimes give your more than you can bear?
If you’re on any form of social media, you know the craziness, the opinions, the outrage that has been expressed over several events in the U.S. this year. From the banning of the confederate flag to the legalization of gay marriage and the travesty that is Planned Parenthood, there have been a number of reasons to go online and express our opinions.
I won’t debate our use this as a platform on any of those issues (this is simply a book review, after all). I bring them up only to point out how simple and easy it is for everyone to express their support or outrage to any news. Sure, there is persecution of Christians in America but that doesn’t stop us from logging into Facebook to share a blog, news article or photograph. It doesn’t stop us from updating our status to tell others how we feel or jumping into a debate with someone who has a different opinion than us.
And it doesn’t force us into hiding like the Jewish people during Hitler’s reign of power. If there was such a thing as Facebook in Nazi Germany, I’m certain the posts would have been one-sided.
Twenty-seven-year-old Hannah Sterling never had a close relationship with her mother despite her best efforts. When her mom dies, Hannah is determined to learn the reason behind the distance. After she learns she has a grandfather her mother never mentioned, Hannah goes to Germany in search of the truth. A truth that reveal much more than Hannah could have imagined.
Thirty years earlier, her grandfather worked his way up in the Nazi ranks. The man, intent on doing whatever it took, did not care what that meant for his only daughter.
Told from Hannah’s perspective in 1973 and her mother’s from 1938-1945, the reader gets the full, gut-wrenching story. A story of one brave girl who loved people regardless of race, regardless of uncertainty or fear and of her daughter who never truly knew her.
What fascinated me about this book was how in the beginning, Hannah’s journey interested me most but about halfway through, I wanted to know about Lieselotte. Did she marry the man she loved? Would her father find out she was helping Jews? Who was the man who seemed to be her father’s puppeteer?
Cathy Gohlke’s World War II story is a little different than the others I’ve read over the past couple of years but no less fraught with tragedy, sorrow, and hope for the future.
In searching for truth, sometimes we find something so horrific we wish we could shove it back into the shadows. Pretend it doesn’t exist. Something so difficult to work through, it causes us to question everything we once believed. And in that moment we are left with a choice: Let it crush us under its weight or forgive and become better because of it.
****Tyndale Blog Network provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. All opinions expressed are my own.