The three most important parts of a book are: a well constructed plot, compelling characters, and a satisfying conclusion.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

SAVING AMELIE By Cathy Gohlke

Saving Amelie by Cathy GohlkePublisher:  Tyndale House Publishers
Release Date:  May 16, 2014
Pages:  453
Genre:  Historical Fiction

Book Description:  Increasingly wary of her father's genetic research, Rachel Kramer has determined that this trip with him to Germany--in the summer of 1939--will be her last. But a cryptic letter from her estranged friend, begging Rachel for help, changes everything. Married to SS officer Gerhardt Schlick, Kristine sees the dark tides turning and fears her husband views their daughter, Amelie, deaf since birth, as a blight on his Aryan bloodline.Once courted by Schlick, Rachel knows he's as dangerous as the swastikas that hang like ebony spiders from every government building in Berlin. She fears her father's files may hold answers about Hitler's plans for others, like Amelie, whom the regime deems "unworthy of life." She risks searching his classified documents only to uncover shocking secrets about her own history and a family she's never known.Now hunted by the SS, Rachel turns to Jason Young--a driven, disarming American journalist and unlikely ally--who connects her to the resistance and to controversial theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Forced into hiding, Rachel's every ideal is challenged as she and Jason walk a knife's edge, risking their lives--and asking others to do the same--for those they barely know but come to love.

Wanda's Thoughts:  I was profoundly moved by this beautifully written and heart-wrenching story. The topic of the Holocaust brings with it deep sadness, with the horrible realization of what occurred at that time. This is a story of family bonds, loss, survival, and great faith. 

1939 – Germany – It seemed that nothing was too far fetched for the demonic mind of Hitler. Germany had its focus on a pure Aryan race. They had designs to strengthen Germany’s bloodline through eugenics – to create a pure race, free of the weaknesses brought on by inferior breeding with non-Nordic races. The weaknesses must be eliminated. The research that took place was inhumane and Hitler’s sterilization program was criminally insane.

It was the duty of the SS officers to bear children for the Reich – genetically perfect Aryan children. And for that to be possible they must have genetically perfect Aryan wives. The intent was to blend the perfect Germanic genes – Nordic features, physical strength, and intellect. 

A story that takes place during the Holocaust; this is a highly intense and emotional story. I was pulled into the drama and became completely engaged with the characters. They are wonderfully portrayed as they struggled with the difficult realities of the Holocaust. 

This book was totally absorbing as the author brings to life a very dark period in our history, writing with vivid descriptions. Don’t miss this one – just incredible! 5 Stars.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Cathy GohlkeThe Author - Cathy Gohlke - Cathy Gohlke is the two-time Christy Award–winning author of the critically acclaimed novels Promise Me This, William Henry Is a Fine Name, and I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires, which also won the American Christian Fiction Writers' Book of the Year Award and was listed by Library Journal as one of the Best Books of 2008. 

Cathy has worked as a school librarian, drama director, and director of children's and education ministries. When not traipsing the hills and dales of historic sites, she, her husband, and their dog, Reilly, make their home on the banks of the Laurel Run in Elkton, Maryland. Visit her website at www.cathygohlke.com.