Thursday, 2 October 2014

Book Review ~ Saving Amelie by Cathy Gohlke

By Dorothy Adamek 

Saving Amelie  One letter . . . one request . . . will challenge everything she believes.


Rachel Kramer, daughter of an eminent Long Island eugenics scientist, must confront her own pride and sense of superiority to rescue a deaf child from “elimination” at the hands of the Nazis. Jason Young, a driven American journalist with connections to the resistance and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, helps Rachel and Amelie escape Berlin. Forced to hide in the Bavarian village of the Passion Play, 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. 
*****
Cathy Gohlke is the two-time Christy Award–winning author of the critically acclaimed novels Saving Amelie, Band of Sisters, Promise Me This (listed by Library Journal as one of the best books of 2012), William Henry Is a Fine Name, and I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires (listed by Library Journal as one of the best books of 2008), which also won the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Book of the Year Award.
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, divide their time between Northern Virginia and their home on the banks of the Laurel Run in Elkton, Maryland.
*****
You don’t read Saving Amelie for fabulous entertainment alone. 

More than a well crafted story, it presses the reader to consider the atrocities of human history and how much we’ve learned (or maybe not learned) in the decades since. Set in Nazi Germany, I was pulled into Saving Amelie by my deep respect for people like Corrie Ten Boom and all those who risked their lives to save others during WWII. The reader is challenged to consider Hitler’s ambition to create a perfect race, and how this was even tolerated by those who supported his endeavors. 

Cathy Gohlke writes the gripping account of lives caught in the heart of some of last century’s darkest hours, with poetic light and hope. For the romance reader in me, there were plenty of tender journeys of the heart, as well as courage and sacrifice motivated by compassion during a time when compassion came at a price most of us can’t fathom. I particularly enjoyed the inclusion of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his text, The Cost Of Discipleship, and the price each of us pays, as Jesus did, when we extend grace in its purest form. 

This is a rich compilation of historical fiction, compelling characters (both fictional and real to this time period) woven together and tied up under the re-telling of a well known Bible story. 

Cathy also challenges our current political correctness, with this haunting echo from the 1940’s, in contemplation of what a future world might look like. 

“I suppose nothing like this could happen in America.” ...

“Banning prayer from schools? Stripping crucifixes from walls? That would be like taking down the Ten Commandments in the United States. I’ve never been a churchgoer, but I can’t imagine such a thing happening. The churches, even the people who aren’t church goers, would never stand for having their rights stripped away like that.”

A brilliant story. Highly recommended. Add this one to your Christmas gift list. Fiction readers of all persuasions will love you for gifting them Saving Amelie

*****
Dorothy Adamek lives in Melbourne with her Beloved and their three gorgeous kids. 
She's the winner of the 2013 FHL ~ Touched By Love Competition, and the 2104 Inspirational Category Winner of the TARA Writing Contest. 

Enamoured by all things 19th century, she writes The Heartbeat of Yesteryear, Historical Romance - Aussie style. Come say G'day at her blog, Ink Dots. 

8 comments:

  1. Hi Dotti. Thanks for the review. This sounds like a beautiful and thought inspiring book. I like that the Christian resistance to Hitler is referenced - a part of history that is often forgotten or overlooked.

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    1. Hi Jeanette, thank you. I was intrigued by the Christian resistance movement and how they shared their message. Just one of the many threads to this story. :)

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  2. Another intriguing novel for my Kindle to take away with me next month. Thanks for such great review Dottie. Just enough to hook me without a smidgeon of a spoiler!

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    1. Hi Rita, I hope Saving Amelie inspires you on your travels. Best wishes for your trip. :)

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  3. Dotti, excellent review! It sounds like a fascinating and intriguing story. Thanks for sharing your thoughts :)

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    1. Hi Narelle, always a pleasure to share the excellent books I'm reading at Rel's book club. :)

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  4. Fab review, Dotti, as always. Cathy's books are always excellent and this one is no different :)

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    1. Thanks for choosing yet another excellent book for us, Rel. We're always treated to some of the BEST new releases out there. :)

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