If you enjoy historical fiction, especially about the WWII era, this is an absolute MUST-READ.
Saving Amelie by Cathy Gohlke is a brilliant novel set in Germany in 1939-1940. It follows the story of Rachel, a German-American woman, as she learns the truth about her past along with the truth about what Hitler’s regime is actually doing – not just what the propaganda press will report. She is faced with many difficult and life-threatening situations and has to decide what is most important.
The pace of the book was great – plenty of excitement and suspense balanced with more subdued times to observe the characters as they prepared for what was next. I was thankful for those quieter times because I wouldn’t have been able to put the book down if the author hadn’t created a “pause button” occasionally.
This is an incredibly well-researched book and the author weaved in real people and situations beautifully with her fictional characters. I especially loved that she used a real German/Bavarian village for one of the settings, incorporating their history and passions, as well as a real-life preacher who is still beloved today.
This book made me really think about what it must have been like to live in Germany during this time and what I would have done in similar situations in light of all of the propaganda and mixed messages (along with a comparative lack of access to truth that we enjoy today via the Internet). It’s so easy to look back and pass judgments – but this book will help you to step back and walk in their shoes for a moment.
I received a copy of this book from Tyndale House in exchange for my honest review.