by Cathy Gohlke
As far back as Elementary School I loved books that took place during the WWII time period whether they were non-fiction, biographical, or fiction. I think one of the reasons I enjoyed these books was because they always included characters who could persevere through the most awful times and also characters who protected them during these awful times. Saving Amelie was a great fiction read from this time period with just enough history thrown in to set the scenes.
All of the fictional characters in Saving Amelie were such beautiful people. It wasn't hard to fall in love with Rachel especially when she risked everything to get Amelie to safety! Poor little Amelie was born to Rachel's former best friend and her husband an SS Officer. Only problem is: Amelie is deaf. And everyone know an SS Officer cannot have a less than perfect daughter. Enter Jason the war correspondent from the USA looking for a good story. He bravely steps in to help Rachel. Of course he has some ulterior motives and wants the story and wants to impress Rachel but none the less they get Amelie out of direct danger and later completely out of danger.The real heroes in the story though are the family that hide Rachel and Amelie in their home. But you'll have to read the novel to find out the REAL reason the family is so amazing!
The true historical characters in the book add a special depth to the plot both as good guys and bad guys. This was the first fiction book I've read where Mengele had such a major role. He was a doctor that performed special medical experiments on twins. The genetic experiments that Rachel's father was working on went hand in hand with some of what Mengele was working on in Germany. But on the other side of the spectrum you have Bonhoeffer. His preaching throughout this book made me wonder why I've never read any of his books. They are now at the top of my "to read" list! His views on Christianity and faith were amazing. I love that Gohlke included him in her novel!
I love it when a fiction book teaches me something new. In this book I learned about the town of Oberammergau and the Passion Play they presented. I also learned a lot about Bonhoeffer. I did not realize that he RETURNED to Germany to be with his people when he was already safe. Talk about an amazing testament of faith!
This book really does have everything. It has family and love. It has life and death. It has sacrifice and determination. It has real-life history and fiction. Combined all of these elements along with Gohlke's amazing writing you get a book you won't want to put down until you have read every last page.
This book was provided to me by the publisher, Tyndale, in exchange for my honest review.
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