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Friday, August 8, 2014

Saving Amelie...Review

About the book:
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.

Though she was raised as an American, Rachel has dual citizenship with Germany.  Every two years she must return to Germany for medical exams.  Having never thought much of it, her last visit takes her to Germany right during the start of World War 2.  Once there, she discovers that her father hasn't simply been a medical researcher, but he has been involved in Eugenics and worked closely with the SS and purging the unpure from life.

Rachel's closest friend asks her to take her deaf daughter away, to prevent the girl's SS father from having her executed.  Having discovered her own father's secrets and learning about her own history, Rachel knows she must protect Amelie.  With the aid of an American reporter, Rachel must hide from the Nazi's as she tries to escape to freedom.  She travels to Oberammergau, home of an annual Passion Play and the family she never knew existed.

The setting of World War 2 is one of my most favorites for novels.  The time period and the events of the war fascinate me.  The people who suffered through that war are strong and resilient.  From the first pages of Saving Amelie, I was engrossed in Rachel's story.  While Rachel is a fairly selfish, entitled rich American, she is soon humbled by her new circumstances and those of the people who aid her.  She learns a great deal about herself and discovers God's plan for her and Amelie.

Historically, I loved this take and the exploration of the German Eugenics program and ideology.  The Christian elements are strong. The story is thrilling, well paced and well researched. I didn't want to put it down.

Thanks to Netgalley and Tyndale House for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Cathy Gohlke here. You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 8/14

* * * *
4/5 Stars


  1. Sounds like a well researched story. I enjoy stories set in this time period as well. Great post!

  2. This book sounds right up my alley! Thanks for the heads up.

  3. Hi Holly,

    I have seen this book about in a couple of the MM posts this week, but hadn't really checked out the detailed synopsis, until I spotted your review.

    This has to be a firm addition to my 'Want To Read' list. The premise is completely intriguing and if the research is as good as you indicate, even more chilling!!

    Thanks for a comprehensive and thorough review, you sold this one to me.