Overwhelming story but not without hope.
“Death never has the last word- life would always triumph.”
I am so glad Ms. Austin wrote this heart-wrenching story. She wanted to honor the soldiers who fought for our freedom and the many victims who suffered under Hitler during WWII. She did a superb job of portraying the struggles of Jimmy, who came home with severe battle fatigue. His journey back to health was long and was told through the actions of his childhood friend, Peggy. As a neighbor, Jimmy encouraged her and showed God’s love and she returned the favor when he came back home by enlisting his friends to visit him and write letters.
Entwined in the story is the plight of a Jewish refugee, Gisela, and her family. Helping her find her relatives after the liberation of Europe is what gave Jimmy purpose after witnessing many horrors. “Compassion speaks all languages.”
This is not an easy book to read, but it is an important one. We must never forget and not take our freedom for granted. It was painful to watch the characters go through their trials, but it was wonderful to see them come out better in the end.
“The only light we will ever have in this dark world comes from God. If we turn away from Him, we are left with darkness and despair.”
I was overwhelmed, for in the last few pages were my favorite verses in Romans 8: "Nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
* I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale on behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*5 stars and a strong faith thread
In this gripping portrait of war and its aftermath from bestselling author Lynn Austin, a young woman searches for the truth her childhood friend won’t discuss after returning from World War II, revealing a story of courage, friendship, and faith.
Peggy Serrano couldn’t wait for her best friend to come home from the war. But the Jimmy Barnett who returns is much different from the Jimmy who left, changed so drastically by his experience as a medic in Europe that he can barely function. When he attempts the unthinkable, his parents check him into the VA hospital. Peggy determines to help the Barnetts unravel what might have happened to send their son over the edge. She starts by contacting Jimmy’s war buddies, trying to identify the mysterious woman in the photo they find in Jimmy’s belongings.
Seven years earlier, sensing the rising tide against her people, Gisela Wolff and her family flee Germany aboard the passenger ship St. Louis, bound for Havana, Cuba. Gisela meets Sam Shapiro on board and the two fall quickly in love. But the ship is denied safe harbor and sent back to Europe. Thus begins Gisela’s perilous journey of exile and survival, made possible only by the kindness and courage of a series of strangers she meets along the way, including one man who will change the course of her life.
Tyndale Fiction, June 21, 2022
Available in digital ebook, paperback, and hardcover
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