All God's Children is an outstanding book based in WWII Germany and an excellent opening to â€˜The Peacekeepers' series! Nothing could have prepared this reader for the intensity of life in Hitler's Germany in 1940's Europe! I love the historical research that Anna Schmidt does as she draws the reader into the families divided by political beliefs, into fear of capture and torture by the Nazis, and into the heart of a death camp. It also draws the reader into the faith of the Quakers and others who determined to follow the Lord's leading through a country, a continent that seems to have surrendered for a time to the enemy. This is not a book to start late in the evening - unless you can spend the night reading it. Absolutely well worth it!
Although a story of this magnitude, of such horror is difficult to read, it is much easier than to live it! From the very first I had to admire Beth who left her home in Wisconsin to live with her Uncle and Aunt and cousin in Munich, Germany. Not at just any time, but during the time before and after America had declared war on Germany. As I learned more about her and the Quakers, to which she and her family belonged, I respected and valued her stand. Although I am not a Quaker the way they sat in quiet contemplation and prayer before big (or ideally, even small) decisions were made impacted my thoughts, and is something I would like to emulate.
The story is well written, and as hard as it was to wrap my mind around the things mentioned, I was compelled to read. It is not pretty, but a part of history that needs to be repeated again and again so that we do not become complacent. And I also wonder if this history is being repeated in some of the third world countries.
I found it of great interest that the day after I finished this novel, the extermination camp Sobibor, Poland was mentioned in two separate articles, one of which is in the Arizona Republic, which announced that Philip Bialowitz, who survived Sobibor, is going to schools to acquainted school children with what he endured.
I received this book free from Anna Schmidt and Barbour Publishing through Fred at The Bookclub Network in exchange for an honest review. A positive critique was not required. The opinions stated are my own.
All God's Children was a bit of a different take on WWII historical fiction. Instead of the usual ultra-brave heroine and hero fighting against the evil Nazis in any way they can; we have Beth, a Quaker pacifist, and Josef, a doctor in the German army who happens to believe in the Germany he remembers from childhood.
After reading several WWII fiction books that mostly center in the U.S., England, or France, it was nice to read a slightly different view of things in Germany and of the many German's that fought against Hitler's regime in a myriad of ways.
One of the fascinating things about the book is all of the Quaker beliefs and methods that are key to the story and how certain characters act. I knew almost nothing about the Society Of Friends, they are a little-written-about group, and so the fact that this story centers around a Quaker girl and some of her family and friends made this story even more interesting for me.
The author does an excellent job of immersing the reader in WWII era Munich. I could see everything so clearly in my mind's eye. I felt like I was walking the streets of the city with Beth and Josef, stepping inside the apartment with Uncle Franz and Aunt Ilse, hiding in the basement from falling bombs with Liesl.
The last third of the book did seem a bit hurried to me, causing the historical detail and character emotions to take a little dip.
That aside, All God's Children was very enjoyable and I will definitely be looking forward to the release of the next book in this series, Simple Faith.
The combination of setting the story in a little used WWII location, the Quaker pacifism, (old) German patriotism, detail in locations, interesting characters, and just the history, make this a great book for lovers of Historical fiction.
(I received a copy of this book from the publisher through The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own)
I would say I really enjoyed All God's Children written by Anna Schimidt. Well written that it kept you wanting t keep on reading. The story is taking place in the time of WWII in Germany. Beth goes to Germany to help her Uncle out after his wife having a baby and not dealing well with it. So for eight years Beth has spent their not being able to go back home because she has no visa papers. She gave her visa to a Jewish girl so she could live the country. Problem is now she can't leave. How is she ever going get back home now. Being a American it is not a safe place to be for her. She has to be very careful. The her Uncle rents out the attic room to a German who is studying to be a doctor. Will he be a spy or is he there to help? Great book. It will keep you wanting to read. Looking forward to the next book.
This is a well crafted historical novel of World War II.
Beth is an American living in Germany, helping her aunt and uncle take care of their child. Beth finds herself in a fragile state when Germany declares war on the United States. In a move of compassion, she gives her papers to a Jewish friend who is trying to escape. The two young women look enough alike that the Jew is able to leave the country.
But that leaves Beth without papers. The tension increases when an old student of her uncle's rents an attic room to be close to his medical studies. Josef seems like a good man but he is a doctor in the Nazi army and his father is a high ranking Nazi official. Beth likes the man but is he there to spy on the family?
Anna writes in the Author's Note that much of this novel is based on historical events. We read about the White Rose, a group spreading leaflets calling for resistance to the Nazis. We also read about one of the death camps, Sobibor, and what happened there. Anna has deftly created fictional characters to play out the drama surrounding real places and events. Another great aspect of the novel is that Beth and her family are Quakers. It was very interesting to read about their practice of worship and their beliefs about war.
This rewarding novel leaves us waiting for more of the story. As Anna notes, one would not know the fate of friends and relatives who disappeared (whether by escape or arrest) during the war. So we are set up for sequels to finish the story.
I highly recommend this well crafted historical novel of World War II in Germany.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through the Book Group Network for the purpose of this review.