Saving Amelie by Cathy Gohlke rivets you from the start. An exciting race of a story, built on the stories of two compelling women, so different in every way, yet more alike than they imagine. The plight of the handicapped in Nazi Germany comes to life in darling Amelie, shedding light on the dangers of the eugenics movement the danger of any society that rules certain lives have no value. A beautifully written novel you wont want to miss.
I really enjoyed reading this book. It was interesting to read about the differences and similarities of a set of twins that had been raised very differently. I also liked reading about the courage of the people who helped those who were oppressed and killed by Hitler.
I'm still recovering from Cathy Gohlke's latest release, Saving Amelie. I mean this in the best possible way. I'm recovering from the tense, fast-paced plot, the living, breathing characters I came to care deeply about and didn't want to say goodbye to, and the painful truth of history weaving through the story that grabs the reader by the throat and demands we remember.
In fact, I wasn't sure how to put words on the screen to accurately share my thoughts and emotion about this powerful story based in Nazi Germany during Hitler's reign. The story left me breathless, my heart heavy with respect for those who gave so much for others during WWII. Saving Amelie brings to light the ugliness of the science of eugenics, but then overshadows it with the "costly grace" of putting others above oneself.
I settled into turbulent Nazi Germany with Rachel Kramer in 1939 as she follows her father, a well-known eugenics scientist who might have more to do with the Nazis' plans for Aryan dominance than Rachel realized. And I was twisted into the tight plot as American journalist Jason Young digs deeper into rumors of handicapped children disappearing - all because the SS deems them unworthy of life.
Rachel's childhood friend Kristine - married to an SS officer who views their deaf daughter, Amelie, as an unwelcome mistake - asks Rachel to take care of the child. With Jason's help, Rachel works to keep the little girl safe while trying to understand why her father brought her to Germany and exactly who she is.
The author's meticulous research and careful weaving of intricate details and important characters from Oberammergau's Passion Play framed the book's second half, creating a beautiful, stark landscape in which hiding is necessary for survival and family and friends walk a fine line with fear of discovery.
Saving Amelie is an historical love letter to those crushed and lost under Hitler's hate-filled reign, including a beloved Christian pastor who spoke out for the oppressed until he was silenced, and whose words and legacy live on today because He lived for Christ.
A particularly powerful, poignant scene near the end of the book, with a young boy named Heinrich Helphman, will long stay with me. I've reread it a few times, the childlike potency of his words the catalyst for tears each time.
There is much more I could say about the story, but the best I can offer is, "Read it. You will be better for it."
I've enjoyed all of Cathy Gohlke's books. My particular favorite was Promise Me This up to this point, but Saving Amelie, with its sheer scope of emotion and truth, gains that spot. It's a book not to be missed, and I can't recommend it highly enough
This is an awesome book. A definite "must read". It takes us to a time in our history that we wouldn't want to repeat, and if we are not careful, it will be repeated. I asked myself what I would have done in Lea's place. Risking my life, or the lives of my family, would I have hidden Jewish people or those who were considered undesirable. As christians we must take a stand and let our voices be heard, or we will lose our liberties. This book has made me think, which is a good thing.