I've not read very many World War II novels, kinda seems like historical stories end for me in 1920, but lately I have been coming across some really good ones that take place during the 40's, and this is one of those books. I read the first book in this series, All God's Children, and definitely enjoyed but I think I liked Simple Faith even more.
There was more adventure and intrigue in book 2. I also really liked how the heroine, Anja, is a strong woman. Going beyond her own pain at the loss of her husband and baby, having survived and escaped a concentration camp, she endangers her own life trying to save as many people as she can. Then everything changes, instead of guiding people towards safety she is the one needing help. On the run with an American pilot she is beginning to fall in love with, she winds up trekking across several European countries in a desperate bid to save his life, her own, and more importantly, her young son.
Each of the characters have their own battles, their own fears, and really their own inner demons. How far will each of them go to save the others? Are they willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice? To me, the story was much about choices and personal sacrifice and I found myself wondering how far I would go, would I be strong enough to do what Anja does?
Once again the pacifist faith of the Quakers is put to the test in the horrors of war. The Quaker faith is something I know very little about and I very much liked learning more about their beliefs and practices through entertaining pages of a novel.
This is a great book for fans of WWII fiction. Anna Schmidt has outdone herself with Simple Faith. In many ways this book had the same qualities of those wonderful old WWII classic movies, kind of like Casablanca without the questionable morals and dubious ending.
Excellent, enjoyable story, and I am definitely looking forward to book 3 when it comes out.
(I received a copy of this book from Revell through The Book Club Network for my honest review. All opinions are my own)
If you have followed my book reviews for any length of time, then you know I am a huge WWII fan of both historical fiction and non fiction books. I am so thrilled I got the opportunity to review Anna Schmidt's novel, Simple Faith, the second novel in the Peacemakers Series. In this one she utilizes the true story of a group of German medical students who banded together in what came to be known as the White Rose to speak out against Hitler and the Nazis.
The journey of the characters of Anja and Josef and Beth take in this novel is set against the background of historical fact. "Amazingly, during World War II there were several so-called escape lines managed by brave local citizens of countries occupied by the Nazis. Like those who worked on the Underground Railroad, these individuals - at considerable risk to their own lives and safety - provided false papers, safe houses, food, shelter, and clothing to move Allied airmen from the site of their downed planes behind enemy lines across much of Europe until they could reach Gibraltar - a British territory - and move from there back to England. They traveled hundreds, even thousands of miles by train, bicycle, or on foot, and perhaps the most amazing piece of this story is that the best known of these escape lines - the Comet Line - was created and manage by a young woman." (excerpt).
This is the story of Second Lieutenant Peter Trent who was shot down while attempting to escape a fire in his bomber that was activated by a photoflash bomb and thus requiring an immediate evacuation of the plane. This was not before being shot in the leg and as he tries to remember all his survival training tips as he parachutes into Belgium in November of 1943, he only hopes he can make it out alive along with the five other crewmen who jumped with him. But for now with being shot in the leg, he can only hope that a "friendly" comes to rescue him before the Nazi Gestapos do.
What Peter does discover is a band of people who are willing to risk their lives and those of their children to make sure that he finds his way back home instead of being shot or captured by the Nazi's. Peter and Anja are about to embark on a life changing journey that will do more than test their survival skills but also test their faith in God along the way.
I received Simple Faith by Anna Schmidt compliments of Shiloh Publishing and Pump Up Your Book Tours for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions contained in this review are strictly my own unless otherwise noted. For me, this one was aspect of the war, I have never heard about until picking up Anna's novel. I can't imagine how difficult it would be the not only find an Allied airmen, but to risk their own personal safety against being arrested or killed while trying to get him home while the Nazis continually searched for these men. Knowing their plane was shot down, it only seems logical that they would search nearby farms, homes and businesses looking for people who were willing to hide them. Almost like what countries did during the Holocaust to hide the Jews who were being shipped off into concentration camps. I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the research that went into the creation of this amazing novel and can easily give this one a 5 out of 5 stars. I look forward to picking up the first novel in this series, to see how Anja escaped the Nazi death camp in All God's Children.
SIMPLE FAITH by Anna Schmidt is another exciting Peacemakers, Inspirational Historical Romance/Fiction set in 1943 Europe. #2 in "The Peacemakers" series, but can be read as a stand alone, although, I would recommend reading book 1, "All God's Children". Simple Faith, picks up where "All God's Children" finished.
Quaker Anja Steinberg, had her whole world taken away in All God's Children by the Nazis, after losing her Jewish husband and daughter to the Nazis. In, Simple Faith, she is helping Allied airmen escape from behind enemy lines. She feels this is her calling. Enter, Peter Trent, an American, who was shot down__
Second Lieutenant Peter Trent has been shot down near Anja's grandfather's farm. He must travel across enemy territory, through Western Europe to get back to England with the Gestapo hot on his trail. One of many problems, Anja, is falling in love with Peter, but this could endanger, that only her life, but the life of her precious ten-year old son,Daniel, as well.
Filled with tension, emotional turmoil, faith, healing, romance and love. You don't want to miss a second of Simple Faith. Fast paced and filled with drama from the first page to the last.
Readers of historical fiction, World War II, the flight of Jews, sacrifice and romance. A brilliant tale of love, sacrifice, the war and healing. A must read! Received for an honest review.
HEAT RATING: SWEET
REVIEWED BY: AprilR, courtesy of My Book Addiction and More
I did have to refresh my memory a bit, as I read book one, All God's Children, quite awhile ago. Although Simple Faith is not a true continuation of Josef and Beth's story from book one (they play a large role, but aren't the main characters any longer), and Simple Faith could be read as a standalone, I would suggest reading All God's Children first. It is helpful in knowing the characters of Josef and Beth, along with Anja and her history.
Trying to get downed fliers back to their units was exciting, and I especially loved the addition of LeClerq, the master of disguises! Peter was a likeable character, and I enjoyed the 'Sound of Music' feel of the nuns and the priest at the funeral (remember when the nuns pull out the missing car parts from under their robes...haha)! I've always enjoyed characters who performed 'innocent' sabotage whenever possible!
Ultimately, I enjoyed the story in this second book of Anna's 'Peacemakers' series!
*I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given, and all thoughts are 100% mine.*
In the continuing story of Anja, Beth and others first introduced in All God's Children, the audience will be captivated by the way locals help downed airmen to safety. The network of characters brought to life on the pages will remind people of other acts of bravery done to help during times of war. The Gestapo is always on the heels of the main characters, attempting to keep them from leaving Germany. Not only is the Gestapo presence more visual to locals, the risk of dangers grows exponentially with each attempt to return men to their homeland while keeping the locals from being caught. Even with the main characters from the first story having to obtain new identities there are no guarantees that they will ever be safe. Plus some dark sinister man has infiltrated the escape route used and as the safe houses begin to be torn apart by the Nazis, time becomes even more crucial to moving people before they are caught.
In book 2, the tension builds as readers might find themselves wondering who the antagonist is and who is not. Lives are at stake as well as the future welfare of Germany once the way is over, with most people knowing that their lives and country has been forever changed. Again, the author reveals a couple tenets of the Quaker faith as the tale climaxes and will be completed in book three to be released this summer.
While some author's books can be read as stand alone, the Peacemakers series isn't one of them so please read All God's Children first so you can follow the developing tale. The tension, love, faith, romance and description of scenes capture the imagination from the first to the last page. Personally, I cannot wait to see how the author wraps up the series. I have enjoyed the books very much!