I hadn't read more than a few pages before I grasped both the quality and significance of this novel. Set in 1939, just as Hitler is about to invade Poland (to "protect" them, of course) the story sails through the murky seas of Hitler's lust for power. The study of eugenics--the core theme of the novel--would produce for the world a "pure" Aryan race and at the same time, rid the continent of undesirables. An experimental set of identical twins--one sterilized, the other slated to marry a genetically acceptable German. A deaf child, destined for elimination. A young reporter, risking his own life in this desperate power struggle. Ordinary Germans, caught in this malevolent netting, not knowing who is trustworthy--or not. Familiar names--Deitrich Bonhoffer, Oberammergau, Gestapo.
What a story platform! Deep, heavy stuff, but Gohlke handles it masterfully. Her research is meticulous: she knows the physical and emotional fabric of the times and plays it skillfully. Her characters are rich and well fleshed out, her writing clean and tight. The plot is believable, especially against the backdrop of this well-studied history, and moves powerfully across the dramatic landscape.
I was a child during World War 2 and understood only a little of what was at stake. But even that limited understanding touched off a fiery backdrop that made the story all the more compelling for me. I knew the beginning, the middle, and the end, but the view from 1939 and 1940 was hazy--until now.
This is a must-read novel. WARNING: Be sure to fasten your emotional seatbelt.
Saving Amelie is the first book Ive ready by Cathy Gohlke. It most assuredly wont be my last. My husband made the comment, It must be a good book if you have to take it everywhere you go. Taking a book with me everywhere I go so I can read whenever Im waiting is nothing new, but with this bookevery time I had even five minutes, I picked it up.
The setting is World War II Germany. Rachel Kramer is an American who must go into hiding when she learns her whole life has been a lie and now she is a wanted woman, wanted by the Gestapo. Secrets her parents kept have revealed things Rachel never would have thought possible. Couple that with the promise of taking care of her best friends little girl, Amelie, who is in danger herself simply for being deaf, Rachel sees almost no hope of getting back home to the States.
Help and hope for Rachel and Amelie comes in the form of an American journalist, Jason Young. But then he finds himself wanted by the SS as well, and Rachel wonders if they will ever see each other again.
I love historical fiction, especially that set during WWII. This was a book I could hardly put down. An absolutely wonderful and touching story.
I enjoyed reading this historical fiction novel. Saving Amelie is set in Germany during World War II. It shows what life was like at a time when great evil prospered in Germany. It also gives a glimpse into the eugenics movement not just in Germany, but in the United States as well. The author shows some of the horrors of the eugenics movement and the tragedy faced by those who didnt meet the ideal Aryan standards that Hitler wanted.
This book weaves together the stories of a young American woman, an American journalist, a little deaf girl, a German Oma and her granddaughter and grandson-in-law, a Jewish girl, and a Catholic priest. Their lives intersect in a fearful time, and they learn to love and care for each other and for those in need of protection. This book is both heartwarming and heartbreaking.
What a powerful Book! It is difficult to read because of the travesty of Germany in World War II. Yet it is important to read and understand what those times were like. The book is well written and I felt like I was living the life of Rachel. I cried a lot. In the process of reading I found some similarities to what is going on in America today which makes it even sadder. While this is fiction, it correctly portrays what it was like in Germany. I loved the Spiritual thread throughout the book. This book had a great impact on my life. This book is a finalist for the 2015 Carol Award which is well deserved.