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|Format: DRM Protected ePub|
Vendor: Tyndale House
Publication Date: 2012
nkwbookreviewer5 Stars Out Of 5WWII Christian Historical Romance Page TurnerSeptember 3, 2016nkwbookreviewerQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5"Where Treasure Hides" by author Johnnie Alexander is a 416 page Christian WWII novel published by Tyndale. It is the first thing I have read by this author although she has received awards for some of her writing.
This Christian romantic historical fiction is set in England and the Netherlands and is the tale of artist Alison Schuyler and Ian Devlin, British Army Captain. It is a love story that has depth. As one might expect with WWII fiction, the author addresses the flight of the Jewish people, hidden artwork, Nazi plundering and destruction, Dutch Resistance and other not so stereotypical subjects. She adds some Christian elements, too, about trusting God. The author touches on decisions made and their effect on others, on priorities and choices, life and death ones, and superstitions. This is not just a light love story. Scripture is used in her book in a nice way. It is not preachy but an inspirational book just the same.
I liked Alexander's writing style. Her story was well thought, well researched, and well written. It had twists and turns to provide surprises. The story had some heart wrenching moments that actually made me cry. It was an emotional story in places. The characters were lifelike and I became invested in their lives. I wanted to talk to them and offer advice. The scenery was vividly described in sight, sound, touch, and smell. I felt like I was there. This was a page turner and I couldn't put it down. I would recommend this book, but some of the material hurt my heart to read and I could not stop thinking about it. I just don't like reading about WWII and its atrocities. I rated this a 5 out of 5 stars. I received a copy of this book from The Book Club Network for my honest review.
eLyndaAge: 35-44Gender: Female5 Stars Out Of 5An Outstanding Debut!July 22, 2016eLyndaAge: 35-44Gender: FemaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5New authors interest me, especially when they are writing in a time period that I love to readthere is always room for another good writer, and Johnnie Alexander is definitely that. Her writing is realistic, emotional and incredibly powerful. The multiple story threads combine expertly to create a novel that is compelling and complex, rich in detail and populated by developed characters. With this as her first novel, I am sure to be seeking her work out in the future!
One of the overarching themes in this book is the place of heartache in our lives. Do we allow it to determine how we treat others? What about the decisions we makeare they merely to protect us from further pain or do we reach for something more? The characters wrestle with these things from both sides of the issue, both as the one trying to shield him or herself and as the person who knows this isnt really enough to call living.
And that leads into the tension between faith in God and superstition. While most of us say we trust God, we also arent willing to take chances on our happiness if we can help it. That is the situation Allison finds herself in, though hers is more stark than most of us face. Reading as it plays out is fascinating and I loved how the author doesnt condemn the conflicting emotions she feels even as she struggles to trust the future to God.
The characters that populate this novel have amazing depth, including the secondary and minor characters. It would be far too easy to turn the Nazis and even the everyday German people into caricatures of the evil that was Hitler's regime, lumping all of them into one group and thereby making a judgement about everyone at once. But in this book, we see complex characters that, even though they are still the enemy, are human beings caught in an irresistible machinery that holds them as trapped as those whom they hold prisoner. Neither are all of the good guys necessarily doing the right things for altruistic motivessome strike me as more malevolent than those within the Nazi ranks.
This story made me cry in several places: it's hard to imagine living in these situations and facing the difficult choices that have to be made, sometimes in a mere moment. To feel so conflicted, to feel like a traitor even as those you love plead with you to save yourself, or to determine the future for another person because of a decision they have no input in is incomprehensible in our relatively safe world. The dilemmas presented in this novel almost have no right answer, but we get to follow the characters down the path they have chosen and see the realistic consequences play out.
The historical content is outstanding; the intense research and extensive knowledge of the author is evident, but this is a novel about a brutal time. Horrific episodes in history are brought to light in scenes that, while not necessarily graphic, are still disturbing. I would suggest this book only for mature readers, at least older teens, on up. It is a completely worthwhile read that I would highly recommend for those with an interest in WWII and those who enjoy historical romance with a dramatic storyline.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through The Book Club Network (bookfun.org) to facilitate this review. All of the opinions expressed are my honest thoughts.
VicsMediaRoomIrvine, CAAge: 55-65Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5WWII, Saving Children, Art, Suspense And RomanceMay 16, 2016VicsMediaRoomIrvine, CAAge: 55-65Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Johnnie Alexander in her new book Where Treasure Hides published by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. takes us into the lives of Alison Schuyler and Ian Devlin.
From the back cover: Enjoy This moment. Chances are youll never see him after today.
Artist Alison Schuyler spends her time working in her familys renowned art gallery, determined to avoid the curse that has followed the Schuyler clan from the Netherlands to America and back again. Shes certain that true love will only lead to tragedy―that is, until a chance meeting at Waterloo station brings Ian Devlin into her life. Drawn to the bold and compassionate British Army captain, Alison begins to question her fear of love as World War II breaks out, separating the two and drawing each into their own battles. While Ian fights for freedom on the battlefield, Alison works with the Dutch Underground to find a safe haven for Jewish children and priceless pieces of art alike. But safety is a luxury war does not allow. As time, war, and human will struggle to keep them apart, will Alison and Ian have the faith to fight for their love, or is it their fate to be separated forever?
I recommend that you set aside the chores for the evening; that you take the phone off the hook; that you go to the bathroom and, most important, that you make a large amount of fresh popped popcorn. Oh yes, start early I do not recommend starting this book late at night because it will cost you sleep as you will not want to put it down. Johnnie Alexander is in top form. From the very beginning this is an exciting read and it gets more interesting as you go on. Ms. Alexander is an excellent writer and knows how to engross you as she tightens the mystery. Both Alison Schuyler and Ian Devlin are really interesting and highly complicated characters that keep you glued to the pages. I recommend this book and I am so looking forward to more from this highly talented author.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
AnnelrBrighton, MIAge: Over 65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5A treasure more important than the Mona LisaMay 1, 2016AnnelrBrighton, MIAge: Over 65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Where Treasure Hides, first novel by Johnnie Alexander is one not to be missed. A wonderful story of WWII intrigue, love and heartache. Alexander has captured the WWII era well with a realistic story and believable characters. Readers are given a glimpse of life in Europe during a horrendous time in our world. The impact of the Nazis on the art world and the impact of the war on the Jewish people, especially children are well portrayed. Through the lives of Alison, a lovely miss from the Netherlands and Ian, a British Army captain readers are given a gripping and compelling love story that endures through the horrors of war. There are a number of twists and turns to the plot that keep the pages turning. Alexander has woven the powerful impact of the scriptures throughout the book as her characters bring to remembrance Bible verses that bring comfort and strength. Two especially effectual quotes are: "Strength and honour are her clothing, she recited, her voice barely a whisper. She shall rejoice in time to come. and Thou are my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance.Ian believed Gods hand was upon him, to preserve him and deliver him. A marvelous debut novel.
I received a copy of this book through The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review.
KathleenMissouriAge: Over 65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Treasures of the HeartApril 3, 2016KathleenMissouriAge: Over 65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Saturday, April 2, 2016
Where Treasure Hides by Johnnie Alexander, 2013
World War, 1939-1945
She felt a kinship with the embroiderer, the mysterious need to preserve a slice of time before it flowed into the mists of memory.
"I had to capture the moment."
--Where Treasure Hides, 13
August 1939 ~ London, England
A strain of music drew her as she waited at the train station ~ "Rule, Britannia!" and the holder of the violin not more than seven or eight, played with his heartstrings for all to hear and believe. That Alison Schuyler should be there at the exact same moment Lieutenant Ian Devlin was watching out for young Josef Talbert, Kindertransport identity label 127. Boarding his train, Alison notices she has missed her connection ... and her heart that day, as Lt. Devlin invites her to tea and memories. He was a soldier on the eve of war. A chance meeting at Waterloo Station....
I have just finished reading Chapter Four and tears cover my eyes, hating for them to part. Especially, with her parting thoughts through the window of the train: "You're safe now, Ian Devlin," she whispered. "I've left you, and now you're safe." As her train continues down the track, I cherish the few moments they have had together.
Can a day change your life? Ian Devlin hopes it is so. An image to take to war with him with hopes that they will indeed meet again.
This is a story of the hiding of the irreplaceable art of the Masters. Alison lives with her grandfather in Holland where he owns an art gallery. Believing that anyone who touches their family comes to ruin, she tries to guard her heart against the memory of Ian. When England declares war on Germany, Ian is recalled to duty.
Johnnie Alexander has visibly taken us through the throngs of war during this time period in history. I would like to see a continued story beyond Where Treasure Hides by this author. Very deftly written, you will follow the characters amid every turn in their unknown days to come.
***Thank you to Tyndale House Publishers for sending me a copy of Where Treasure Hides for review. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***
Author: Johnnie Alexander Donley
Submitted: January 07, 2013
Tell us a little about yourself. Author Johnnie Alexander Donley writes stories of suspense, intrigue, and romance set in World War II. Her debut book, Where Treasure Hides, won the American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis contest for Historical Fiction in 2011. A history enthusiast, Johnnie has also edited nonfiction manuscripts and textbooks. She serves as president of the Central Florida chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. A longtime Florida resident, Johnnie treasures family memories, classic movies, shelves full of books, and her papillon Rugby.
What was your motivation behind this project? While researching different aspects of World War II for another project, I became fascinated by the overwhelming amount of art looted by the Nazis and heartbroken over the horrendous plight of so many of the children. Readers experience both these issues through this story.
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? The protagonist, Alison Schuyler, descends from a long line of artistic Van Schuylers. Protecting her family's art gallery from the Nazis means more to her than anything. But as the war drags on, she has to make choices about what, and who, to protect. Despite everything that the war takes away from her, Alison learns to trust God with her future (Proverbs 31:25).
How were you personally impacted by working on this project? Horrible things happen during war, especially to children. It wasn't easy reading accounts of parents having to make agonizing decisions for the sake of safety. Certain scenes in the novel were very difficult to write, but they needed to be included because they show how horrid it was to live under Nazi occupation.
Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists? My writing is deeply influenced by Christian themes such as forgiveness and grace. I love epic movies and books such as Les Miserables, The Lord of the Ring Trilogy, and The Secret Garden. Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr, Ingrid Bergman, and Audry Hepburn are a few of my favorite actors. Favorite authors include Daniel Silva, Kate Morton, Anne Perry, Jane Kirkpatrick, and Davis Bunn.
Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know: Before it was published, Where Treasure Hides won the 2011 American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Contest in Historical Fiction.