Tag Archive | Belgium

“High as the Heavens” by Kate Breslin

“High as the Heavens” by Kate Breslin is another wonderful book set during WWI.  Evelyn Marche lives in Brussels in 1917, during the German occupation.  Evelyn works as Sister Nurse Marche of the Belgian Red Cross in the German hospital in Brussels, and in her uncle’s café.  What most people do not know is that Evelyn is also a member of La Dame Blanche, a resistance organization.  She lives with her aunt, uncle, mother and two German soldiers who are billeted in their home.  Her life is fraught with danger and intrigue.  Just keeping her clandestine activities secret from the Germans which whom she must work takes lots of stealth.  One evening she sees a plane crash outside the city, and rushes to help.  One man is dead and the other badly hurt.  When she really looks at his face, she is astonished to find that it is her “dead” husband, a British Officer who perished in the first weeks of the war.  She takes him to the German hospital for help and then spirits him away for safety from the Germans.  Simon and Evelyn have each lived through unspeakable horrors and need to find their way back to each other and get out of the mess they are in.

Again, Ms. Breslin has written a compelling and undeniably exciting war novel.  I loved this book and look forward to reading many more thrilling works by this author.

“Catching the Wind” by Melanie Dobson

“Catching the Wind” by Melanie Dobson is a very fascinating novel.  Dietmar Roth and Brigitte Berthold were childhood friends back in Germany in 1940.  Dietmar was three years older than Brigitte at the age of 13.  Of course Germany was under Nazi rule at this time and everyone was tense and scared.  One afternoon, the children were together playing when they heard screams and ran home.  Just in time they hid as they saw the Gestapo taking away their parents.  Dietmar ran to the window in his home and saw his mother mouth the words “RUN!”.  He grabbed Brigitte and they ran for all they were worth, finally making their way to Belgium.  Although Belgium was also under German rule, they were able to escape to England where they were parted and sent to various locations.  They were thought to be British children and were being evacuated to escape the Blitz.  They were never reunited.

Seventy years later, Quenby Vaughn is doing an article on English aristocratic families who collaborated with the Germans during the war.  Some provided safe houses for German soldiers who were infiltrating the public and sending messages over wireless to Germany apprising them of troop locations and air fields.  Sabotage was part of their plan.  They thought Germany would win the war and they wanted to be ready to accept German rule as a friend to the invaders.

Lucas Hough, a lawyer representing Daniel Knight, seeks Quenby and requests that she meet his employer for a job.  Quenby is not interested until Daniel, alias Dietmar Roth, tells her of his past life.  He is searching for Brigitte, not knowing if she is dead or alive, but to reassure himself that he finds out about her before he passes away.

Little did Quenby know that along with searching for Brigitte, she will uncover information that her investigation into treason among the higher set also includes Brigitte’s past life.  I was SO interested in the chapters dealing with the involvement of so many of British aristocratic members and their savagery.  The years gone by have made searching for Brigitte a definitely difficult task, but I was pulled into the story by the intriguing manipulation of the story line by Ms. Dobson.  What a great read!  My only criticism is that the ending was not as satisfying as I’d hoped.  In fact, I was a little disappointed because I did not think it altogether fit the story…a little too contrived, I think.  However, I would highly recommend this book because my observations may be very different from another reader.

Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.

“Arms of Deliverance” by Tricia Goyer

Tricia Goyer has written a keeper in her book “Arms of Deliverance”, published by Moody Publishers.  I enjoyed this book from page one.

This novel takes the reader to a time during World War II in England, France, Germany and Belgium.  We see the war through the stories of Rebecca Lodz, a Jew living as an Aryan, Katrine, who is the mistress of a Nazi officer, Hendrick Schwartz.  She becomes pregnant and he takes her to the famous Lebensborn, a Nazi baby factory.  Along with Katrine and Hendrick, we also see the war from the life of Eddie Anderson, a bomber navigator; and Mary Kelly and Lee O’Donnelly who are war correspondents who make their way to the front lines.

I was totally immersed in this story from the beginning and all the way to the end.  I felt as though I was living their lives and their stories unfolded and intermeshed.  Anyone enjoying novels of the war will certainly enjoy this book.  I will be looking for more books from Ms. Goyer.

I received a free Kindle copy of this book from Moody Publishers through Amazon.com in return for my honest review.   The opinions expressed here are my own.