I received this book from Tyndale House Publishers for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.
Increasingly wary of her father’s genetic research, Rachel Kramer has determined that this trip with him to Germany—in the summer of 1939—will be her last. But a cryptic letter from her estranged friend, begging Rachel for help, changes everything. Married to SS officer Gerhardt Schlick, Kristine sees the dark tides turning and fears her husband views their daughter, Amelie, deaf since birth, as a blight on his Aryan bloodline.
Once courted by Schlick, Rachel knows he’s as dangerous as the swastikas that hang like ebony spiders from every government building in Berlin. She fears her father’s files may hold answers about Hitler’s plans for others, like Amelie, whom the regime deems “unworthy of life.” She risks searching his classified documents only to uncover shocking secrets about her own history and a family she’s never known.
Now hunted by the SS, Rachel turns to Jason Young—a driven, disarming American journalist and unlikely ally—who connects her to the resistance and to controversial theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Forced into hiding, Rachel’s every ideal is challenged as she and Jason walk a knife’s edge, risking their lives—and asking others to do the same—for those they barely know but come to love.
Saving Amelie is Cathy Gohlke's latest book and it is just fantastic. As a huge fan of Cathy Gohlke, having had the pleasure of reading all of her books I couldn't wait to read this one. Saving Amelie takes place in 1939 Germany during World War II. Rachel Kramer has grown up in America but has made trips to Germany every year to be examined at the genetic institute her father, Dr. Rudolph Kramer, has been working with sharing his eugenics research. For Rachel this has been a normal thing her whole life but she has decided this will be her last trip. While on this trip she receives a startling message from her estranged friend, Kristine, who married Rachel's ex boyfriend after Rachel wouldn't accept his proposal. Almost immediately following her rejection, Kristine and Gerhardt Schlick married. Gerhardt Schlick is an SS Officer and feels very strongly about eugenics and his duty to continue his Aryan bloodline but when his daughter with Kristine is born deaf, he sets his sights on Rachel, who was literally born and bred for this task. Hitler and his regime deem children like Amelie, "unworthy of life" and Kristine begs Rachel to take Amelie and raise her as her own. As Rachel starts to question her father's research and how far Hitler is willing to go for his perfect race, she digs into her father's files and finds more than she bargained for. Rachel finds out her life has been one big experiment and her life had been saved to serve one purpose, to help carry on the Aryan bloodlines. With the help of Jason Young, an American journalist who is searching for the truth, Rachel takes Amelie and goes into hiding putting everyone involved at risk.
Saving Amelie is a very deep, thought provoking book that examines one of the many horrors of World War II and Hitler's agenda for the world. As a huge fan of Christian Historical Fiction this book really touched me and my interest in WWII. I had never heard of eugenics, which is: the study of the possibility of racial improvement through selective breeding and other methods. Cathy Gohlke writes with authority about WWII, our world during 1939, eugenics, journalism during WWII, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his book, The Cost of Discipleship. Cathy Gohlke writes with the perfect balance of fact and fiction to teach others about this time in history. I learned about many things I didn't know that happened during this time and how eugenics was used in such an evil way. The characters in this book are fascinating but my favorite would have to be, Hilde Breisner, Rachel and Lea's grandmother who risks her life to help not only Rachel but Amelie and a Jewish girl who needed safe passage. Her faith was unwavering and no matter what the SS did to her she never lost that faith or gave up those she was protecting, which did come at great costs. From the start I could not put this book down and I found myself completely immersed in this story. I found myself very emotional as I read this book and once I finished this book it took me a few days to digest everything I read. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction, it will not disappoint! I cannot wait to read more from Cathy Gohlke. I give this book 5 STARS.