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Secrets She Kept

By Cathy Gohlke

Description:

All her life, Hannah Sterling longed for a close relationship with her estranged mother. Following Lieselotte’s death, Hannah determines to unlock the secrets of her mother’s mysterious past and is shocked to discover a grandfather living in Germany.Thirty years earlier, Lieselotte’s father is quickly ascending the ranks of the Nazi party, and a proper marriage for his daughter could help advance his career. Lieselotte is in love―but her beloved Lukas is far from an ideal match, as he secretly works against the Reich. Yet Lieselotte never imagined how far her father would go to ensure her cooperation.Both Hannah’s and Lieselotte’s stories unfold as Hannah travels to Germany to meet her grandfather, who is hiding wartimes secrets of his own. Longing for connection, yet shaken by all she uncovers, Hannah must decide if she can atone for her family’s tragic past and how their legacy will shape her future.

Book Takeaway:

Redemption is not something we can achieve on our own or offer to others. Forgiveness is often beyond our capability. Both are possible in and through Christ.

Why the author wrote this book:

Secrets She Kept was conceived while researching WWII and touring Germany. I learned that the war bred many deep secrets in families—secrets of good deeds unrewarded and secrets of evil deeds never discovered.

But I wondered, how did Holocaust survivors reclaim their lives and live beyond the tragedies of the war when anti-Semitism still existed? How did perpetrators and their families live with the horrors they’d inflicted? Were they sorry for what they’d done? Did they confess or try in any way to redeem the wrongs they’d committed? Those questions made me ask, too, how do we confront the far-reaching consequences of our actions or those of family members? Corrie ten Boom, a Dutch Christian, who, with her sister, father and many family members, helped Jews escape Nazi persecution during the war, inspired the answer in her book, The Hiding Place.

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