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Saving Amelie

By Cathy Gohlke


2015 Carol award finalist! 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.

Book Takeaway:

I hope readers will ask what is the role of the church in turbulent times? What is my role, as a Christian, now, how will I live out my conviction, and how do I demonstrate the value of every human life?

Why the author wrote this book:

After attending the world's longest running Passion Play (380 years) in Oberammergau, Germany, I wondered how the Passion Village had responded to the dictates of Hitler and the Nazis, which represented anything but the love of Jesus Christ.
About the same time, I learned that many countries in the world, including the U.S., had participated in programs similar to those run by the Nazis that sought to eliminate certain bloodlines while promoting others. How was it that so many had stepped onto such slippery moral slopes? Could it happen again? What are the signs and what can we do about that?
Those questions led me to the role of the church in such times, and the challenge of the church naturally led me to Dietrich Bonhoeffer, dissident German pastor, prophet, spy and martyr. Bonhoeffer early saw Hitler and the Nazis for what they and continued to work and stand for the persecuted in need, knowing that every life is valued, that Jesus died for the whole world.
It was Bonhoeffer's convicting message and inspiration, shared through his book, The Cost of Discipleship, that spurred me to write Saving Amelie.


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