Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Safe Haven by Anna Schmidt

I was blessed to read the first book in the Peacemakers series (All God's Children). It takes place in Germany and you get to know the characters living under Hitler's regime.  Although not necessary before reading this book, it does enrich the story by knowing the background of some of the characters; most of us know the depth of suffering that went on there. 

Part of my heritage is German, so I have a particular interest in this book. Adding to that, I grew up just hours away from Oswego, NY where most of this story is set, so I was vested. I'd love to know how my Grandmother and her family felt about all this at the time.  They lived so close to Oswego. Even though they had come over years before the war, I know that there was enough fear at that time that my Grandmother, named Wilhelmena after the Queen of Germany, started being called Mamie instead. 

Anna Schmidt is a gifted story teller. You are quickly taken to 1944 and get to know each character, how they feel and think.  I think this is one of the most difficult times in history to have lived, with so much daily struggle and heartache all throughout the world. But each also had times of joy and hope.

Safe Haven is about refugees from invaded countries during World War 2. Nearly 1000 people are brought into the US by President Roosevelt for shelter and taken to an old Army fort in Oswego. The only caveat - they all sign an agreement that after the war is over they will return to their own country. 

This makes for a great story and Suzanne, a reporter, needs a good story. She needs a break to get her career back after a huge mistake in falling for and trusting her source, a Congressman with his own agenda. Her publisher gives her another shot by recommending that she go to Oswego and get some human interest stories, as a freelance reporter.

Theo's Uncle, Aunt and young cousin are in the group that is sent to the fort. His family, Quakers, all agree that he should go to the fort, reassure their relatives, and do what he can to convince them and the government that they should come to live on the family farm in Wisconsin.

Also in the mix of characters is a POW, living in Oswego surprisingly with more privileges and freedom than the refugees. He was one of the Gestapo in Germany, and lends his own influence to the story.

Each of the characters has their own challenges in living and getting by day by day during this time, let alone for their future.  All need the grace of God for healing, forgiveness, renewal, hope, growth, loving and moving forward. It's wonderfully told - I recommend this book and series to anyone and everyone. Lots of romantic tension.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the Barbour Publishing, Inc, Shiloh Run Press - Netgalley book review bloggers program. 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 Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”.

My reviews: