Book Review: Saving Amelie by Cathy Gohlke

by | Nov 13, 2018 | Heidi's Updates

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.

My Thoughts: Saving Amelie has been on my radar for quite some time. I love Cathy Gohlke’s books and I think this one just might be my favorite. 

This novel reveals some of the lesser known yet still very horrific actions behind the Nazi party in WWII. The heroine’s own father is involved in genetic research and as she peels back the layers of her own history, she discovers just how deep the quest for a perfect “superhuman race” can go.

Amidst her discovery is Amelie, a little deaf girl whose own father (an officer in the SS) is ready to go to extremes in order to eliminate the imperfection of his progeny.

I absolutely loved how the author wove together many point-of-views throughout the novel, creating a rich, multi-layered read, complete with the thread of a love story. Much like she did in Secrets She Kept with Corrie Ten Boom, Gohlke brilliantly and seamlessly ties in the story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer in this novel. I just love how she does that! I found myself turning the pages quickly, wanting to find out the fate of each character.

A powerful novel that challenged my faith. I highly recommend this book for fans of inspirational historical fiction.

Favorite Quote: “Sometimes taking up our cross is doing the thing in front of us, not the glamorous, high-risk thing afar off.”

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