I've lived through WWII as a youngster old enough to understand what was happening. My interest in the Holocaust and the persons who lived through has been important to me ever since I learned of it back in 1945.
Beautiful title and cover. Wildflowers of Terezin, is a multilayer factual novel around the lives of Hanne a Jewish WWII nurse and young Lutheran Pastor Steffan. When Stefan is mistakingly accused of being part of the Resistance, and injured in crossfire, Hanne is unknowingly attracted to protect the handsome priest. A powerfully true story of suspense, love, loss, religion, culture and how unique we are, yet are the same in God's eyes. A very moving book. Highly Recommended!
*I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for a non-profit, unbiased, personal review*
World War II has always been one of my favorite reading topics, perhaps because I had four family members who fought to stop the evil that was trying to conquer the world at that time, one of those buried under one of the little white crosses above Normandy beach.
The author has taken actual events and places and woven them into a poignant tale of three cultures, Jewish, Christian and pure evil. It is amazing how God's people will dare to rise above all obstacles to aid the fallen in the face of total brutality, often at great risk to themselves and all they hold dear. This is a story that will grip your heart and your soul. You will find yourself holding your breath for the ending , as this story spans the continent of Europe. I loved the characters and the setting and the relationships--it is a must read.
Wildflowers of Terezin is set in Denmark during World War II. Terezin is a labor camp in Czechoslovakia where many Danish Jews were deported by the Gestapo. The book tells the story of nurse Hanne and her experiences while hiding and helping other Jews escape until she is captured.
My daughter is like me and loves the World War II time period. That's what attracted her to the book. She felt like she was Hanne as she read, experiencing all the heroine did. "It's a great book about faith in our Creator and love." The pacing kept my daughter's attention. She literally couldn't put it down, carrying it around the house and reading it in the car. She said the best part of the book comes at the end -- but I won't tell you why and spoil it for you.
Now I'm eager to read this book!
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Review 5 for Wildflowers of Terezin - eBook
Date:May 5, 2011
I downloaded this book three days ago and finished it this afternoon. I loved the inclusion of quotes, sayings and sometimes Bible verses at the beginning of each chapter. This story is wonderfully written and a "page" turner.
Have had to finish other books first and just now started to read Wildflowers of Terezin. Have been glued to the book and had a difficult time setting it down. Have read only 4 chapters, but no doubt will finish reading this dramatic story by tomorrow. I am interested in Israel and have a special love and admiration for their courage. This book will enforce those feelings and my prayers for the land and the people.Can't wait to read the other two books that I ordered.
Robert Elmer did it again. When I began reading this book I found myself in a story world so real I had to continually remind myself it was fiction. Some would say that is because the story is based on true historical events. And, while there is truth in the statement, only Robert Elmer could make the line between history and fiction eschew this way.Hanne Abrahamsen is a nurse in Denmark during the fall of 1943. When the Gestapo begins deporting Jews to concentration camps, her chance meeting with Lutheran pastor Steffen Petersen opens a doorway to freedom. Steffen is drawn into the resistance and as he risks his own life to help Hanne and her family, his faith is challenged and strengthened. Can love bloom in the darkness as wildflowers grow in concentration camps?Readers will be drawn into the story, the history, and wish with all their hearts they could change the way things happened. I highly recommend this book!
Book club is tomorrow night--I'm almost finished with the book--well written--sobering--we just think the world is a mess today--remember asking a Christian friend why God let the Jews suffer so--I was a new Christian--she did not claim to have all the answers but she pointed me to the Jews being back in their land just as God promised. I don't always understand but He is still on the throne working His will in this world.
I have to admit that I was hesitant to open the newest entry from multi-published Robert Elmer. Not because of the author, who has several adult novels (The Duet and The Celebrity), novels for YA (The Young Underground Series and The Promise of Zion Series), and a non-fiction (Practicing Gods Presence) under his belt, and has already proven his ability to write. My concern was the time and place of the historical fiction, Wildflowers of Terezin. The suffering of the Jews during WWII can be too graphic for me. I hurt for the pain and death that was fostered on men, women, and children. But I was intrigued by the setting, Denmark. My ignorance never ceases to amaze me and here I found another aspect of it. I thought I knew all about WWII, but found I knew nothing of the history of the WWII, the Danish people, and the Danish Jews in Denmark.The story of the preacher, Steffen, the resistance fighter, Henning, and the Danish Jewish nurse Hanne revealed an epoch in the broad canvas that was that terrible war. I love to read historical fiction and learn at the same time from historical fictions such as Wildflowers of Terezin. Word of caution, I found that the beginning was a little dull, mostly Steffen. He couldnt seem to comprehend the danger. I wanted to slap him and say, Wake up. Dont you understand the evil that is loose on your world? Of course, many people of that time did not understand the danger until it was upon them. I found the character very believable. But once he did see the danger he acted to the point of putting himself in danger. I found it fascinating to confirm the historical facts of the bravery of the Danes in helping to save thousands of their citizens. A good read, I recommend it.
In the midst of the atrocities of World War II, there are many stories of love and courage of those who would stand up to evil. Wildflowers of Terezin is one of those books that illustrate with actual, though fictionalized, events of how a few people did what God and country required them to do. Hanne Abrahamsen is a Jewish nurse working in Copenhagen. Steffen Petersen is a pastor who never involved himself in anything but his yearly rotating sermons. In 1943, the Germans begin executing the plan to remove the 7000 Jews from Denmark. Thrown together when Steffen is injured, Hanne and Steffen embark on a mission to hide and save Jews from being transported to unknown horrors. Hanne is captured while trying to escape and taken to Terezin, Czechoslovakia, a Nazi prison camp. As the back cover blurb says, "Steffen's faith deepens as he takes greater risks to protect Hanne. But are either of them willing to pay the ultimate price for their love?"Elmer's writing style is very smooth and easy to read and brings you along the story line with crisp, fresh images. I love many of his descriptions, such as the cattle car doors opening wide "like the mouth of a giant fish ready to inhale Jonah." The characters drew me in completely. Hanne is sweet, but strong and stubborn and someone I'd love to know. The courage and deep faith Steffen develops throughout the story is inspiring. We all have things in this world we can be champions of, and Steffen's dedication and determination reminds me that there are many in this world who are forced into silence, and we must be their voices against injustice. I love fiction that can be translated and applied into real life. The circumstances and times of this story may have changed, but the need for strong, determined voices has not.I wholeheartedly recommend Wildflowers of Terezin.Note: I received a copy for review from the publisher, but I wouldn't have reviewed it if I didn't like it:)
Wildflowers of Terezin is a sensitive portrayal of the plight of Danish Jews and those who helped them during Nazi occupation. The book opens with the Nazi threat terrorizing the dreams of a Danish nurse. Hanne Abrahamson has dedicated her life to helping the ill and injured. She works long hours at Bisperjerg Hospital in Copenhagen. Even after other Jews go into hiding and begin escaping the Nazi purge, she continues her duties at the hospital.Pastor Steffen Petersen meets Hanne at the hospital after he is injured in an attack while riding his bike. She shields him from a Gestapo officer, thus beginning their precarious relationship. Neither can forget the other, no matter how dangerous their association may become. They both sacrifice to save others as the bond between them grows deeper.Based on historical events and set in 194345, this touching story will not only inform readers of the situation at that time but will tug at their hearts. The author truly made me care about Hanne and Steffen, and I had to keep reading to learn what would happen to themfearing the worst, but always with an element of hope. Their depth of caring evoked mine also. I finished the book on V-E Dayhow I wished the persecuted Jews could have been liberated from the atrocities they suffered. I was glad to read this story of many who worked to help them avoid capture. It encourages us to follow their example of serving others.
I read Wildflowers of Terezin quickly and enjoyed the story a lot. I am always inspired by novels set during the WWII era because of the many tales of courageous acts by citizens that can be found in their pages. So many valiant attempts to save targeted peoples such as the Jews are a rich part of that history. Some -- like Schindler -- were fairly successful, and many others died as a result of their passion to help others survive. The people who tried to help their fellow man at all costs are to be commended. This story reminded me a bit of the story written about Corrie Ten Boom titled The Hiding Place, mainly because of their family's initial attempts to save their Jewish neighbors by hiding them in their home. And like Corrie's family, some of them ended up in camps themselves. I remember reading about Nazi propaganda in other novels and it never ceased to amaze me that the Third Reich went to such great lengths to deceive people. A lot of these stories can be found in the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC.Wildflowers of Terezin moved at a brisk pace and contained enough realism and peril that it held my attention. It also had a nice underlying love story that kept me reading. There aren't many novels about Pastors set during WWII that show what they did to try and motivate parishioners to resist the Nazi influence, and that showed those activities that placed them at great risk. I'd recommend this story to people who enjoy historical fiction set in this era and like to read about people who try to do their part. There is a strong message about not sitting by and just letting bad things happen. I enjoyed that aspect of the story most.
The Holocaust is truly one of the darkest periods in the cumulative history of humankind. I have to confess, after watching Sophie's Choice, I've intentionally stayed away from most dramatizations of those days. To me, they are painful and soul-shredding (even though my pain is nothing compared to what the victims went through). So I approached Wildflowers of Terezin with a bit of trepidation. How would I feel when I was done reading this book? In a word, I was uplifted. Author Robert Elmer pulled me into the lives of those who fought against the horrendous crimes committed by the Nazi's. In Jewish nurse Hanne Abrahmsen and Lutheran pastor Steffen Petersen, we experience ordinary people who are forced by circumstances to do extraordinary things. They are surrounded by people who must choose between what is safe and what is right. While there is sorrow in the story, there is also great hope and love. Wildflowers of Terezin asks readers, when atrocities are committed, how long can you remain silent? This is a powerful book reminding us of a time that cannot be forgotten.NOTE: I received a copy of the book from the publisher for reviewing purposes.
Ive read many books set in WWII. I dont believe Ive ever read any set in Denmark in WWII, so Wildflowers in Terezin was the same subject with a fresh face. Steffen Peterson is a Lutheran pastor who wants to stay safely behind his pulpitand yet realizes he could help Denmarks Jews escape Nazi law. Steffan does what he can, although clumsily, which leads to bigger consequences for the escapeesand him.When Hanne, the Jewish nurse he has begun to love, is sent to Terezin, a Nazi prison camp, to what lengths will he go to be reunited with her?I thought Wildflowers of Terezin was good. Good enough that I had to research Terezin myself when I was finished reading. Although Wildflowers of Terezin is a work of fiction, the truth and actual events that took place during that time were successfully woven throughout the story. I was amazed that the Nazis took time to beautify a small section of Terezin for a short Red Cross visit to prove to the world how well they were taking care of the Jews. How sad that so much of the world was deceived by Hitlers hatred.***Check out more book reviews on my blog: thecreativesideofsteph DOT blogspot DOT com