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Customer Reviews for Tyndale House Saving Amelie

Tyndale House Saving Amelie

Married to an SS officer, Kristine Schlick fears her husband views their deaf daughter, Amelie, as a blight on his Aryan bloodline. In a cryptic letter, she begs her friend Rachel Kramer for help. Needing connections to the Resistance, Rachel turns to Jason Young---an American journalist and unlikely ally. Together, can they save Amelie?
Average Customer Rating:
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4.9
 out of 
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24 out of 24100%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for Saving Amelie
Review 1 for Saving Amelie
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Compelling

Date:July 22, 2014
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KavR
Location:Canada
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Mesmerizing. Captivating. Contemplative. Agonizing. I'm having difficulty corralling my scrambled brain. Gohlke's words have penetrated my heart, mind and soul. This is the kind of read that changes you. Challenges you. Charges you to strive to be a better person in a fallen world.
I've long been fascinated by holocaust and resistance stories and this one is an incredible tribute to the courage of the every day people who dared to stand against the Nazi's reign of terror. Gripping from the very first page, I pretty much dropped everything and read my way to the end. Read with an accelerated heart rate, a lump in my throat and terror tracking down my spine. I am still reeling over the stupidity of the masses who blindly followed a madman. But I'm filled with hope as well, because Hitler was ultimately defeated by thousands of individuals who did the right thing under unconscionable circumstances.
Saving Amelie is a compelling novel with a stand-up-and-cheer kind of ending worthy of the biggest blockbuster hit. I wept buckets at the end. An exceptional read.
My thanks to Tyndale Publishing and Net Galley for providing me with a review copy of this book.
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Review 2 for Saving Amelie
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:July 21, 2014
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thecraftyhome
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Saving Amelie is an historical Christian novel about World War 2 which are my favorite type of books. I was so excited to read this book and loved it so much that I will be choosing it as one of my free books in the Tyndale Summer Reading Program even though I've already read it. I want it in my library; it was that good.
It is the story of a women, Rachel, whose father is a eugenics scientist. They go to Germany on the ruse of providing research sharing with other countries. However, Rachel soon finds out all is not as it seems. What secrets as her father been keeping from her? What will happen when her friend asks her to hide her deaf daughter and she learns of the atrocities happening in Nazi Germany?
This is a story of running and hiding from Nazis, of two people falling in love, of what the war did to those German soldiers who didn't want to fight, of so many things. I absolutely loved this book and I know you would as well. This is one of those don't miss books!
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Review 3 for Saving Amelie
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Recommended Read

Date:July 19, 2014
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calliegh
Location:Charlotte, NC
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Saving Amelie was a very touching story set in Germany during World War II. Hitler's devious mind was set on making "Aryan" race. Through research and eugenics, Hitler was going to have a race of "supermen". Any who were deemed to be insufficient were sent to camps or outright killed.
Rachel Kramer agrees to accompany her Father, a top eugenics scientist from America, to Germany for her bi-annual medical exams which she has taken part in since her adoption at birth. Once there, "spoiled" Rachel comes to find out that her Father's research might not be as "innocent" as she first thought. Enter Amelie, the child of a "superman" SS agent, who has been deemed as unacceptable and must be "handled". Jason Young, an American reporter stationed in Berlin, is waiting for the next big news when he meets Rachel. He helps Rachel realize that her suspicions have merit. Will Rachel realize that her life is in as much danger as Amelie but for a different reason? Will she be able to change her thinking and teaching after she discovers why she was really being brought to Germany? Can she put aside her selfishness long enough to think of others who are risking their lives to help people such as Amelie escape?
This book makes one wonder how Hitler's plans went so unnoticed by others for so long. If Hitler had won World War II, what would our world be like today? Incorporating real characters such as Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Dr. Josef Mengele, and Dr. Verschuer, Saving Amelie allows the reader to see how long these plans may have been in motion. It shows how one man can so completely take over a country if given the resources and left unchecked. Cathy Gohlke develops the depth of the characters very well. One feels Rachel, Leah, Amelie, and Jason's emotions as they tackle all the world throws at them during this time. Lesser characters within the novel are also developed well. We see their journeys as well.
I would definitely recommend Saving Amelie but be ready to laugh, cry and feel as you read.
I received this book through bookfun.org in exchange for my honest review. Thank you
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Review 4 for Saving Amelie
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:July 19, 2014
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Smoothie71
Location:Alabama
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Saving Amelie is a historical fiction book written by Cathy Gohlke.
This is a page-turning, suspense, thrilling book that will leave you wanting more of your favorite characters.
This book tells the story of Rachel, Lea, Amelie and the trials of living during the takeover of the Nazis.
Rachel grew up with most everything she wanted. She wasn't denied any opportunities, but when secrets are discovered, Rachel realizes the one thing she's always wanted, the one thing she thought she had, was never really there- love.
Lea grew up with less. But she's been blessed with a good family, a wonderful husband, and a strong faith. But when the war hits close to home, will she be able to withstand the pain and struggles she's been enduring?
This is a good fiction book for anyone looking to pass some time reading, but I will tell you that it will break your heart to remember the truth and realities of what happened during WWI.
*Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review.
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Review 5 for Saving Amelie
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Saving Amelie

Date:July 13, 2014
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Amy C
Location:VA
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Saving Amelie is one of the most unique stories I have read. It is set in Nazi Germany at the start of WWII. There so much of unknown facts to me that I learned about the Nazi Regime. I had no idea what eugenics was. I could never imagine Americans working with Nazi Germany researching eugenics. This book put so much to light what went on back then. It just seems shocking to me.
I did enjoy reading this book. I found it to be quite interesting and well written. I love the characters and the plot. It was nowhere near predictable, all the way to the end.
I cannot wait to read more by this author.
Highly recommended. 5 stars
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Review 6 for Saving Amelie
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Excellent historical fiction that is also relevant

Date:July 6, 2014
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S Scales
Location:Texas
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
“He who saves one life saves the world”
Rachel is a German orphan turned pampered American. She is the only child of Dr. Kramer, who is suspected of being involved with Hitler’s genetic studies.
Lea is German born and raised. Her mother died during childbirth, and she was raised by her Oma (grandmother).
Amelie is a four year old deaf daughter of an high ranking SS officer.
Jason is an ambitious American journalist in Germany.
How do their lives intersect? What is the truth of their pasts? Will there be a future for each?
Saving Amelie by Cathy Gohlke is set in Germany in 1939. It includes Bonhoeffer, who was a real life hero during this time. He was a German pastor, spy and martyr. He recognized early on how dangerous and twisted Hilter’s ideology was and he challenged the church to stand against it, protect others, and stand for Christ.
“Germany is at stake—heart and soul…
When the church stops standing for Jews—for anyone—then we stop begin the church. Grace is costly—it took the death of our Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior, to achieve that grace. It requires just as much from each of us.
But we’ve come to practice cheap grace—grace that appears as a godly form but costs us nothing—and that is abomination, a stench in the nostrils of God.”
(Truths from Bonhoeffer shared in this historical fiction book)
This is a story that draws us in and sends us on a realistic journey through a very difficult, dangerous and twisted time in the world’s history. It was well written and I really “enjoyed” (you know what I mean) reading it. I had a hard time figuring out how to write the review, so this part took longer than even reading the book! However, I would recommend it, not just as a very good read, but as an excellent reminder to stand up for others and to not continue to allow our religious freedoms to be taken away.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers. It was not required that I give a positive review, but to solely express my own thoughts and opinions.
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Review 7 for Saving Amelie
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A Stark Reminder

Date:June 29, 2014
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Susie
Location:Pennyslvania
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Cathy Gohlke's book is a stark reminder of what happens when people are considered expendable. The story brings the Nazi regime to light through the eyes of the daughter of a eugenics researcher, an American journalist, and a deaf child. Her insights are chilling, and it's impossible not to compare the atrocities to what's occurring in our day and age.
From a writing standpoint, the research reflects Cathy's signature attention to detail. This book has it all: technical excellence, a compelling story, and a take-away for the reader.
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Review 8 for Saving Amelie
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Very good

Date:June 29, 2014
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Virginia
Location:upstate NY
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Rachel visits Germany in 1939, and an old friend of asks her to get her daughter, who is deaf, out of the country before the girl is killed. Rachel meets American journalist Jason, who helps her rescue the girl.
I thought this book was very good. The storyline moved along well and the suspenseful story made me not want to put the book down until I was finished.
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Review 9 for Saving Amelie
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

For the life of a child

Date:June 28, 2014
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Shai
Location:Norfolk, NE
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Saving Amelie was a profound story that detailed injustices during WWII against so many people groups. It was not an easy read because the reality of what was happening was so absolutely evil but it was also a beautiful story about overcoming evil with good.
Cathy Gohlke never fails to deliver a wonderfully written story and she makes history come alive. One of the best parts of this book was the way Ms. Gohlke incorporates Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his teachings. Speaking of Bonhoeffer’s return from America to Germany she writes, “He’d returned to Germany because he couldn’t allow his church to go through these days alone, that he’d have no right to take part in the restoration of Christian life in Germany after the war unless he shared the trials of this time with his people.” It was done so well that I have a newly founded interested in Bonhoeffer’s life and writings.
Amelie, the young child of an SS officer, is in danger of being eliminated because she fails to meet the requirements of the perfect Aryan nation. Her mother, Kristine, begs an old friend from America, Rachel, to take Amelie to safety because she fears not only for the child’s life, but also for her own.
Old wounds run deep and Rachel’s scruples are tested along with the teachings of her eugenics professor father. When Jason, an American journalist enters into the picture, Rachel finds she needs protection and help. Rachel finds courage to investigate a past and a God she didn’t know existed. Fleeing to Oberammergau, Rachel and Lea collide.
Lea’s heart has desired to be a mother as long as she can remember. When her husband is assigned duties in the German army, she is left alone with secrets she can’t even begin to comprehend. Lea and her grandmother live in Oberammergau, the town where the Passion Play is performed. In a place where living the Christian life is a norm, Lea must decide if self-preservation is more important than sacrifice and courage.
In a complex tale, Ms. Gohlke weaves the story of Saving Amelie with such passion and creativity. One of the underlying lessons in this story is how the church could have, but failed to, step up and counter Hitler’s teachings as well as failure to protect the ones affected.
Although this book is historical fiction, at times I found myself so caught up in the story that I had to remember it was fiction. The atrocities that the characters faced were not made up unfortunately, and that was a huge consideration. This is a fantastic read and definitely comes highly recommended!
I received this book from the Book Club Network and Tyndale Publishers in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Review 10 for Saving Amelie
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Compelling and Entertaining

Date:June 22, 2014
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Karen Lange
Location:Kentucky
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Saving Amelie offers an interesting perspective on the events prior to and during World War 2. The story illustrates inner workings of not just the Nazi regime, but of the resistance. It was this inside view of the resistance that I found most interesting. It’s easy to view the German citizens as the enemy, but many who were swept into the fray did not embrace the beliefs and atrocities that unfolded in their homeland. This book offers insight into the hearts and actions of the people who risked their lives to help others.
Through her wonderful, signature style, Cathy Gohlke shares how Rachel, Jason and their friends and family stretch beyond their comfort zone through this terrible war. I enjoyed getting to know each one as they faced unimaginable danger on their heart-changing adventure. The thing I found particularly interesting was Jason’s spiritual awakening, the journey he took after meeting Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
Once again, Cathy has written an entertaining and compelling story that shares thought provoking and timeless lessons. Saving Amelie‘s intricate plot offers the whole package: great characters, redemption, adventure, and suspense. Two thumbs up – definitely.
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Review 11 for Saving Amelie
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Well written novel of worn torn Germany during WWI

Date:June 22, 2014
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countrybear52
Location:Auburn, IN
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I am a fan of historical novels written against the backdrop of WWII. Saving Amelie by Cathy Gohlke brings the world, as it was during that time, alive for the reader. She makes the reader feel as if they were there witnessing all the atrocities that were going on.
Ms. Gohlke has created believable characters and dropped them into a period of time where horrific things happened at the hand of Hitler's Third Reich in Germany. She did submit some historical characters into her story lending a feeling of authenticity to her novel.
Hitler wanted a pur Aryan race for his Germany and if a person or child didn't show the possiblity of being part of his perfect race he had them eliminated.
Amelie is a young girl who is deaf. Her father is a German officer who can't handle the fact Amelie is less than perfect and want to get rid of her. Amelie's mother, Kristine, wants to save her daughter even if it means she will never see her again. She asks her best friend, Rachel, to take charge of Amelie and asks that she take her out of Germany.
I loved the character of Jason, an American reporter, because he didn't give up on Rachel. I enjoyed how their relationship grew during this time.
There is so much packed into the 429 pages of this book. The reader is given a glimpse of how awful life was for the the people in Germany who didn't measure up to Hitler's plan for the perfect race.
I would highly recommend this historical novel to anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction. the characters appear to be real and will invite the reader to step into their world. Be prepared for a page turner that will keep you intrigued to the very last page.
On a 5-Star Scale = 5 Stars!!!!!
I would like to thank Tyndale House Publishers for my copy of Saving Amelie. I received my copy for free in order to read it and give my honest review, which I have done.
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Review 12 for Saving Amelie
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

It will have you reading past your bedtime!

Date:June 19, 2014
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IVLeague
Location:Cabot, AR
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Saving Amelie contrasts the best and worst of humanity. During WWII, while Hitler’s army presses into Poland and later into France there is a darker, more sinister plan unfolding in the Fatherland. The plans that Hilter outlined in his autobiographical manifesto, Mein Kampf, are coming to fruition. Jews are being persecuted and oppressed, herded into concentration camps, or blatantly murdered. Anyone perceived as being a drain on German society - the infirmed and mentally or physically handicapped - are described as having ‘life unworthy of life’. They are collected and disposed of, murdered, as part of the nation’s blossoming eugenics program. Standing in opposition to this evil was the resistance network. They were people who demonstrated courage by risking their lives to aide those hunted by the SS and the Reich. They fought the ultimate battle of good vs evil.
Amelie was born to a prominent SS commander and his wife Kristine. By her 4th year of life her father, desperate to maintain his status as one of the Reich’s genetically elite, plots to dispose of Amelie and her mother. Amelie is the embodiment of innocence. She is trapped in her silent world desperate to understand the fear and turmoil around her. Little Amelie inspires others to bold faith and costly grace as they attempt to preserve her life.
Rachel Kramer, daughter to renowned eugenic scientist Dr. Rudolph Kramer, is the person whom Kristine entrusts to save her daughter. Reluctant at first, Rachel enlists Jason Young, an American journalist, to help her plan an escape to the provincial town of Oberammergau. Rachel’s character is difficult to love or even like in the beginning, but she shows a lot of growth over the course of the book! From her prideful beginnings Rachel is humbled and transformed.
SS officer Gerhardt Schlick was the antithetic of Amelie. Evil oozed from him in every scene. His character was smug, conniving, ruthless, completely deplorable and to the author’s credit well conceived.
I thoroughly enjoyed the historical aspect of Saving Amelie. It had an authentic feel and a smooth flow. Cathy Gohlke immerses her reader in the culture, art, and scenic beauty of the Bavarian village of Oberammergau. She also provided an introductory course in the teachings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the pseudo-science of eugenics which I found fascinating.
In what was probably an effort to convey the passage of time, I felt that portions of the story became bogged down with superfluous details. It was not so much so that it made me want to put the book down, in fact there were a few heart-wrenching revelations that compelled me to read past my bedtime.
If you like to read past your bedtime too...add Saving Amelie to your summer reading list.
I award Saving Amelie by Cathy Gohlke 4 out of 5 stars.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher, through The Book Club Network (bookfun.org) in exchange for my honest review.
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Review 13 for Saving Amelie
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Intrigue, romance and history in a riveting novel

Date:June 15, 2014
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Kris
Location:Fairfax, VA
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Cathy Gohlke is such a wonderful writer of historical fiction and this book is no exception! She masterfully weaves the story of two identical twins separated at birth – one to grow up in a privileged American family and the other in a common German family in Oberammergau. They are being studied by the Dr.’s Verschuer and Mengele (later known for his atrocious experiments on human subjects in concentration camps) as part of a study on eugenics.
Thus the author writes an intriguing story with romance, suspense and history. I loved how she even included Dietrich Bonhoeffer in the book and how the characters change as they realize the sacrifices others are making for them – and the ultimate one made for them by Christ. Ms. Gohlke also made a dig into today’s society by having a character say, “I suppose nothing like this could happen in America.” To which another replied, “Banning prayer from schools? Stripping crucifixes from walls? That would be like taking down the Ten Commandments in the United States. I’ve never been a churchgoer, but I can’t imagine such a thing happening. The churches, even the people who aren’t church goers, would never stand for having their rights stripped away like that.”
I also enjoyed how this book was about Nazi Germany, but did not show the concentration camps but rather the ordinary Germans living with Nazi bullies all around them. How easy it was for ordinary, nice people to turn on others. I highly recommend this book – it was great and I found it hard to put down. I received this book from TBCN in return for my honest opinion.
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Review 14 for Saving Amelie
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Deserving of Six Stars

Date:June 12, 2014
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KGD history teacher
Location:Florida
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Saving Amelie is a superb book. Rachel Kramer, a recent college graduate, is about to embark on her theatrical career. Unfortunately, her father wants her to make a quick trip to Germany for her biannual physical that she has been having since she was a baby. Although Rachel hates to postpone her new job, she agrees to go along with her recently widowed father for what is supposed to be a two week visit. Her father, Dr. Kramer, is a researcher in eugenics in the United States. Rachel has been brought up to believe that she is superior to most of those around her.
Upon arriving in Germany, Rachel makes connection with an old friend, Kristine, whose deaf daughter , Amelie, is in danger because she is not a perfect example of Aryan bloodline. Kristine wants Rachel to help get Amalie out of the country. Never having to think about anyone but herself, Rachel reluctantly agrees. Little does Rachel know that she will soon be running for her own life as she discovers secrets about her past.
The novel gives us a good look at one of Hitler’s goals, that of building a super race with only perfect specimens. The author’s research is commendable, especially when you include the author’s notes in the back. But this is not just a wonderful piece of historical fiction. Through the introduction of the life and teachings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the reader is challenged to the “Cost of Discipleship” the price one pays to really be a follower of Christ. Many want a “cheap grace” without realizing what our salvation really cost Jesus.
I have read all of Cathy Gohlke’s books and have enjoyed discussing them with my book club. I am sure this will be another one to share.
I received this book from The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review.
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Review 15 for Saving Amelie
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

facing evil

Date:June 12, 2014
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msharry
Location:Georgia
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
SAVING AMELIE is a well written but truly terrifying story of being caught in the evil and insanity that was Nazi Germany in 1939. Rachel is a young woman with dual American and German citizenship who was raised in the U.S. by her adoptive parents. The terms of this adoption are cloaked in mystery, but they require she be taken to Germany every two years for an extensive physical examination by Doctors Mengele and Verschuler at the Institute for Hereditary Biology and Racial Hygiene. Her father’s eugenics work in America has him held in high esteem worldwide by those who advocate eliminating “life that is unworthy of life”, and he is called to Germany to receive honors bestowed by the Nazis, accompanied by reluctant Rachel.
We meet Rachel as a young woman chafing under the control of her iron—willed father and anxious to become independent and pursue a career in radio theater --a goal her father firmly denounces. However, three weeks in Germany opens her eyes to the sick racial propaganda and programs to systematically eliminate inferior bloodlines from existence. The horror she feels intellectually quickly becomes personal when a childhood friend begs Rachel to get her deaf, four-year-old daughter, Amelie, out of Germany before her SS husband, Gerhardt- repulsed by this “genetic flaw”- has both mother and daughter killed. With the aid of an American reporter, Jason, and the German resistance, Rachel is relieved to learn that Amelie has, for the time being, been safely hidden. However, her friend is soon murdered so that Gerhardt would be free to marry a pure-blooded woman to create perfect Aryan babies, and it appears that Rachel is his intended new wife. Rachel’s father is actively aiding and abetting this scheme, and it seems that she will have no choice but to fulfill her good Aryan responsibilities. Amelie’s future is still uncertain also. The intrigue and danger has just begun.
The claustrophobic sense of being trapped in a situation one is helpless to prevent or escape keeps the gut-wrenching tension and rapidly-escalating action driving the storyline. The characters of Jason and Rachel continue to change and grow throughout this frighteningly-realistic tale. Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his teachings about the cost of discipleship obviously influenced the author; and, in the book, Jason too is radically changed by the concept of costly grace. It was comforting to find those individuals who stepped up to do what they could for the sake of others in spite of personal risk. Other storylines are woven into the book to provide depth and further add to the picture of life in Germany at that time. This reader was quickly caught up in the plight of the innocent characters and was compulsively reading through the night to find out how the whole nightmare would be resolved. I highly recommend this historical, medical and political thriller. I received the book through The Book Club Network, but the opinions are my own.
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Review 16 for Saving Amelie
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Gohlke's Best . . . So Far

Date:June 10, 2014
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Terri Gillespie
Location:Outside Philadelphia
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Everyone has favorite authors—trusted authors. By trusted authors, I mean writers who do more than create interesting stories that capture my attention—they create stories that capture my heart and challenge me to see areas of my life that could be better. One such author is my friend, Cathy Gohlke.
Double Christy-Award Winner and bestselling author, Cathy Gohlke just released what I believe to be her best novel to date, Saving Amelie. Set shortly before and during the Holocaust, Saving Amelie is one of the most unique World War II stories I’ve ever read.
Saving Amelie is the story of Rachel Kramer. Rachel has become suspicious of her father’s genetic research as so much of that research involves her and their regular trips to Germany. Uncomfortable with the invasive tests and the headlines surrounding Germany’s aggression, she is more interested in embarking on a new career in the theatre. She decides this will be her last trip. Her plans are to arrive and depart as quickly as possible. And Rachel is accustomed to getting her own way.
But a cryptic letter from her estranged friend, Kristine, begging Rachel for help, changes everything. Married to SS officer Gerhardt Schlick, Kristine is privy to the more nefarious deeds of the charismatic Adolf Hitler. Her husband’s behavior toward her has become increasingly more abusive; his disdain for their daughter, Amelie, deaf since birth, has her putting the pieces of the eugenics puzzle together and coming up with a picture of devastation for her and their beautiful little girl.
While Rachel knows personally how twisted Schlick is—having dated him and turned down his marriage proposal—she still has a difficult time imagining one of Hitler’s officers would do away with his own child.
Once the reader “arrives” in Germany, Saving Amelie has more twists and intrigues than the underground resistance. Yet, the characters are as vivid and believable as they are memorable. I don’t want to share too much as it would spoil the surprise—and you will be surprised.
Other than the main characters, one of my most favorite characters was Rivka, a young Jewish woman hidden by Rachel and her family. A touching scene that caused more than a few tears for me was when Rivka shared the Passover Seder in the attic. Beautiful.
Gohlke has never been afraid to “go there” in her books—to delve into the dark areas of humanity’s heart. She has thoughtfully tackled slavery in William Henry is a Fine Name and I Saw Him in the Watchfires; mental illness and emotional oppression in Promise Me This; and human trafficking in Band of Sisters. She is able to take the reader to those disturbing places but also demonstrate in her protagonists how one act of sacrifice, one act of kindness, can shine brightly. Those bright moments in the lives of ordinary people can affect change in others—teaching moments to help others choose in their fear, to be brave.
One reviewer commented that Saving Amelie should be required reading for schools. I would agree. Cathy’s attention to historical authenticity is impeccable. Although she deals with graphic subject matter, she does it with sensitivity—still, it’s not for the very young reader.
Well done, Cathy Gohlke. Thank you for being willing to sacrifice many months of research and writing about the depravity of Nazi Germany—and all the emotionally draining places that took you—so that we could learn and be challenged to be ever vigilant to never again allow this to happen.
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Review 17 for Saving Amelie
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:June 5, 2014
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StoryGirl
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
I've quickly discovered that picking up a book by Cathy Gohlke is pretty much a sure way to experience heartbreak. This is the third book I've read by her, and while all three are good, they also twist your emotions into one helpless pile of rubble. Saving Amelie was no exception.
I thought Saving Amelie was interesting because although there are many books about the persecution and murders of the Jewish people during Hitler's control of Germany, there aren't many about the other groups he despised- such as the disabled or the mentally impaired. This book takes a look at not only that, but also the horror of "racial hygiene" and the science experiments that were going on for the purpose of creating the physically and mentally "perfect" human race. Though it does have a happy ending, it's still not a "feel-good" type of book- but that's a good thing. Saving Amelie is a hard look at the depravity mankind is capable of, and a good reminder that we should never forget history's past mistakes, lest we repeat them.
objectionable content: I would definitely not recommend this for younger readers. The book was powerful, but could also be disturbing.
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review
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Review 18 for Saving Amelie
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

When Germany was a nightmare

Date:May 29, 2014
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Terri
Location:Wisconsin
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Identical twins, separated at birth. One raised to believe she’s privileged; the other to believe she’s a failure. A four-year-old girl, condemned because she was born deaf. An American reporter, looking for the big stories, caught up in smuggling people out of danger. Nazi Germany was a dangerous place for God-fearing people or anyone out of step with the Nazi's doctrines of hate, racial purity, superiority. An incredible read.
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Review 19 for Saving Amelie
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Amazing Saving Amelie

Date:May 28, 2014
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Grace
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Saving Amelie by Cathy Gohlke can be described in one word. Amazing! I was captured by this meaty novel from the first chapter until the last. The plot is as winding as a country road with intrigue, suspense, history, and a touch of romance around every corner.
This author's attention to the historical detail of Germany during World War II was remarkable. I most enjoyed reading her weaving of Dietrich Bonheoffer, a local minister and spiritual advisor to a main character in Saving Amelie, into the plot. The author's questioning of why the body of Christ did not rise up against Hitler is a question I have also considered. The character of Jason Young is a fascinating link between the underground resistance and freedom. As Rachel Kramer learns of her father's relationship with Dr. Mengele, the scientist who performed horrific experiments on humans in his search to develop a perfect race, my heart sank with hers. The family tree that is uncovered in this story is the element that gives the reader light and hope in a dark story.
Saving Amelie will satisfy every reader and grab your attention from the first page. The author included discussion questions which would make this an excellent text for a book study or personal reflection.
I highly recommend this book with some hot coffee and strudel and a couple of evenings to enjoy this adventure called Saving Amelie.
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Review 20 for Saving Amelie
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Powerful and Compelling

Date:May 27, 2014
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Faye
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Rachel Kramer has been raised with every outward advantage.But when her father a controversial scientist takes her with him to Germany, she meets the passionate journalist, Jason Young and uncovers the horrible secret of her past, and unlocks a whole new reality in the face of Nazi Germany as she fights to save the life of the daughter of her friend, a deaf girl named Amelie who is deemed by the Fuhrer unfit to live.
Lea Hartman and her husband long for a child to fill their empty arms, but when Friederich is called away to do his duty to his country, Lea finds her place directing the children's choir for the annual Passion Play in Oberammergau.
Lea and Rachel are two sides of a coin, bound together despite their drastically different upbringings brought together in this heart-stoppingly, compelling novel from Award-winning author, Cathy Gohlke.
From the very beginning I was drawn into this novel and captivated by its brave heroines Rachel and Lea. My heart immediately went out to Lea and her husband Friederich as they tried to make sense of the senseless cruelty that Lea was subjected to, yet they were strong throughout as they never wavered in their unconditional love for each other.
Though this book is very close to 450 pages I never felt like it dragged or slowed down. Ms. Gohlke took such care with this story, I could immediately tell that she'd researched the topic meticulously, with special attention to detail to make this story possible. There was so much heart and faith woven into this story, tugging at my heart and making me fall in love with the many brave men, women, and children who gave all to live God's word.
This book deals with the very real and horrific things that happened in the name of race purification during WWII, such as in voluntary sterilization, euthanization, and eugenics. But the author deals with these subjects well, conveying the gravity of these situations while not being overly graphic.
Overall, this is a thrilling and compelling historical novel that celebrates the brave men, women, and children who gave much in a fight that was not just for freedom, but for the basic human right of life. Cathy Gohlke has hit it out of the park with this powerful novel, filled with faith, and heroes that I will never forget!
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