From the award-winning author of Catching the Wind, which Publishers Weekly called “unforgettable” and a “must-read,” comes another gripping time-slip novel about hidden treasure, a castle, and ordinary people who resisted evil in their own extraordinary way.
The year is 1938, and as Hitler’s troops sweep into Vienna, Austrian Max Dornbach promises to help his Jewish friends hide their most valuable possessions from the Nazis, smuggling them to his family’s summer estate near the picturesque village of Hallstatt. He enlists the help of Annika Knopf, his childhood friend and the caretaker’s daughter, who is eager to help the man she’s loved her entire life. But when Max also brings Luzia Weiss, a young Jewish woman, to hide at the castle, it complicates Annika’s feelings and puts their entire plan—even their very lives—in jeopardy. Especially when the Nazis come to scour the estate and find both Luzia and the treasure gone.
Eighty years later, Callie Randall is mostly content with her quiet life, running a bookstore with her sister and reaching out into the world through her blog. Then she finds a cryptic list in an old edition of Bambi that connects her to Annika’s story . . . and maybe to the long-buried story of a dear friend. As she digs into the past, Callie must risk venturing outside the safe world she’s built for a chance at answers, adventure, and maybe even new love.
This poignant story wove around my heart and has left a lasting imprint that is sure to remain. Like a master orchestral composition, this story started in broad lyrical strokes and gradually build upon itself into a sweeping masterpiece. Past and present blend together seamlessly in this sweeping saga of love, loss and the power of restoration.
My copy of this book is awash in colorful highlights and page-flags noting parts that I especially enjoyed, quotes, and important details. The setting of the story sets the tone, but its the dynamic characters that carry the plot along, setting the tempo and the lyrical melody. I found myself simultaneously reaching for the tissue box and hugging the book when I finished.
Faith in God plays a central role in the characters lives. This gentle reminder weaved into the story, “God is infinitely more beautiful and loving and tender and kind than anything we can imagine of Him.”
Both vibrant and enduring, this dual-timeline story that is set primarily in Austria during World War II is one that you won’t want to miss! I give this story 5 enthusiastic stars. Order your copy today, or request it from your local library.
(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)
About the Author:
Writing fiction is a fun excuse for Melanie to explore ghost towns and old houses, travel to unusual places, and spend hours reading dusty books and journals. She writes both contemporary and historical fiction with threads of romance and suspense.
Melanie is the award-winning author of seventeen historical romance, time-slip, suspense, and contemporary novels including Catching the Wind, Beneath a Golden Veil, and The Silent Order. Three of her novels including Chateau of Secrets have won Carol Awards, and Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana won Best Novel of Indiana.
Melanie and her husband, Jon, have two daughters. After moving numerous times with Jon’s work, the Dobsons have finally settled near Portland, Oregon, and they love to travel and hike in both the mountains and the cliffs above the Pacific. When Melanie isn’t writing or researching, she enjoys line dancing, biking, and making up stories with her kids.