Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Review of Robert Elmer's
Wildflowers of Terezin

From the cover:
When nurse Hanne Abrahamsen impulsively shields Steffen Petersen from a nosy Gestapo agent, she's convinced the Lutheran pastor is involved in the Danish underground. Nothing could be further from the truth. But truth is hard to come by in the fall of 1943, when Copenhagen is placed under Martial law and Denmark's Jews-including Hanne-suddenly face deportation to the Nazi prison camp at Terezin, Czechoslovakia. Days darken and danger mounts. 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?

My thoughts:
This love/realistic story takes place in one of my favorite time periods: World War II. And though I found the beginning slow and both main characters, at first, hard to fall in love with, I enjoyed reading about Steffin's quick change of character once he decided to become involved.

Hannah's determination to stay, instead of escaping from the Nazies was touching, and I liked her determination to do what she felt she should. The romantic interest between Stephen and Hannah caught my attention too. From the first there was a connection that circumstances in their lives prevented them from acting upon that interest, yet it developed gradually. I believe it was this interest that gave Stephen the courage to act upon what he knew was the right thing: getting involved in helping the Danish Jews to escape persecution. 

I enjoyed reading about the Terezin camp where Hannah was eventually deported to, and her activities there. The fact that she received letters from Stephen and his efforts to send medical supplies, although phifered by the Nazies, helped to give the whole story a real purpose.

Why did Robert Elmer title his book Wildflowers of Terezin?
Well, I won't say, but if you get this book, the answer is within the pages.
This story will stay with me for a long time and gave me a completely different view of World War II.


1 comment:

Julia M. Reffner said...

This was one of my favorites for the year! Great book.

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