Monday, April 12, 2010

Wildflowers of Terezin by Robert Elmer - REVIEWED

“There is a big difference between speaking your mind in the pulpit and stepping out beyond the walls of this place.” (p. 257)

When Pastor Steffen Peterson first meets nurse Hanne Abrahansen he is recovering from an accident caused by a street fight. Hanne unexpectedly springs to his defense when German soldiers come demanding answers, and she smuggles him from the hospital and away from danger. It isn’t long before Steffen is behaving rather unexpectedly as well. Hiding Jewish refugees on the eve of the Nazi’s coming to gather Jews from this Denmark community, Steffen sets himself on a dangerous and unexpected journey that takes him deep into the heart of the Resistance movement.

Robert Elmer’s Wildflowers of Terezin tells the story of those who stood in the gap for the Jewish people as the Nazi party invaded and terrorized nation after nation. Steffen and Hanne’s choice to be a part of this resistance movement brings their life into sharp contrast to the terrors being perpetrated around them. Both this Lutheran pastor and this Jewish nurse face horrifying circumstances and terrifying situations time and time again throughout this story. Eventually they are separated by one of many elaborate propaganda machines used by the Nazi party. Both Steffen and Hanne must put hands and feet to their faith over and over again, and they are never certain whether or not they will survive long enough to see one another again. This is a story of bravery, conviction, love and friendship that spans even the greatest horror every perpetrated on mankind.

Robert Elmer’s story is a beautiful fictional rendering of many true and terrifying situations. The life of the Jewish people in Europe in the years preceding and throughout WWII were indeed filled with years of subterfuge and brave attempts to survive the Nazi war machine. Wildflowers of Terezin is a great story that stands in tribute to the brave and honorable people on both sides of the Jewish refugee movement. It is a story that makes one question what your faith is really made of, and, if the time ever comes when I am persecuted for my faith, will I be as brave?

Wildflowers of Terezin is a moving and suspenseful tale that truly honors a significant time in the history of the Jewish people.

Robert Elmer is a former pastor, reporter and ad copywriter who now writes from the home he shares with his wife Ronda in northern Idaho. He is the author of over fifty books, including eight contemporary novels for the adult Christian audience and several series for younger readers. Combined, his books have sold more than half a million copies worldwide. Like his popular “Young Underground” youth series, Wildflowers of Terezin was inspired by stories Robert heard from his Denmark-born parents and family. When he’s not sailing or enjoying the outdoors, Robert often travels the country speaking to school and writers groups.

1 comment:

Mocha with Linda said...

I'm about halfway through this one. Reading as fast as I can!