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 story, although fictional, is based on a true period in history. The time that it portrays was a very dark, scary time where evil seemed to be reigning. There are some gritty scenes in the story that are difficult to read but the author did well at giving enough information to explain the situation without getting too graphic.
The story is a time slip style that jumps between past and present and in each time period, new things are revealed about the other. The mysteries surrounding Annika and an old copy of Bambi were very intriguing and I was eager to learn the truth about them.
I didn’t care for the present day story line as much, with the exception of the revealing of information about the past. The characters in the present didn’t really interest me and I found myself a little disappointed when I was taken out of the past.
Although this was a difficult story to read, there was still some glimmers of hope found in the pages…the gospel was presented well and the way people came together to help each other was very touching.
I would highly recommend this story.
I received this book from the author/publisher to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.