I've saved the best of 2015 for last. I had no idea it would be the best book of the year- but it's truly going to be hard to top this story. Secrets She Kept, by Cathy Gohlke, is an exceptionally thrilling story that I couldn't put down. I read until I was exhausted and couldn't keep my eyes open any longer. It begins in the 1970's with Hannah Sterling whose mother has recently passed away- and with her so many questions of the past remain unanswered. Why was her mother so distant and cold? Why did she hate Hannah's father? Secret letters come to light and Hannah travels to Germany to pursue the answers she seeks. What she discovers may free her or destroy her.
Go on a journey of your own to WWII with beautiful, young Lieselotte (Hannah's mother). Her father and brother have high hopes for Germany and actively participate in the Nazi party while Lieselotte begins a secret life of aiding hidden Jews. Hitler demands full participation in the Reich and this includes all members of the family. Lieselotte nears the age of marriage and life becomes very frightening as her heart belongs to a young man that her father does not approve of...
Cathy Gohlke does a masterful job of leading us through time between WWII and the 70's. My heart ached for both Lieselotte and Hannah as betrayal, love, secrets and lies steal their innocence and cause them to question themselves and those they trust. I absolutely adored how the author incorporates Corrie and Betsie Ten Boom into the story. They introduce the beautiful message of hope and forgiveness that God offers to all of us. You'll be entranced as this story unfolds. Cathy Gohlke always delivers an incredible tale but this is her best so far. I highly, highly recommend!
About the Book:
All her life, Hannah Sterling longed for a close relationship with her estranged mother. Following Lieselotte’s death, Hannah determines to unlock the secrets of her mother’s mysterious past and is shocked to discover a grandfather living in Germany.
Thirty years earlier, Lieselotte’s father is quickly ascending the ranks of the Nazi party, and a proper marriage for his daughter could help advance his career. Lieselotte is in love—but her beloved Lukas is far from an ideal match, as he secretly works against the Reich. Yet Lieselotte never imagined how far her father would go to ensure her cooperation.
Both Hannah’s and Lieselotte’s stories unfold as Hannah travels to Germany to meet her grandfather, who is hiding wartimes secrets of his own. Longing for connection, yet shaken by all she uncovers, Hannah must decide if she can atone for her family’s tragic past and how their legacy will shape her future.
*I received a copy of this wonderful book from Tyndale in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was given.*