Title: All God’s Children (The Peacemakers #1)
Author: Anna Schmidt
Publisher: Barbour Publishing
This is the first in a series dealing with a resistance movement during WWII in Germany called the White Rose. The other two books in the series are titled, Simple Faith, due to be released in the spring of 2014 and Safe Haven, which has no release date yet. This first novel is begins in the fall/winter of 1942.
Beth Bridgewater has been living in Munich, Germany for the last eight years, helping her anxiety-ridden frail aunt raise her 8-year-old daughter. Beth is an American citizen, but she is without her visa papers and therefore in constant danger of being arrested. Her uncle teaches at the nearby university. Beth, her aunt and uncle are Quakers and under suspicion by Germans loyal to Hitler due to their pacifist stance. Uncle Franz invites a former student, Josef Buch, a doctor, to live with them temporarily while he continues his studies. He is also a member of the German army, so Beth and her aunt are very uncomfortable having him in their home. Soon Beth and Franz begin to trust Josef. Beth seems to always impulsively befriend those in need without thinking of the repercussions to her and others.
Josef Buch admires Beth from afar and knows a relationship between them is not possible, but he can’t help his feelings for her. Does she feel the same? He knows his being a soldier makes her uncomfortable, but is gladdened when she shows some signs of trusting him. He is living with his former professor as he can’t live at home with his parents. His father is a high-ranking member of the Gestapo and Josef is at odds with how the Gestapo is running the country. Josef is to Germany, not necessarily Hitler and certainly opposes his racial extermination policies.
While there were tension-filled moments and the fear was almost palpable at times, I didn’t feel like Beth should have been experiencing these issues because she should have been sent home. Surely her uncle and aunt should have been thinking of the safety of their American niece since the war had started in 1939. Why was she still in Germany when the story starts in 1942? I didn’t like the aspect of Beth seeking the “Inner Light” before making some decisions. There is also the matter of having to take an issue to a clearance committee before making a decision or having a general consensus tell a person what to do in any given situation is central to Quaker thinking as portrayed in this story, but Beth encounters situations that require quick decisions and I did like that she made her decisions with her heart and didn’t stick to a strict legalistic religion. She did what she thought God would have her do, which I applaud; however, I still couldn’t really connect with this story or the characters.
My rating is 3 stars.
Note: I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book from www.bookfun.org. The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ . Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457