Title: Safe Haven (The Peacemakers #3)
Author: Anna Schmidt
Safe Haven has been the most enjoyable of all three stories in the Peacemakers Series, which also features All God’s Children as the first installment followed by Simple Faith. While the others shared more of the Quaker faith during WW II in Germany mainly, this novel shows what FDR initiated before his death. Fort Ontario held people who crossed the ocean from other nations that were ravaged by the war, with a limit of 1,000 people. When the people landed, they had to sign an agreement that once the war was ended they would return to their respective places of residences overseas.
Suzanne is journalist who had hit rock bottom in her career, but now was being offered a window back into the field of journalism if she would go to the fort and write stories about the people living there till the war ended. Theo is a character who is still trying to find out what place he is to fill while on this earth. The only truth he comes to realize is his love for Suzanne.
Most of the novel’s focus is of the refugees’ daily lives and how the kindness of others impacts them. After months of hoping the government would give them the choice to stay, there seemed to be a never ending postponement of the decision by various politicians. A couple of the characters readers meet in the earlier books are attempting to locate family members they were separated from by Hitler’s men or trying to escape before being killed.
In this final book, not so much of the Quaker belief system is prominent. The focus is more on the refugees, people waiting for family members to return from the war and a budding romance between Suzanne and Theo. There is also a side story of why Suzanne struggled with her Quaker faith and had abandoned it for so long.
What I found most captivating was learning about the Fort Ontario Emergency Relief Shelter as well as those who gathered this past summer for the 70th reunion. While we know some of those people have been gone awhile, I can imagine the children (now adults) and their children among many who gathered to celebrate and remember. Amazing how fictional novels can tell us historical facts wrapped in made up stories, reminding us of the vast experiences many had during WW II. Above all are the treasured friendships that developed while living together amongst people from many cultures, beliefs and languages. May we be such a nation to remember and follow in the steps of those who have come before us for the sake of those who come after we are gone.
My rating is 5 stars.
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