Secrets She Kept, by Cathy Gohlke, is an excellent novel. Set in Berlin during World War II, it tells of how the evil deeds of some and the sacrificial righteous deeds of others shape the future of a family. It is a powerful illustration of a family ripped apart by the choices they make during wartime Germany.
Hannah Sterling, having a difficult time dealing with her mother’s death, takes a leave of absence from teaching. She is shocked to find that she has a grandfather living in Germany that she never knew existed. Upon meeting him and slowly unraveling her mother, Lieselotte’s, story, she is shocked at what she discovers. Her mother kept many secrets about her past, and her grandfather was a part of the Nazi party. As she strives to discover every bit of Lieselotte’s life story, she must also decide how to deal with her grandfather’s horrific deeds.
This was an amazing story. I found myself reluctant to put it down. It addresses many social issues, such as father/daughter relationships, sacrificing to help others, taking a stand for Godly principles even when forbidden, forgiveness, and redemption. I was especially fond of Frau Kirchmann, the matriarch of the story. I was a little unsure of how I felt about including Corrie Ten Boom and her sister in the story, even though they were incredible people. I thought it took some of the focus away from Lieselotte.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian historical fiction.
I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.