My rating: 5 stars / it was amazing!
In a time of unprecedented darkness and fear, Cornelia must decide if saving a stranger’s life is worth risking her own.
In the twilight of the Nazi occupation of The Netherlands, the Germans have taken everything Cornelia had to give, even what was most precious to her. Now Gerrit Laninga—a man who puts God and country above all else—arrives at her house, needing help. She is terrified for herself and terrified for her family, but most of all, terrified of the pain she might feel again if she allows herself to love Gerrit. Her hope is to be free from her paralyzing fear.
Gerrit is a known and hunted Dutch Resistance member. When he comes to Cornelia’s home for shelter, he’s drawn to her strength and kindness. When he asks her to contact the local Resistance on his behalf, she refuses. Gerrit is determined to find a way to continue his underground work without putting Cornelia or her family in harm’s way.
When things start to unravel and Gerrit’s life depends on her actions, she must summon her courage and learn to depend on the perfect love that drives out all fear. But will her new love be snatched away before it has a chance to bloom?
When I read the afterword at the end of this novel and learned that some of the circumstances are based on real events from the lives of the author's ancestors, I appreciated it all the more for bringing to life the intensity of living in a Nazi-occupied country. While there is anxiety, pain, fear, loss, and grief, the author also successfully portrayed hope, familial bonds, patriotism, compassion, and love. I felt like I was on the edge of my seat, wondering what direction the story would go. The spiritual growth of the characters is inspiring. The point in the novel where I became the most emotional was when Cornelia and Gerrit sing together the hymn "We Gather Together". The words are so profound and apply to their struggles so well. I highly recommend this book, and look forward to reading the author's new release, Daisies are Forever.
(ARC provided via Netgalley for unbiased review)