Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Book Review: Secrets She Kept by Cathy Gohlke

I have read a lot of fiction about world War II, from nearly every point of view possible.  But Secrets She Kept presented a new look at the work of the Nazi party, those that resisted them and the lasting effects of their actions.  I was blown away by the uniqueness of the story and the depth of the characters.   This is one of those book that once you start, you won’t be able to stop.  Sometimes I thought I had it figured out, and then I realized I hadn’t taken some other part into account, and I was back at the beginning of the mystery again.    
Hannah Sterling never understood the relationship between her parents, or her mother’s coldness towards her.  But when her mother dies, she is presented with a new story about her history, and a grandfather in Germany she never knew about.  World War II has been over for nearly thirty years, and Hannah believes that all Nazi and anti-Jewish sentiments have ended along with it.  But as she begins to learn more about her mother and her grandfather, she sees that things aren’t what they seem.  Could her cold, seemingly unfeeling mother have once been the warm, passionate Lieselotte, a young woman in love with her best friend’s brother?  If so, what happened to change her into the hard, bitter woman she became?  Hannah begins to learn about her mother’s work with those who opposed the Nazis, and the cruelty and betrayal of her grandfather.  But Hannah can’t seem to reconcile the grandfather she is coming to know with the man who sent his only daughter away and never saw her again.  But as Hannah gets closer to the answers she seeks, she realizes she may be in danger.  Far away from home, surrounded by people who speak a different language than she, Hannah must figure out the truth.  Her life and livelihood depend on it.
This book is full of plot twists, and kept me guessing until the very end.  It was beautifully written, and portrays the deep love of a parent for a child and the sacrifices they will make.  I have not read any books by this author before, but I certainly hope to read more in the future.   This book is incredible and I am so glad to have read it.     
Happy Reading!

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for this review.  All opinions are my own.

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