All God's Children is the sort of book that immerses you in the period and embeds the characters in your heart.
From the first page in I connected with this book...the very tone and cadence was perfect for this story.
I read the first 98 pages in one sitting, then turned to a family member nearby and said with delight:
"Oh, this book is good. This book is so good."
All God's Children is a rich reading experience, but I hate to use that phrase because this book takes us into a world that should never have existed, that we must never forget was allowed to exist: Nazi Germany.
This story is properly frightening at times, as we consider events that are too easy to reduce to mere "lessons of history."
It is scary to think of children being forced into state schools and turned into informants against their family and their faith.
It is disturbing to think about losing our freedom of speech.
It is saddening to think about local law enforcement and a nation's military no longer protecting its citizens, but attacking and persecuting them.
It is sobering to think about a government whose leaders view themselves as the arbitrary givers of all rights, instead of acknowledging that they are only upholding the rights God has given everyone.
All God's Children is a human story: of tragedy and depravity and fidelity and resiliency and tenderness.
Characters who I typically see in rather black and white stereotypes were given flesh and spirit in this novel. Sometimes those committed to doing good second-guessed their convictions because of the desire to give their beloveds safety.
The man I thought would be a villain, a higher-up German official, was weary and tired and ached for it to all end because he cared about his son and loved his wife.
And in the middle of all of this, Josef and Beth find the sweetness of love and the mutual courage that comes from shared purpose.
All God's Children.
You need to obtain this book and place it on your shelf up there next to The Zion Chronicles.
That's how good this historical fiction is, it belongs up there with the greats.
Thank you Barbour for my copy of this book to review.
Book Two, Spring 2014.
Anna Schmidt is the author of over twenty works of fiction. Among her many honors, Anna is the recipient ofRomantic Times’ Reviewer’s Choice Award and a finalist for the RITA award for romantic fiction. She enjoys gardening and collecting seashells at her winter home in Florida.
Romantic Times has consistently awarded Anna’s novels four stars and notes that “Schmidt is not timid about presenting her characters with their faults laid bare for the reader to see.”
Having survived her own battle with uterine cancer and more recently the death of her beloved husband (and best friend) after an eight-year battle with pulmonary hypertension, Anna has found some solace in blogging about this journey—www.journeytowidowhood.wordpress.com.
In addition to writing, Anna loves gardening and she's hauled enough seashells home from the Florida beaches that somewhere in the future, archeologists may believe there must have once been an ocean in Wisconsin!