Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Book Review: The Medallion by Cathy Gohlke

About the Book:

For fans of bestselling World War II fiction like Sarah’s Key and The Nightingale comes an illuminating tale of courage, sacrifice, and survival, about two couples whose lives are ravaged by Hitler’s mad war yet eventually redeemed through the fate of one little girl.
Seemingly overnight, the German blitzkrieg of Warsaw in 1939 turns its streets to a war zone and shatters the life of each citizen—Polish, Jewish, or otherwise. Sophie Kumiega, a British bride working in the city’s library, awaits news of her husband, Janek, recently deployed with the Polish Air Force. Though Sophie is determined that she and the baby in her womb will stay safe, the days ahead will draw her into the plight of those around her, compelling her to help, whatever the danger.

Rosa and Itzhak Dunovich never imagined they would welcome their longed-for first child in the Jewish ghetto, or that they would let anything tear their family apart. But as daily atrocities intensify, Rosa soon faces a terrifying reality: to save their daughter’s life, she must send her into hiding. Her only hope of finding her after the war—if any of them survive—is a medallion she cuts in half and places around her neck.

Inspired by true events of Poland’s darkest days and brightest heroes, The Medallion paints a stunning portrait of war and its aftermath, daring us to believe that when all seems lost, God can make a way forward.

Visit the publisher's website to read an excerpt from The Medallion or to purchase your own copy.

My Thoughts:

I have such mixed feelings about The Medallion by Cathy Gohlke. The well-written narrative oozed with historical research that created a very authentic atmosphere. Plot twists and sympathetic characters held my attention night after night as I read this.

Unfortunately, the atrocities depicted in the novel are deeply disturbing.  The Medallion was a heavy read that felt so very dark and sad. In spite of the good actions of some characters and a hopeful ending, I wasn’t able push past the darkness of the tragedies. Sadly, it was the darkness, not the hope, that lingered in my mind for days after reading The Medallion.

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