Genre: Historical Fiction (Holocaust)
Bookstore co-owner, Callie Randall, has a hobby of reuniting books, and the items left in them, to their original owners. When she comes across an old edition of Bambi, with a cryptic list of valuables handwritten in German within the pages, she is drawn to the mystery of circumstances surrounding the book.
Paralleling the contemporary story, is the 1938 account of the book’s original owner, as the Nazis begin to take over Austria. Max Dornbach and his childhood friend, Annika Knopf, are smuggling the valuables of their Jewish friends, and facing many other challenges in the face of the Nazi regime.
This is a beautiful story, that does not pretend to make everything work out okay. Amid brokenness, loss, and secrets, the characters each have their own interesting journeys, which sometimes converge. The beginning was a bit slow for me, as I tried to grasp both timelines at once; but once I got into it, I couldn’t put it down. Within the many twists and turns of the mystery, there are themes of reuniting the lost, recognizing the love of friends and family, sacrifice, and finding God within it all. It is a well researched historical novel, and I was moved to tears by end of the narrative.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale.