Secrets She Kept
About the Book:
All her life, Hannah Sterling longed for a close relationship with her estranged mother. Following Lieselotte’s death, Hannah determines to unlock the secrets of her mother’s mysterious past and is shocked to discover a grandfather living in Germany.
Thirty years earlier, Lieselotte’s father is quickly ascending the ranks of the Nazi party, and a proper marriage for his daughter could help advance his career. Lieselotte is in love—but her beloved Lukas is far from an ideal match, as he secretly works against the Reich. Yet Lieselotte never imagined how far her father would go to ensure her cooperation.
Both Hannah’s and Lieselotte’s stories unfold as Hannah travels to Germany to meet her grandfather, who is hiding wartime secrets of his own. Longing for connection, yet shaken by all she uncovers, Hannah must decide if she can atone for her family’s tragic past and how their legacy will shape her future.
I found this to be a very compelling story of good and evil and how many people have some of each in them. It is a two-threaded story. One thread is the story of Lieselotte in the years right before and during World War II. The other thread is from the early 1970's and is the story of Lieselotte's daughter after Lieselotte's death. While Leiselotte never spoke of her experiences during WWII, she leaves clues to her identity and history for her daughter, who immediately follows those clues to find her grandfather, a grandfather who was an avid member of the Nazi Party who was active in rounding up Jews. Hannah is drawn to this lonely old man, but she learns that his past is far from pristine. He refuses to talk about her mother so she starts looking for clues through other people. She learns what her mother experienced during the war years and what happened to her mother after those years. She learns that the mother who never quite seemed to love, loved very much and that those who appeared to love may not have.
The book is Christian fiction. Leiselotte attends at "Confessing" church--a Protestant Church that resisted state control and claimed Jesus as its Lord and Savior--rather than the state-sanctioned church. Her friends also attend that church and they resist the Nazis, but until the very end I wouldn't call it an overly religious book. At the end however, there is a section that sort of ties up all the loose ends and it gets pretty religious.
I'd like to thank the publisher for making a review copy available via NetGalley. Grade: B+