I am honored to have Cathy as a guest on The Power of Words and, rather than me trying to say more about this incredibly moving story, I've asked Cathy to share some thoughts about Saving Amelie and what it means to her. She also has a copy for one of our readers, details at the end of this post.
Saving Amelie—Summer 1939
Rachel Kramer is visiting Germany when a cryptic letter from her estranged friend, begging Rachel for help, upends her world. Married to SS officer Gerhardt Schlick, Kristine sees the dark tides turning and fears her husband views their daughter Amelie—deaf since birth—as a blight on his Aryan bloodline.
Once courted by Schlick, Rachel knows he’s as dangerous as the swastikas that now hang like ebony spiders across Berlin. She fears her father, an eminent eugenics scientist, may know about Hitler’s plans for others, like Amelie, whom the regime deems unworthy of life. But when she risks searching his classified documents, she also uncovers shocking secrets about her own history and a family she’s never known.
Hunted by the SS, Rachel turns to Jason Young, a driven American journalist whose connections to the resistance help Rachel and Amelie escape Berlin. Forced to hide in the Bavarian village of the Passion Play, Rachel’s every ideal is challenged as she and Jason encounter the work of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, controversial theologian, and risk their lives, asking others to do the same, for those they barely know but come to love.
Carole: Cathy, please share a little about Saving Amelie, what it means to you personally, the spiritual "heart" of the story, and where your current writing focus lies.
Cathy: Writing Saving Amelie, and especially reading Bonhoeffer’s works in the process, taught me a no-nonsense approach to Christianity. It’s made me stop questioning God when He calls me to do something—even when the cost is greater than I anticipated, even when God’s standard is beyond what is considered “politically correct” in our culture. It’s helped me take Him at His word, and say, “Yes, Lord—in Your strength, I will do this thing you ask of me. I know I can’t do it in mine, but You would not have called me if You didn’t intend to see me through. So, here I am. Let’s go.” It’s living on the edge, but knowing I’m not alone. It’s freeing, exhilarating, frightening and hopeful.
Saving Amelie embraces the truth that every life is valuable, bought with the precious blood of Christ. It exposes the horrors of eugenics, a popular concept in Nazi Germany and in many countries of the day, including the U.S., ranking the lives of some as worthy of life and others as unworthy. I pray Saving Amelie inspires readers to recognize the urgency of standing against culture and/or science that devalues human life, that places personal convenience and preference above the sanctity of that gift.
It’s so easy to become preoccupied with our own lives and families and not see what’s happening in the changing of our culture, to believe that our lawmakers have our best interests at heart, to trust that our nation will not let judgments or laws go down morally dangerous paths. As history shows and as we can see, that’s not the case.
Saving Amelie is infused with the teachings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his belief that we, as the church, must stand for those in peril, for those who suffer.
My next release is scheduled for Fall 2015, Secrets She Kept:
Following her emotionally estranged mother’s death, Hannah Sterling uncovers a twisted trail through her mother’s past, leading her to a German grandfather she never knew existed, and clues to a father she never met. Why had her mother run from Germany after WWII, declaring her family dead, and what was their connection to the Nazi war machine? Can Hannah live with the revelation of her family’s wartime secrets or redeem the consequences of their actions?
Carole: I have to say that your writing epitomizes all that Christian fiction should be, Cathy, and it is an honor to have you as our guest today. I only hope this is the first of many such visits.
Readers, one of you will win a copy of Saving Amelie that Cathy is graciously offering. To enter, please answer this question that Cathy suggested . . .
Do you enjoy finding real historical figures in novels?
BE SURE TO LEAVE YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS in a safe format - [at] and [dot] - for the drawing.
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E-mail required for entry in the drawing. Contest ends at midnight PST on Friday, March 27. Winner will be chosen by Random.org and contacted by e-mail. Respond within 48 hours of notification or another winner will be chosen.