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As Nazi forces tighten the noose, American-born Loralei Kepler, daughter of a missionary family, flees Brussels ahead of the Blitzkrieg. But is anywhere safe from Adolf Hitler’s evil grasp? Loralei’s harrowing flight leads her into the arms of needy child refugees, who have sacrificed everything in exchange for their lives, and toward a mysterious figure, who closely guards an age-old secret.Explore the romance, the passion, and the danger of the most anticipated series of the last 20 years. Born from highly ...
As Nazi forces tighten the noose, American-born Loralei Kepler, daughter of a missionary family, flees Brussels ahead of the Blitzkrieg. But is anywhere safe from Adolf Hitler’s evil grasp? Loralei’s harrowing flight leads her into the arms of needy child refugees, who have sacrificed everything in exchange for their lives, and toward a mysterious figure, who closely guards an age-old secret.Explore the romance, the passion, and the danger of the most anticipated series of the last 20 years. Born from highly acclaimed and best-loved novels—The Zion Covenant series and The Zion Chronicles series—Zion Diaries ventures into the lives of the inspiring and intriguing characters who loved intensely, stood up for what was right, and fought boldly during Hitler’s rise to power and the dark days of World War II.
Posted August 11, 2010
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Back in 1990 I first discovered a genre called Christian fiction. The very first Christian novel I'd ever read was Vienna Prelude by Brock and Bodie Thoene. The story was excellent. From that point on I was hooked, and it was then that I discovered an affection for historical fiction, especially set during the devastation of WWII Europe. The characters in their books faced uncertain peril, but trusted in a powerful and loving God to save them. Since that time I have read at least 30 of their books up through 2005, but then stopped when the number of available Christian novels exploded to the point I had too many choices and couldn't keep up. It wasn't until this year that I started reading again stories they've written together.
On an emotional level, this story blew me away. At first I'd thought it would be good like some of the others. Engaging and interesting; maybe even a bit heart-rending. This book was so much more. It had passion in it that I don't recall from earlier books. My heart was hurting and I even cried a few times. I read those intense scenes over again...and cried a second time. My heart was totally engaged in the story and invested in this characters' lives. I didn't want it to end.
Yet while the ending was painful--agonizing even--it resolved in an awesome way. But then it changed again. While the second ending was obviously improbable, I still found it more than satisfying. I was willing to suspend disbelief because I wanted to believe the resolution even though it was impossible. I wanted to believe that if you gave up the one thing your heart loved most in this world, that God would restore that to you eventually if you were obedient and followed through with releasing your most beloved person to Him. I wanted to believe that such a passionate and sacrificing love could live forever.
I highly recommend this story for WWII buffs. It's full of action and terror, war and misery, but more than that, it is chocked full of love demonstrated between neighbors, self-sacrifice, and a pure devotion to helping the helpless. I felt so inspired by the character's lives and their faith it left me breathless. I often forgot they weren't real people. I found Eben's revelation about his past incredible and even wondered if it were possible. With God, anything is possible. While the story behind his life is too incredible to be real, it still felt real to me. That is an example of fantastic storytelling. As a result, this book is making my favorites list of 2010 and is staying on my keeper shelf. I absolutely loved it!
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Posted August 11, 2010
The Gathering Storm by Bodie & Brock Thoene is the first book in the Zion Diaries series. Loralei grew up in Europe after World War I while her father prophesied that Germany would rise again. As Hitler's Germany begins to crush the Jews, her family pulls together to help out however they can, aiding the escape of Jewish children to America, getting false Catholic identities for some, and Loralei even marries a Jewish man ,Varrick, partly to save him and his family, but also because she allows herself to fall in love with him. But they family is soon expelled from Germany back to their home in Belgium where Varrick is sent to the front lines. When the family is forced to flee their home in anticipation of the Nazi invasion, she helps her niece, two Jewish girls, and her pregnant sister get to England. Lora's story is enthralling and exciting making it nearly impossible to put the book down. With lots of action, a hint of romance, and a ton of faith this is a terrific story, and I can't wait for the sequel! The Thoenes have included so much detail readers will almost hear the bombs falling around them, but always making the story deeply personal.
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Posted December 1, 2010
The Gathering Storm is the story of Lora, a young Jewish American girl, and the mysterious Eben, a young Jewish man, and their journey of hope, during the days leading up to WWII. Forced to flee their homeland, Lora sets out with her family and hundreds of other refugees seeking safety in England, only to find that, after their long, dangerous journey, they are not welcome or safe there either. While working with refugee children, Lora becomes reunited with Eben, a friend of her father's, and even though she wonders who and what he really is, she finds herself drawn to him and finds comfort from his courage and calmness. Their common goal, speaking those who have no voice, and their belief and trust in God, give Lora and Eben the strength needed to survive the destruction and persecution of the unstoppable German Army. The ancient legend of the White Roses and the Nightingale was the perfect way to turn a story of darkness into a story of beauty and hope. I'm looking forward to the next two books in the Zion Diaries Series.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 2, 2010
First off, when you want excellent historical fiction on WWII in Europe the Thoene's are the authors to go to. They have outstanding series already (The Zion Chronicles and The Zion Legacy books) and now this new series is filling in the gap between those two series. So we enter Europe in the early 1940's. How do you expound on the writings of the Thoenes? Their research is amazing, their characters are incredible, the settings are so well written that I fell like I'm there... Then there are the story lines. I was telling my husband about this one because I loved that it is the perspective of an American citizen who is stuck on the wrong side of the ocean and is witness to all of these horrible atrocities. The perspective is amazing. I only had one minor issue with this book, there is a legend that is introduced in the story that leads us to believe that the legend is true and it messed with my mind a little (I'll admit it certainly made me think and that's not all bad and I certainly spent a lot of time thinking about it in the days that followed finishing the book!) That was the only thing that seemed a little off to me. Outside of that, this book is another testament to the historical brilliance of Brock and Bodie Thoene.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 26, 2010
In years, Lorelei is a youngster, but with Hitler's rise to power, she is forced to grow up fast. She is an American citizen living in Berlin; born to a Texas mother and Austrian Protestant missionary. Her mom died a few years ago, but she and her dad reside in Germany when they are forced to see by the mysterious Ebon Golah that a shadow will soon lay across the world. She marries German Jew Varrick Kepler so can he can obtain papers to escape Germany.
Having lived through Kristallnacht, Lora and her family move to Brussels where she is reunited with her husband. Hitler doesn't give them very much time together as his troops blitzkrieg across Belgium. Varrick dies on the front line forcing Lora, her father and her sister to flee to England. They stop at Tyne Cott where they meet Captain Judah Blood who along with other soldiers tries to get them across the Channel. Judith helps them get to England where she works with Jewish and other refugees from the continent and reunites with Eben who obviously conceals a secret that the war widow plans to uncover.
The first book in the new B&B Thoene Zion Diaries series brings readers deep into the heart of Nazi Germany as Hitler fashions the expanding nation in his image. Readers will admire the courageous heroine who grows up rather fast as she does her best to help others escape the Hitler's insane wrath. With homage to Anne Frank and a touch of metaphysics and romance enhancing the war epic, The Gathering Storm is a terrific opening act as the Thoene tandem transports fans back to a period of horrific crimes against humanity with brave souls trying to rescue the unfortunate.
Posted December 23, 2010
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Posted August 26, 2010
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