|Publisher:||Tyndale House Publishers|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||2 MB|
Read an Excerpt
Where Treasure Hides
By Johnnie Alexander, Sarah Mason
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.Copyright © 2013 Johnnie Alexander
All rights reserved.
The stringed notes of "Rule, Britannia!" grew louder as the crowd quieted, eyes and ears straining in their search for the violin soloist. The patriotic anthem echoed through Waterloo Station's concourse, and as the second chorus began, sporadic voices sang the lyrics. Travel-weary Brits stood a little straighter, chins lifted, as the violinist completed the impromptu performance, the last note sounding long after the strings were silenced.
Alison Schuyler gripped her leather bag and threaded her way through the crowd toward the source of the music. As the final note faded inside the hushed terminal, she squeezed between a sailor and his girl, murmuring an apology at forcing them to part, and stepped onto a bench to see over the crowd. A dark-haired boy, no more than seven or eight, held the violin close to his anemic frame. His jacket, made of a finely woven cloth, hung loosely on his thin shoulders. The matching trousers would have slipped down his hips if not for his hand-tooled leather belt.
Either the boy had lost weight or his parents had purposely provided him clothes to grow into. Alison hoped for the latter, though from the rumors she'd heard, her first assumption was all too likely. She stared at the cardboard square, secured by a thick length of twine, that the boy wore as a cheap necklace. The penciled writing on the square numbered the boy as 127.
Other children crowded near the young musician, each one dressed in their fine traveling clothes, each one labeled with cardboard and twine. Germany's castaways, transported to England for their own safety while their desperate parents paced the floors at home and vainly wished for an end to these troublesome days.
"Now will you allow him to keep his violin?" A man's voice, pleasant but firm, broke the spell cast over the station. The children fidgeted and a low murmur rumbled through the crowd. The speaker, dressed in the khaki uniform of a British Army officer, ignored them, his gaze intent on the railroad official overseeing the children.
"He better," said a woman standing near Alison. "Never heard anything so lovely. And the lad not even one of the king's subjects. I'd take him home myself—yes, I would—if I'd a bed to spare."
Alison mentally sketched the tableau before her, pinning the details into her memory. The officer's hand resting on the boy's shoulder; the official, a whistle around his neck, restlessly tapping his clipboard with his pencil; the dread and hope in the boy's eyes as he clutched his prized instrument. The jagged square that tagged his identity.
The travelers at the edge of the children's irregular circle collectively held their breaths, waiting for the official's reply. He shifted his glance from the nervous boy to the expectant passengers, reminding Alison of a gopher she had once seen trapped between two growling mongrels. The memory caused her to shudder.
"He might as well. Don't know what to do with it if he left it behind." The official waved a plump hand in a dismissive gesture. He certainly hadn't missed many meals. He blew his whistle, longer than necessary, and Alison flinched at its shriek.
"Get organized now. Numbers one through fifty right here. Fifty-one through a hundred there. The rest of you ..."
The show over and the hero having won, the onlookers dispersed, their chatter drowning out the official's instructions to his refugees.
Alison remained standing on the bench, studying the man and the boy. They knelt next to each other, and the boy carefully laid the violin into the dark-blue velvet interior of its case. His slender fingers caressed the polished wood before he shut the lid. The man said something too softly for her to hear, and the boy laughed.
The spark flickered inside her, tingling her fingers, and she knew. This glimpse of a paused moment would haunt her dreams. It rarely occurred so strongly, her overwhelming desire to capture time, to freeze others within movement. She quickly pulled a sketch pad and pencil from her bag. Her fingers flowed lightly over the paper, moving to a rhythm that even she didn't understand. Tilting her head, she imagined the notes of the violin soaring near the high ceiling, swooping among the arches.
Her pencil danced as she added determination to the man's jawline and copied the two diamond-shaped stars on his collar. She highlighted the trace of anxiety in the boy's eyes, so at odds with his endearing smile. What had he left behind? Where he was going? She drew the cardboard square and printed the last detail: 127.
The man clicked shut the brass hinges on the violin case and, taking the boy's hand, approached the station official. Alison hopped down from the bench and followed behind them, awkwardly balancing the pad, pencil, and her bag.
The brown hair beneath the officer's military cap had been recently trimmed. A pale sliver, like a chalk line, bordered the inch or so of recently sunburned neck above his crisp collar. Alison guessed he was in his midtwenties, a little older than she. Identifying him, from his bearing and speech, as gentry, she positioned herself near enough to discreetly eavesdrop.
"Where is young Josef here going?" asked the soldier. "Has he been assigned a home?"
The official gave an exaggerated sigh at the interruption. He lifted the cardboard square with his pencil. "Let me see ... number 127." He flipped the pages on his clipboard.
"His name is Josef Talbert."
"Yes, of course, they all have names. I have a name, you have a name, she has a name." He pointed the eraser end of his pencil, in turn, to himself, to the soldier, and to Alison.
The soldier looked at her, puzzled, and she flushed as their eyes met. Flecks of gold beckoned her into a calm presence, sending a strange shiver along her spine. She turned to leave, but her stylish black pumps seemed to stick to the pavement. She willed her feet to move, to no avail.
When the soldier turned back to the official, Alison thought the spell would break. She needed to go, to forget she had ever felt the pull of his calm determination, to erase those mesmerizing eyes from her memory. But it was too late. The Van Schuyler fate had descended upon her, and she was lost in its clutches. Her heart turned to mush when the soldier spoke.
"My name is Ian Devlin of Kenniston Hall, Somerset. This lad's name, as I said, is Josef Talbert, recently come from Dresden. That's in Germany." He stressed each syllable of the country. "And your name, sir, is ...?"
The official scowled and pointed to his badge. "Mr. Randall Hargrove. Just like it says right here."
Ian nodded in a curt bow and Josef, copying him, did the same. Alison giggled, once more drawing Ian's attention.
She flushed again and almost choked as she suppressed the nervous laughter that bubbled within her. "So sorry. My name is Alison Schuyler."
"You're an American," said Ian, more as a statement than a question.
"Born in Chicago." She bobbed a quick curtsey. "But now living in Rotterdam, as I descend from a long and distinguished line of Dutch Van Schuylers." Her fake haughtiness elicited an amused smile from Ian.
Mr. Hargrove was not impressed. "Now that we're all acquainted, I need to get back to sorting out these children."
Ian's smile faded. "Mr. Hargrove, please be so kind as to tell me: where are you sending Josef?"
"Says here he's going to York." Mr. Hargrove pointed at a line on his sheaf of papers. "He's got an uncle there who has agreed to take him in."
Ian knelt beside Josef. "Is that right? You're going to family?"
"Ja," Josef said, then switched to English, though he struggled to pronounce the words. "My father's brother."
"All right, then." Ian patted the boy's shoulder. "Keep tight hold of that violin, okay?"
Josef nodded and threw his arms around Ian's neck, almost knocking him off balance. "Danke. Tausend dank."
"You're welcome," Ian whispered back.
Alison signed and dated her sketch, then held it out to Josef. "This is for you. If you'd like to have it."
Josef studied the drawing. "Is this really me?"
"Ja," Alison said, smiling.
Josef offered the sketch to Ian. "Please. Write your name?"
Ian glanced at Alison, then put his hand on Josef's shoulder.
"I don't think I should—"
"I don't mind," she said.
"For him." She whispered the words and tilted her head toward Josef.
Borrowing Alison's pencil, Ian printed his name beside his likeness. He returned the sketch to Josef and tousled the boy's dark hair. Ian opened his mouth to say something else just as another long blast from the official's whistle assaulted their ears. They turned toward the sound and the official motioned to Josef.
"Time to board," he shouted. "Numbers 119 to 133, follow me." He blew the whistle again as several children separated from the larger group and joined him.
"Go now, Josef," Ian urged. "May God keep you."
Josef quickly opened his violin case and laid the sketch on top. He hugged Ian again, hesitated, then hugged Alison. They both watched as he lugged the violin case toward the platform and got in the queue to board the train. He turned around once and waved, then disappeared, one small refugee among too many.
* * *
At just over six feet in height, Ian was used to seeing over most people's heads. But he couldn't keep track of little Josef once the boy boarded the train. Watch over him, Father. May his family be good to him.
"I hope he'll be all right," said Alison.
"I hope so too."
"So many of them." She gestured toward the remaining children who waited their turn to board.
Ian scanned the young faces, wishing he could do something to take away the fear in their anxious eyes. "Their families are doing what they think best."
"Sending them away from their homes?"
"Removing them from Hitler's reach." Ian turned his attention to the American artist. He could detect her Dutch heritage in her features. Neither tall nor slender enough to be called statuesque, she wore her impeccably tailored crimson suit with a quiet and attractive poise.
"It's called the Kindertransport."
"I've heard of it. Are they all from Germany?"
"A few come from Austria. Or what used to be Austria before the Anschluss. The lucky ones have relatives here. The rest are placed in foster homes."
"Most of them."
While he spoke, he held Alison's gaze. She reminded him of a summer day at the seashore. Her blonde hair, crowned with a black, narrow-brimmed hat, fell in golden waves below her shoulders. Her pale complexion possessed the translucent quality of a seashell's pearl interior. The gray-blue of her eyes sparkled like the glint of the sun on the deep waves.
"Josef played beautifully." Even her voice felt warm and bright. "He's very talented."
"So are you. Your sketch was skillfully done."
"That's kind of you to say." A charming smile lit up her face. "At least I'm good enough to know how good I'm not."
Ian took a moment to puzzle that out and chuckled. "You made me better-looking than I am, and I appreciate that. For Josef's sake, of course."
"I assure you, Mr. Devlin, there was no flattery."
Ian smiled at her American accent and tapped his insignia. "Lieutenant. But please, call me Ian."
"Ian." Alison tucked away her pad and pencil. "I suppose I should go now."
Her words burrowed into Ian's gut. He couldn't let her leave, not yet. "To Rotterdam? Or Chicago?"
She glanced at her watch. "Apparently neither. I found myself so inspired by a young boy and his violin that I missed my train."
Ian felt as if he'd been handed a gift. Or had he? Suddenly aware of an absence, he looked around expectantly. "Are you traveling alone?"
A twinge of her apparent impropriety tensed Alison's mouth and chin but didn't dim the sparkle of her clear eyes. "Quite modern of me, don't you think?"
"Rather foolish," Ian began, but stopped himself. "Though it's not for me to say."
"You're perfectly right, of course. My great-aunt accompanied me to Paris, but she became ill and I couldn't stay away any longer. So I left her to recuperate within walking distance of all the best dress shops on the Champs-Élysées and, voilà! Here I am. Alone and unchaperoned."
Ian drew back in surprise and raised a quizzical eyebrow. "Wait a minute. You're traveling from Paris to Rotterdam via London? Most people take the shortcut through Belgium."
"Yes, I suppose it is a bit of a roundabout way." She avoided his gaze and the awkward moment pressed between them.
"It's really none of my business."
"Perhaps not. But there's a simple explanation." Her voice sounded too bright, and Ian sensed the nervousness she failed to hide. "I had a ... a commission. A portrait."
Her expressive eyes begged him to believe the lie they both knew she had just told. With the slightest nod, Ian agreed, though he was curious to know her secrets. He suddenly pictured the two of them wandering the fields and woods on his family estate, talking about everything and nothing, Ian capturing her every word and safeguarding it deep within himself. But he doubted a woman who traveled alone across northern Europe, especially in these unsettled times, would enjoy the quiet boredom of country life.
He had tired of the unchanging rhythms of village traditions himself in his teen years. But after several months of combat drills and facing an uncertain future, he had been looking forward to a few days of idleness and local gossip.
"I feel somewhat responsible," he said.
"That I missed my train?" She shrugged. "A small inconvenience. I'll leave early in the morning and be home in time for supper."
"What about supper tonight?"
Alison chuckled. "It's too early for supper."
Ian glanced at his watch. "Though not too early for tea. A British tradition, you know."
Conflict flitted across her features. She wanted to say yes, but something held her back.
"I'm not exactly a damsel in distress."
"It's only tea."
"May I ask you something?"
"Would you have taken Josef to, what was it? Kenniston Hall? If he hadn't had an uncle waiting for him?"
Ian hesitated, not wanting to tell this beautiful woman how his father would have reacted if he had arrived home with the young Jewish boy. True, he could have made up some story to explain the boy's need for a place to stay. Even if his father suspected the truth, he'd have the story to tell those neighbors whose thinly veiled anti-Semitism skewed their view of what was happening in Germany. As he so often did, Ian wondered how long the blindness would last. What would Hitler have to do before his insatiable thirst for power was clear for all to see? "I don't know."
"He played that piece so magnificently. No one who heard it will ever forget this day."
"I don't think Mr. Randall Hargrove was too happy about it. But at least Josef got to keep his violin."
"Why wouldn't he?"
"Hargrove wanted to confiscate it. He insinuated Josef had stolen it, that it was 'too fine an instrument' for a child like him to have in his possession."
"So you stood up for him."
Ian flushed with sudden embarrassment, but smiled at the memory. "I asked the lad if he could play. And he did."
"You are a chivalrous knight, Lieutenant Devlin. I will never forget you."
"That sounds too much like a good-bye."
"Just because I missed my train doesn't mean you should miss yours."
"My train doesn't leave till late this evening."
"But I thought—"
"I only arrived in time to see Hargrove making a ninny of himself."
"Surely there's a train you could take without waiting till this evening."
Ian glanced around as if to be sure no one was paying attention to them and leaned forward. "True," he said in a conspiratorial whisper. "But my commanding officer entrusted me with a secret commission. I'm to deliver an important message to a lovely young woman who lives in the West End." With a flourish, he pulled a pale-blue envelope from his jacket pocket and handed it to Alison.
* * *
The thick envelope, made from high-quality paper, had been sealed with gold wax and embossed with two Ms entwined in a scripted design. Alison guessed that the stationery inside would be of similar color and quality. The commanding officer was evidently a man of good breeding and taste. She turned the envelope over and read the broad black strokes written on its face: To My Darling Trish.
Excerpted from Where Treasure Hides by Johnnie Alexander, Sarah Mason. Copyright © 2013 Johnnie Alexander. Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A must read for fans of WWII fiction Oh my, where to begin. I haven't read a book this well written in a long while. This is the first book that I've read by this author. Johnnie Alexander was recommended by a friend and I'm so thankful. The captivating story is set prior to and during World War II. It's truly difficult for me to describe the intimate details given that brought it all to life. Everything from the paintings to the scenery were so beautifully described. The characters are so realistic that you feel as though you not only know them but see their individual features. It's not often that a novel speaks to me as this one did. I'm amazed at how strong Alison was despite all that she endured. She is someone that I could find myself befriending. I can't even begin to describe the romantic part of the book. There is nothing that I can say that would give the story justice. If you enjoy a deep, realistic story taking place during WWII, I believe that you will enjoy Where Treasure Hides. It is extremely well written and extraordinarily captivating. Definitely a novel that will be staying on my keeper shelf.
I was hooked in the first chapter. Set in the early 1940s before and during Hitler’s rein of terror, this is a totally engulfing story. It starts out with a pampered wealthy family’s daughter traveling through England for their art gallery. She sees a soldier defending an orphan boy, a jew about to board an orphan train, when his violin is being taken away from him. The soldier suggests that if the violin belongs to him, then he will be able to play it. The boy plays beautifully, and the soldier stands by until he knows the boy is safely on the train with the violin. It brings Alison and Ian together, and it’s ‘love at first sight’. Only she holds back because of her family’s ‘curse’. This is a story of the excruciating ups and downs during war time of pain, love and sacrifice. It’s impossible to put down! I do so hope that there will be a second book that will continue the story. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the Tyndale Publishers - Netgalley book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”. http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html
"Where Treasure Hides" by author Johnnie Alexander is a 416 page Christian WWII novel published by Tyndale. It is the first thing I have read by this author although she has received awards for some of her writing. This Christian romantic historical fiction is set in England and the Netherlands and is the tale of artist Alison Schuyler and Ian Devlin, British Army Captain. It is a love story that has depth. As one might expect with WWII fiction, the author addresses the flight of the Jewish people, hidden artwork, Nazi plundering and destruction, Dutch Resistance and other not so stereotypical subjects. She adds some Christian elements, too, about trusting God. The author touches on decisions made and their effect on others, on priorities and choices, life and death ones, and superstitions. This is not just a light love story. Scripture is used in her book in a nice way. It is not preachy but an inspirational book just the same. I liked Alexander's writing style. Her story was well thought, well researched, and well written. It had twists and turns to provide surprises. The story had some heart wrenching moments that actually made me cry. It was an emotional story in places. The characters were lifelike and I became invested in their lives. I wanted to talk to them and offer advice. The scenery was vividly described in sight, sound, touch, and smell. I felt like I was there. This was a page turner and I couldn't put it down. I would recommend this book, but some of the material hurt my heart to read and I could not stop thinking about it. I just don't like reading about WWII and its atrocities. I rated this a 5 out of 5 stars. I received a copy of this book from The Book Club Network for my honest review.
An Outstanding Debut! New authors interest me, especially when they are writing in a time period that I love to read—there is always room for another good writer, and Johnnie Alexander is definitely that. Her writing is realistic, emotional and incredibly powerful. The multiple story threads combine expertly to create a novel that is compelling and complex, rich in detail and populated by developed characters. With this as her first novel, I am sure to be seeking her work out in the future! One of the overarching themes in this book is the place of heartache in our lives. Do we allow it to determine how we treat others? What about the decisions we make—are they merely to protect us from further pain or do we reach for something more? The characters wrestle with these things from both sides of the issue, both as the one trying to shield him or herself and as the person who knows this isn’t really enough to call living. And that leads into the tension between faith in God and superstition. While most of us say we trust God, we also aren’t willing to take chances on our happiness if we can help it. That is the situation Allison finds herself in, though hers is more stark than most of us face. Reading as it plays out is fascinating and I loved how the author doesn’t condemn the conflicting emotions she feels even as she struggles to trust the future to God. The characters that populate this novel have amazing depth, including the secondary and minor characters. It would be far too easy to turn the Nazis and even the everyday German people into caricatures of the evil that was Hitler's regime, lumping all of them into one group and thereby making a judgement about everyone at once. But in this book, we see complex characters that, even though they are still the enemy, are human beings caught in an irresistible machinery that holds them as trapped as those whom they hold prisoner. Neither are all of the “good guys” necessarily doing the right things for altruistic motives—some strike me as more malevolent than those within the Nazi ranks. This story made me cry in several places: it's hard to imagine living in these situations and facing the difficult choices that have to be made, sometimes in a mere moment. To feel so conflicted, to feel like a traitor even as those you love plead with you to save yourself, or to determine the future for another person because of a decision they have no input in is incomprehensible in our relatively safe world. The dilemmas presented in this novel almost have no right answer, but we get to follow the characters down the path they have chosen and see the realistic consequences play out. The historical content is outstanding; the intense research and extensive knowledge of the author is evident, but this is a novel about a brutal time. Horrific episodes in history are brought to light in scenes that, while not necessarily graphic, are still disturbing. I would suggest this book only for mature readers, at least older teens, on up. It is a completely worthwhile read that I would highly recommend for those with an interest in WWII and those who enjoy historical romance with a dramatic storyline. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through The Book Club Network to facilitate this review. All of the opinions expressed are my honest thoughts.
Johnnie Alexander in her new book “Where Treasure Hides” published by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. takes us into the lives of Alison Schuyler and Ian Devlin. From the back cover: Enjoy This moment. Chances are you’ll never see him after today. Artist Alison Schuyler spends her time working in her family’s renowned art gallery, determined to avoid the curse that has followed the Schuyler clan from the Netherlands to America and back again. She’s certain that true love will only lead to tragedy―that is, until a chance meeting at Waterloo station brings Ian Devlin into her life. Drawn to the bold and compassionate British Army captain, Alison begins to question her fear of love as World War II breaks out, separating the two and drawing each into their own battles. While Ian fights for freedom on the battlefield, Alison works with the Dutch Underground to find a safe haven for Jewish children and priceless pieces of art alike. But safety is a luxury war does not allow. As time, war, and human will struggle to keep them apart, will Alison and Ian have the faith to fight for their love, or is it their fate to be separated forever? I recommend that you set aside the chores for the evening; that you take the phone off the hook; that you go to the bathroom and, most important, that you make a large amount of fresh popped popcorn. Oh yes, start early I do not recommend starting this book late at night because it will cost you sleep as you will not want to put it down. Johnnie Alexander is in top form. From the very beginning this is an exciting read and it gets more interesting as you go on. Ms. Alexander is an excellent writer and knows how to engross you as she tightens the mystery. Both Alison Schuyler and Ian Devlin are really interesting and highly complicated characters that keep you glued to the pages. I recommend this book and I am so looking forward to more from this highly talented author. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
It was wonderfully fulfilling to indulge in this deeply moving and engrossing story. This is a gritty, non-fluffy, full of detail, danger, suspense and heart wrenching romance. I loved being drawn into their lives and feeling the sorrow as they felt it. Ian and Alison had a beautiful meeting but then the war kept them apart and going through so much life changing happenings. War is real and heart-breakingly sad. This author puts that all in there and makes it beautiful with ribbons of hope and dotted with love. It is one of those reads that you need to remind yourself you have it good and that love and family are huge and a blessing. I felt the heartaches of Alison and her family and I felt the desperate anguish of Ian during the war and all that came with it. Their paths go so many different ways and many surprises happen that I couldn’t predict. I feel everyone needs to read this! I got this from bookfun.org.
Where Treasure Hides, first novel by Johnnie Alexander is one not to be missed. A wonderful story of WWII intrigue, love and heartache. Alexander has captured the WWII era well with a realistic story and believable characters. Readers are given a glimpse of life in Europe during a horrendous time in our world. The impact of the Nazis on the art world and the impact of the war on the Jewish people, especially children are well portrayed. Through the lives of Alison, a lovely miss from the Netherlands and Ian, a British Army captain readers are given a gripping and compelling love story that endures through the horrors of war. There are a number of twists and turns to the plot that keep the pages turning. Alexander has woven the powerful impact of the scriptures throughout the book as her characters bring to remembrance Bible verses that bring comfort and strength. Two especially effectual quotes are: "Strength and honour are her clothing,” she recited, her voice barely a whisper. “She shall rejoice in time to come.” and “Thou are my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance.”…Ian believed God’s hand was upon him, to preserve him and deliver him. A marvelous debut novel. I received a copy of this book through The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review.
Saturday, April 2, 2016 Where Treasure Hides by Johnnie Alexander, © 2013 World War, 1939-1945 She felt a kinship with the embroiderer, the mysterious need to preserve a slice of time before it flowed into the mists of memory. "I had to capture the moment." --Where Treasure Hides, 13 August 1939 ~ London, England A strain of music drew her as she waited at the train station ~ "Rule, Britannia!" and the holder of the violin not more than seven or eight, played with his heartstrings for all to hear and believe. That Alison Schuyler should be there at the exact same moment Lieutenant Ian Devlin was watching out for young Josef Talbert, Kindertransport identity label 127. Boarding his train, Alison notices she has missed her connection ... and her heart that day, as Lt. Devlin invites her to tea and memories. He was a soldier on the eve of war. A chance meeting at Waterloo Station.... I have just finished reading Chapter Four and tears cover my eyes, hating for them to part. Especially, with her parting thoughts through the window of the train: "You're safe now, Ian Devlin," she whispered. "I've left you, and now you're safe." As her train continues down the track, I cherish the few moments they have had together. Can a day change your life? Ian Devlin hopes it is so. An image to take to war with him with hopes that they will indeed meet again. This is a story of the hiding of the irreplaceable art of the Masters. Alison lives with her grandfather in Holland where he owns an art gallery. Believing that anyone who touches their family comes to ruin, she tries to guard her heart against the memory of Ian. When England declares war on Germany, Ian is recalled to duty. Johnnie Alexander has visibly taken us through the throngs of war during this time period in history. I would like to see a continued story beyond Where Treasure Hides by this author. Very deftly written, you will follow the characters amid every turn in their unknown days to come. ***Thank you to Tyndale House Publishers for sending me a copy of Where Treasure Hides for review. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***
Johnette Alexander is a new author to me, and I'm impressed! Her first novel, Where Treasure Hides is a strong and unpredictable novel! Taking place in WWII her facts are well researched and her characters believable. Portions of this book are so beautifully descriptive that they are poetic. This momentous time in our world's history affected the art collections of the world's masters. Alison Schuyler assisted in the Dutch Underground activities to find safe havens for Jewish children and priceless pieces of art. The activities surrounding Alison, her family and their famous art gallery in Rotterdam are informational as well as interesting. I will be following this author in the future. I'd like to discover what else she has written. Where Treasure Hides being her first novel, I'm looking forward to reading more of her works. WWII fans will enjoy this novel. I highly recommend it! Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from The Book Club Network's For Readers Only program in exchange for my honest review. All expressed opinions are my own, and no monetary compensation was accepted for this review.
How does one answer the old “da Vinci Question”? If you had to choose, would you save a priceless work of art or a person? The question becomes complicated when you would give your own life to preserve a precious antiquity. This story and question take place in WW II. Alison Schuyler is an artist, but more than that, her family has owned an art gallery in the Netherlands for decades, displaying and selling the masters. Into her world comes a wealthy German count who appreciates art and wants to make her part of the German master race. Alison, however falls in love with a brave British Army captain. This story goes from war torn London, to the Dunkirk evacuation, to German prison camps, to the efforts of the Dutch underground. The story of Herman Goering and his infamous theft of many of the art treasures of Europe is brought to light. When the safety of those Alison loves comes in conflict with the art she has sworn to protect, what will she do? There are many novels written about the events of World War II. This one has a different twist in addressing the theft and partial rescue of some of the works of the masters. I very much enjoyed this book and the broad scope of the events of the war that it included. With the events of the Epilogue, I would hope that the author writes a sequel. I received this from The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.
Where Treasure Hides is a captivating Romantic Historical Fiction novel set during WWII in England and the Netherlands. Alison Schuyler is an artist and the young heir to her family’s renowned art gallery. If you enjoy love at first sight stories, then this novel will be a treat for you. British Army Captain, Ian Devlin, falls head over heels for Alison when he first sees her at Waterloo Station. The War separates the two of them. Alison spends her time during the war hiding art masterpieces and finding safe homes for Jewish children. Ian fights on the frontlines and eventually winds up at Dunkirk. The reader is pulled into the story on both fronts, making for a quick read in anticipation of a reunion between the two protaginists. This is a great story of heroism and bravery, keeping the reader on the edge of their seat. I’m really hoping the author writes a sequel. I received a copy of this book from the publisher, through The Book Club Network (bookfun.org) in exchange for my honest review.
World War II intrigue and love, compassion and relationships This was one of those books I could hardly put down. It drew me in right off the bat and held me throughout the book. Since it was published in 2013, I went looking for a sequel but was disappointed to find it hasn't been released yet! Alison Schuyler and Ian Devlin are introduced in a very touching scene with a group of young Jewish refugees. Their love story unfolds with unexpected turns throughout the book. The intrigue comes with both Ian's undercover work during World War II and also through the art gallery belonging to Alison's Dutch family from 1939 to 1945. There were many chapters that put me on pins and needles as the characters very lives were in jeopardy more than once. There were surprising twists and turns in the plot, many heartwarming scenes. Ian saves a little German girl while he is on the run and brings her back to his family. Alison saves the daughters of a friend, taking them out of Holland to England. I heartily recommend this book!
With the relatively recent release and promotion of The Monument's Men, interest in Nazi art thievery during World War Two has gone way up. This book isn't so much about American involvement in the war or about Jewish suffering, which tend to be the two things that World War Two fiction focus on, but instead about Dutch Europeans who had to deal with Nazis in power before the war started. The focus is on the art, and the smuggling and preservation of it. The love story between Alison and Ian is absolutely adorable! The relationship has a element of realism that a lot of romance oriented stories lack. Because the book takes place over the course of six years (1939-1945 ish) we get to see a more realistic time line for feelings to manifest as actual promises to one another. With the six years being covered there are quite a few time jumps. All the time jumps are surrounded by great context and detail, so we don't feel left out. I absolutely adored reading this book! I sped through the pages because it was just so important that I knew the ending. And now that I do, I have decided that a sequel is totally in order. Happy Reading! Don't forget to click on the cover to read an excerpt! If/When you finish the book, leave a comment or shoot me an e-mail and we can talk about it! I love to hear what everyone else thinks too! I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
Through the last several years I’ve been drawn to stories that take place during the WWII era. That dreadful time in history is so shrouded in tragedy and mystery, so it’s nice to see tenderness and love peek from the shadows. Where Treasure Hides, by Johnnie Alexander, is a story with historical details as well as (fictional) romance. A thought that kept coming to mind as I read was ‘desperate times lead to desperate measures.’ We don’t know what we’d do in certain situations unless we are faced with it ourselves. But through such terrible prejudices and atrocities that abounded during WWII, this book gently uncovers glimmers of hope, love and forgiveness. If you are a lover of art, history, or romance, I feel you’ll enjoy this book. It’s beautifully and tenderly written, and the characters are easy to relate to. I received a Review Copy from Tyndale. I was not required to write a positive review and the options I have expressed are my own.
Lovely romance. Interesting story about valuable art. Liked the characters. The novel honors faith which is very refreshing. The novel also includes: kidnapping, murder, regret, great friendships, sacrifice, cruelty, babies, wonderful nuns, faithfulness, and much much more. Other excellent authors who write fiction and non-fiction about this period in time are: Eric Larsen, Willian Jarvis, Margaret Mayhew, Judith Lennox, Duncan Barrett, Frances Donnelly, Mary Gibson, Laurie Graham, and Lynn Austin. Try one of these authors when you finish this one. This book deserves an A+++++++++
I enjoyed reading "Where Treasure Lies". It is an intriguing story which draws you along as both of the key characters go about their lives. There are cute scenes which make me smile. The ending of the story left me hanging and wanting to know how the author would envision the future lives of the characters.
I loved this book. This is a wonderfully told WWII historical fiction that had me intrigued from the first pages. The twists and turn in the plot kept me reading until the final pages. The author does a great job of capturing the intrigue and danger of the times. I would give this debut novel more than 5 stars if I could and I definitely look forward to reading more by this author.
It's been a long time since I've said, “Wow!" after reading. Johnnie Alexander spreads a table of romance, historical accuracy, and intrigue before the reader. "Where Treasure Hides" won the Genesis Award in 2011. I can see why. The plot is complex but not complicated. I didn't get lost in names or places. Completely engaged in Alison and Ian's story line. Alexander's sense of detail is impeccable. Art history, places, WW II time line. Everything smacks of "this could happen" or "this did happen." The line between truth and fiction is difficult to find in this read. Great skill. "Where Treasure Hides" paced just right. I was not disappointed in the ending. The epilogue put the cherry on top for me, although did not surprise me. Alexander laced scriptural truth in the scenes without calling attention to it or preaching. I like that. The descriptions of scenes and character musings was rich. I highlighted a number of phrases to ponder. Yep, that's one I'll go back to. It's been a while since I've been so mesmerized by someone's writing, by a story, by a book. Johnnie, is there a sequel to this one? There could be, and I'll be the first to grab it.
I read an excerpt of Johnnie Alexander Donley's historical romance, Where Treasure Hides, and it caught my interest and. Am I glad I grabbed it! The story is of a young woman from Rotterdam during the World War II days. She meets a young British soldier in London and it is love at first sight. Of course the war is going to come between them and Alison Shuyler isn't so certain an old family curse might not as well. Alison's family has an art museum and the suspense builds as you see them preparing to hide the old masters in their possession to keep the German Nazis from taking them and destroying them. Add to the mix a German officer in love with Alison and you have an exciting edge-of-the-seat read. One of the things I liked most about Donley's story is her descriptive quality in the scenes she drew. We have visited many of the places she describes and I could picture myself there even though it was a WWII era. If the romantic element in the story doesn't tug at your heartstrings the backdrop of the plight of the children of the war will. As a matter of fact, the first scene where Alison meets Ian Devlin portrays Jewish children arriving in London, sent there for safety by their parents. I could not put this book down once I got into it. Can't say that about a lot of books I've read lately. It's worth the money and the reading time.
Wow. Was I ever impressed! See, I requested this book from the author without a lot of research about it first. I knew I loved the cover, and the story sounded interesting enough. So I didn’t realize it was a digital book until Johnnie wrote back asking what kind of file I wanted to read it from. My hopes for it immediately dropped, I admit. My automatic reaction to a digital book is that they’re just digital for a reason…hate to say it, but they’ve usually got inferior writing. However! That was most decidedly not the case here. This book deserves to be in a physical paperback form! The cover and the story are both worth it. It’s set, as you saw, in World War II. Fascinating era. I read it mostly in the evening, and was so excited to come back to it every night. It’s an unforgettable story! Absolutely packed with intrigue and excitement – trust me, you won’t be able to stop if you’re trying to limit yourself. It’s not overly romantic, but enough to keep you reading. If you can get this one, or see a giveaway for it, definitely do. It’s a page turner…in a digital way. Thrilling, intense, heart-warming – all in one book. I highly recommend it especially for anyone who likes historical fiction! **The author sent me a digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I have reviewed it honestly. I wasn’t required to post a positive review, and all opinions are my own.**