Safe HavenAnna Schmidt
Journalist Suzanne follows a story of WWII refugees to Oswego, New York, where she meets Theo Bridgewater, a Quaker dairy farmer seeking to reunite with displaced family.
- Product type: Book
- Format: Softcover
- Release Date: Aug 1, 2014
- UPC: 9781620291429
- Volumes/Discs: 1
- Pages: 316
- Publish Date: Aug 1, 2014
- Language: English
- Audience Age Maximum: 0
- Audience Age Minimum: 0
- BISAC: "FIC042040"
- ISBN: 1620291428
Customer ReviewsWrite your own review
- Anna Schmidt is a gifted story teller. by Robin on 12/3/2014
I was blessed to read the first book in the Peacemakers series (All God's Children). It takes place in Germany and you get to know the characters living under Hitler's regime. Although not necessary before reading this book, it does enrich the story by knowing the background of some of the characters; most of us know the depth of suffering that went on there.
Part of my heritage is German, so I have a particular interest in this book. Adding to that, I grew up just hours away from Oswego, NY where most of this story is set, so I was vested. I'd love to know how my Grandmother and her family felt about all this at the time. They lived so close to Oswego. Even though they had come over years before the war, I know that there was enough fear at that time that my Grandmother, named Wilhelmena after the Queen of Germany, started being called Mamie instead.
Anna Schmidt is a gifted story teller. You are quickly taken to 1944 and get to know each character, how they feel and think. I think this is one of the most difficult times in history to have lived, with so much daily struggle and heartache all throughout the world. But each also had times of joy and hope.
Safe Haven is about refugees from invaded countries during World War 2. Nearly 1000 people are brought into the US by President Roosevelt for shelter and taken to an old Army fort in Oswego. The only caveat - they all sign an agreement that after the war is over they will return to their own country.
This makes for a great story and Suzanne, a reporter, needs a good story. She needs a break to get her career back after a huge mistake in falling for and trusting her source, a Congressman with his own agenda. Her publisher gives her another shot by recommending that she go to Oswego and get some human interest stories, as a freelance reporter.
Theo's Uncle, Aunt and young cousin are in the group that is sent to the fort. His family, Quakers, all agree that he should go to the fort, reassure their relatives, and do what he can to convince them and the government that they should come to live on the family farm in Wisconsin.
Also in the mix of characters is a POW, living in Oswego surprisingly with more priviledges and freedom than the refugees. He was one of the Gestapo in Germany, and lends his own influence to the story.
Each of the characters has their own challenges in living and getting by day by day during this time, let alone for their future. All need the grace of God for healing, forgiveness, renewal, hope, growth, loving and moving forward. It's wonderfully told - I recommend this book and series to anyone and everyone. Lots of romantic tension.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the Barbour Publishing, Inc, Shiloh Run Press - 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
- I was a stranger, and you took me in… by Jeanie on 9/8/2014
Anna Schmidt’s novel, Safe Haven, the incredible 3rd installment in The Peacemakers series, is not at all what I anticipated. Seeing those forced to leave Europe because of the Holocaust has opened my eyes further to the victims of World War II. Reading about the deprivations endured on ship board heading for Fort Ontario Emergency Refugee Shelter, Oswego, NY and how their lives were at the Fort was difficult. The author, sharing truth of that era according to her research, successfully opened my mind to a period of American history that I recall little of studying.
We see the Fort through the “eyes” of Suzanne Randolph, a journalist from Washington, DC, Theo Bridgewater, a young man who wants to make positive changes in his community, and Theo’s family members. Their shared interest in the people at the Fort, albeit for different reasons, has brought them together in an awkward friendship.
Suzanne’s career was on a thread, hoping to return to her former newspaper if she could pull together the stories of the refugees in ongoing stories. Theo’s uncle, aunt, and cousin were refugees in the Fort. His family sent him in hopes of finding a way to bring them to the family farm in Wisconsin in spite of the President’s declaration that refugees would return to where they came from when the war ended.
We also see the refugees through their own eyes, living inside the razor-wire trimmed fencing around the retired Fort which was formerly used from the Revolutionary War thru the Civil War. Franz, Ilse, and their daughter Liesl were Theo’s family, who had been on the run for quite some time before travelling to America.
Anna Schmidt’s characters are fully-developed, each with strong convictions and emotions based on the sum total of their experiences. Most are likable, while others are not intended to elicit warm fuzzy feelings in the readers. Theo and his family were strong believers according to their faith God as nurtured in the Quaker church. Suzanne, however, had set aside her faith in God or in being a Quaker.
The plot is worthy, and what one anticipates is not necessarily what occurs. Yes, the turning tide of the war and the political climate of the country are already known to us. However, how the characters adapt or change and their activities are what may not be as the reader might expect. In many ways, this is a satisfying conclusion to The Peacemakers. In many ways, also, it is a triumph – of God’s working in the hearts of men and women and the world at large. It is a work that shows history while challenging us to use that history as a teacher rather than simply teaching us history. It shows that God is all we can count on, how to seek Him in all that we do. I would highly recommend Safe Haven to those who appreciate stories of people of faith, particularly Quakers, and the time period of WWII and immediately following. The fact that Anna Schmidt is an accomplished writer is clearly demonstrated in Safe Haven!
I received a copy of this book through the “For Readers Only” group at The Book Club Network, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.