Author: Robert Elmer
My rating: 5/5
Ever since reading Diary of Anne Frank in sixth grade I have been captivated by World War II and Holocaust literature. A good book is like a double espresso shot, it keeps you up turning page after page. A great book keeps you awake long after, placing yourself in the minds of the characters. Yet a great Christian book is a double espresso shot to your faith: it encourages, convicts, and challenges..giving a fresh jolt of energy. Wildflowers of Terezin takes a blue ribbon in all three categories.
Elmer excels in historical accuracy, creating a book that engages the senses. The reader can nearly smell the stench of the deportation trains, hear the Danes singing the national anthem, feel Bela's forehead as her temperature breaks.
Each character is richly drawn. All too often villians become cardboard caracatures, especially when World War II era
Europe is the subject. I love the pointed contrast between brothers Henning and Steffen. Henning repeatedly tells Steffen 'return to your kirke (church)." Henning's character is found in all those who rightly criticize the church as hypocrites when we lack the action to match our talk.
Love demands action. Due to his love for Hanne, Steffen is willing to go to the ultimate lengths even risking his own life for her sake.
What lengths will we go to in order to demonstrate our love for Christ and for those He created? I enjoyed watching Steffen's character evolve from a pastor who preaches through the same notes annually to a man on fire for the Lord.
We live in a time when the Gospel message is becoming watered down by many churches, particularly in this country where we have been blessed with so much abundance. Will each of us stand up and tell the Truth, even if it is offensive to the government? What risks are we willing to take for our faith? Mr. Elmer relentlessly asks us these questions, using the character of Steffen.
Wildflowers of Terezin is a beautiful and lyrical novel that kept me self-reflecting long after I finished the last page. Robert Elmer’s book is a must-read and I look forward to his next project.
Disclosure: I was provided this book free as a review copy from the author.