Catching The wind~

Intrigue. Suspense. Drama. Romance and tragedy-this magnificently written book has it all and more. I just couldn’t put it down. I resented any intrusion into my cozy reading get-away with Melanie Dobson’s latest historical novel, Catching The Wind.

I lost myself in this story and it’s characters. World War II has a special fascination for me, and so the setting and era were a hook to begin with. Catching The Wind is written with heart and soul, the characters undeniably believable. Woven into this puzzle of a tale is espionage and refugees, survival, orphans, and the motherless, abandoned children that are in every generation . (some things never change) Broken hearted people and selfish cruelty, misguided loyalties and downright sin pervade these pages.

But so does God’s grace, so rich and so sweet. This story is just as a good story should be, with a happy ending and loose ends tied up. It made me particularly grateful to the author as it gave me a great escape in another world and in other people’s lives, but it also left me satisfied with an ending that made me sigh and smile.

The gospel is shared, the princess rescued and all that. Just in ways you might not expect. The author did a fabulous job of plot twists and turns, keeping the reader guessing and staying up late nights for just one more chapter.

I highly recommend this novel for not only a heart touching story but also the rich historical content, vivid descriptions of places and persons, and the plot that caught my interest immediately. Mrs. Dobson does her research and knows how to tell a story!

Overall I found the book enthralling.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased written review. My thanks to Tyndale.

978-1-4964-1728-2

From the publisher’s site: (Tyndale)

Click link above to read a pdf  excerpt

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What happened to Brigitte Berthold?
That question has haunted Daniel Knight since he was thirteen, when he and ten-year-old Brigitte escaped the Gestapo agents who arrested both their parents. They survived a harrowing journey from Germany to England, only to be separated upon their arrival. Daniel vowed to find Brigitte after the war, a promise he has fought to fulfill for more than seventy years.
Now a wealthy old man, Daniel’s final hope in finding Brigitte rests with Quenby Vaughn, an American journalist working in London. He believes Quenby’s tenacity to find missing people and her personal investment in a related WWII espionage story will help her succeed where previous investigators have failed. Though Quenby is wrestling her own demons—and wary at the idea of teaming up with Daniel’s lawyer, Lucas Hough—the lure of Brigitte’s story is too much to resist. Together, Quenby and Lucas delve deep into the past, following a trail of deception, sacrifice, and healing that could change all of their futures.

Hillbilly Elegy

“The problem is that I saw at the tile warehouse run far deeper than macroeconomic trends and policy. Too many young men immune to hard work. Good jobs impossible to fill for any length of time. And a young man with every reason to work-a wife-to-be to support and a baby on the way- carelessly tossing aside a good job with excellent health insurance. More troubling way, when it was all over, he thought something had been done to him. There is a lack of agency here- A feeling that you have little control over your life is to blame everyone but yourself. This is distinct from the larger economic landscape of modern America.”

This was a paragraph taken from the introduction of Hillbilly Elegy page 5. The discussion is important. What is happening in “the lives of the poor and the psychological impact that spiritual and material poverty have on their children.” 

It’s a long overdue discussion I think. I see lower and middle-class white American populations having some serious issues myself. I live in an agrarian area, where hops, fruit, vegetables, hay, and beef are all grown and abundance. And yet you see poverty all around you in the white population. These are people unaccustomed to hard work. These are people, including strong, healthy young men who have a sense of entitlement and decided somewhere early on that the world ( i.e. Government, i.e. Tax payers, i.e. You and I) owes them a living. They have no problem being dead- beat dads (or moms), collecting public assistance, or living off of their parents. And yet there are jobs all around us. During the apple picking season alone you will see “help wanted” signs all over town. 

I know a man who actually stood on the street corners like the homeless do with the sign. He carried that sign up and down the road for days and weeks trying to get …not handouts, but, get this: employees. He owns a landscaping business and never has enough hard-working people to fill the needed positions. Seriously. People begging for employees. What?!

This should trouble us.

But it doesn’t. And we don’t bat an eyelash over truckloads of hard working and family-oriented migrant workers who are coming in to do all the jobs that these lazy, unemployed -and in my opinion, feckless white people won’t do.

 I was told last year by an apple orchard owner that it used to be our tradition here just 20 or 30 years ago that people spend their summers off from work and school picking berries and fruit and vegetables. School principals, teachers, parents with their children. Grandparents, keeping the tradition with their kids and grandkids.

What happened? When did we decide we had become too good to work? Is this a symptom of social decay or a result of it?

Why do we encourage this perversion and corrosion of our communities by hand outs for the un-inclined to work? What need have they to take care of their own skins? To support their own children? Why is there rampant drug and alcohol abuse? Depression? Mental illnesses and obesity? If people are so poor and hungry why won’t they work? 

“Idle hands…” and you know the rest of that old saying. I believe it’s true. A people riddled with relative affluence and self- interest and narcissism cannot thrive.

These are thoughts going through my head right now as I read J.D. Vance’s introduction to his memoirs, Hillbilly Elegy. He wrote the book to explain what it feels like to be born into poverty as a culture. I understand that as I was too. Did you know there is a poverty culture different from a middle class or upwardly mobile culture? You can be born to a family in poverty and in a community immersed in poverty. The people knowing nothing else and expecting nothing else.  It’s like a trap. A mental trap. Except there’s a door out of you want it in this country. 

The land of opportunity really is. 

Do you also feel unsettled by this issue or am I on my own with this?