Cover Image: Chasing Shadows

Chasing Shadows

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Oh, how I loved this one! Reading each of the different POV's kept my nose deep into the pages of this one because I couldn't seem to rest until I knew what would happen next for each of them. The danger that loomed around every corner and the suspense that kept my heartrate going as if I were working out instead of sitting down and reading a book made this quite the experience to read. As soon as I finished reading I handed this over to a friend I was staying with and she read it almost as fast as I did, so I am apparently not the only one who found themselves helplessly trapped in the pages. I know that some people struggle when there are too many POV's in a novel but even though I'm typically someone who likes them anyways, I felt the cast of characters and their interweaving stories made it work really well for this story and it wasn't difficult to keep them straight. I always say a good book is one that can make me FEEL something, and this one was certainly able to achieve that. I highly, highly recommend this one!

*I received a copy of this one from Tyndale House. Thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone.
Was this review helpful?
What good is a chest filled with gold that never gets spent? What good is my life if I selfishly keep it to myself and don't spend it to others.
- Eloise

The story is set during the WWII, at the time the Nazis are invading a lot of countries and persecuting Jews.
3 women, Lena, Ans, and Miriam, are the lead characters here and their faith will be tested (and strengthened) in this story.

I cannot tell you just how many times my heart broke!
I would literally put my phone down (reading digitally), and not pick it up for days. Sometimes, I read it so fast, just to get past the troubles that the characters are facing and hope nothing bad happens in the next chapter.
I discussed this book with my husband and we had a long conversation about what happened during the war.

I liked how Lynn writes and even though there are 3 main leads, the story is not confusing.

I would like to give a more full review but I feel I will be giving spoilers if I continue.
This is my first @lynnaustinbooks and I would rate it a 4.7 stars out of 5.

I received a physical copy from @tyndalehouse and a digital one through @netgalley in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed are my own.
Can't wait to read her other books!
Was this review helpful?
3.5 stars

I love Lynn Austin books! She is fantastic with telling stories that are meaningful.

Though I enjoyed this book, I didn't feel it was as good as most of her other books. It is obvious that she knows a lot about the history of the Netherlands. But the book covered so much history and follows three characters. Between the two, the book lost some depth of character development.

Still a great read and recommended.
Was this review helpful?
It’s been a while since I read a Lynn Austin novel, and I’d forgotten what a brilliant writer she is. In Chasing Shadows, she takes on what I think is a new time period for her: World War II.

She also introduces a setting that I haven’t seen before in WWII Christian fiction: the Netherlands.
The story stars at the end of the war, as the Allies finally free the Netherlands from the tyranny of the Nazis. We are introduced to Lena, a farmer’s wife, and to her (mostly absent) family, and to the shadow people … the people she hides in her barn and cellar.

The novel then slips back in time by six years, to June 1939, shortly before the war started. There are three main characters in the novel: Lena, a farmer’s wife; Ans, her rebellious eighteen-year-old daughter; and Miriam, a Jewish musician from Germany. Chasing Shadows follows each of them through the war – escaping from Germany, the outbreak of war, the invasion of the neutral Netherlands. Each woman is faced with hard, almost impossible choices, choices which challenge and refine their faith. They have to choose to do the hard thing over and over because it’s the only right thing.

In many ways, Chasing Shadows was a difficult novel to read. While Lena, Ans, and Marian are all fictional characters, history has already taught us that these things happened, and that normal women like these had to make impossible choices to survive themselves and protect those they loved. And while we know the end of the story (the Allies were victorious and the Netherlands was freed), we don’t know what is going to happen to the characters in the story. At times, that tension was almost unbearable.

Chasing Shadows is a brilliant World War II novel that shows how the Dutch people reacted to the Nazi occupation, the choices they made, and the trials they faced. It highlights the oustanding yet dangerous work of the Dutch Resistance movement.

Most of all, it shows how much of this work was done by everyday Christians working to protect the Jews and other enemies of the Nazis. As such, it is both encouraging and challenging as it shows Dutch Christians loving their neighbours—Jewish and otherwise—as the Bible commands.

Overall, Chasing Shadows by Lynn Austin is a powerful novel about the trials and triumphs faced by the Dutch in World War II, shown through the eyes of three very different women. Recommended.

Thanks to Tyndale Publishing and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
Was this review helpful?
I don't know what it is about Historical Fiction and especially stories set during WWII but I'm a big sucker for them. I always think I'll find a lot of repetitiveness among the books but I haven't. I always find something new to learn, and because this book was set in the Netherlands and Germany and it touched on Belgium, I acquired new knowledge.

As any WWII story set during WWII and the holocaust, everyone knows there were so many atrocities that occurred at that time, especially acts of violence, theft of Jewish people's properties and wealth, murders and rapes, and the most vile things one can think of that are pure evil. Perhaps the one difference in this book is that it has people of faith. People of faith look to God for deliverance and to alleviate their fears but at the same time they are human. There were Bible verses and some talk about looking to God and trusting him as well as come Bible verses. There was also some discussion on religion, whether or not one prayed and why/why not. 

The human spirit is a beautiful thing. People selflessly protected others in absolute danger of having their own lives and families killed because of it. Yet, even with a real threat that anyone would be naïve to think they would go unscathed if caught, people still helped out those in danger, shared food even when they didn't really have it to share, and other acts of kindness.

I love this one and I highly recommend it to others. It is a beautiful story and I must say a very inspiring book about human beings in the most difficult of times. 

I would like to thank NetGalley and Tyndale House Publishers for giving me an e-ARC of this book for my honest opinion, which I have given.<

#ChasingShadows #NetGalley
Was this review helpful?
ear the of the Lord is to hate evil. And Romans says we are to hate what is evil and to cling to what is good. "Who will rise up for me against the wicked? Who will take a stand for me against evildoers? " Each of us must decide how we will respond when the world is slowly being swallowed up by evil.

I enjoy reading World War 2 historical fiction and this being one of 3 families faith being tested. The setting is Netherlands and the Nazi's take over of a peaceful nation. The families are from different backgrounds which contrast but in the middle of a faith being tested, they come together in love and sacrifice. Ans a young woman who lives on her family farm. Wanting to experience the city life of Leiden where she comes to the employment of a Professor and his wife Eloise. The occupation is just beginning and the Professor brings home a Jewish father and his daughter Miriam. They all become good friends and when things become difficult they must either decide to weather the storm. Mind their own business. Adjust to Nazi rule. Or if they want to get ahead, they could collaborate with them and join the Nazi party and usher in the new Reich. Or they can refuse to surrender and fight for their freedoms and way of life. A life to live out a faith in God.

The character development of these families kept me at the edge of my seat, pages turning and at times sobbing and cheering for their faith. A faith that clung to what is good and the knowledge of who God is. It also brought so many things home. The current times we are in. How our faith is challenged. Calling good evil and evil good. Turning against each other and demonizing those who think differently. Their story is thoughtful of the choices made in faith. Because faith is not for the weak, it takes a trust in who God is. Because faith takes courage, we must understand evil and take refuge in his word. Ans, Miriam and Eloise each clung to a faith that God was good among the evil that surrounded them. Great story of faith and courage.

A special thank you to Tyndale House Publishing and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review
Was this review helpful?
Chasing Shadows is only the second book I've read by Lynn Austin, but I need to pick up more of her books as it was another AMAZING read. It started off a little slow, but once I got about a third of the way into the book I could hardly put it down. I was drawn into the story and felt like I was there.

The story had some heartbreaking moments, which is to be expected considering it is set during WWII, but it also had moments of pure joy. I loved the characters and their relationships. I felt like they were real people and can only imagine the pain of making some of the choices they did.

All in all, Chasing Shadows was a stellar read and I recommend it to fans of historical reads.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. 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.*
Was this review helpful?
This story had great characters and an engrossing plot. I loved learning about the Dutch resistance and all that was sacrifices that were made to keep people alive. Some parts are hard to read, but the faith of the characters is remarkable. Highly recommended if you love WW2 fiction.

I received a free copy from Netgalley and the publisher for the purpose of review.
Was this review helpful?
I will pretty much read anything that Lynn Austin writes. Her books tend to be on the bigger side, which I like, and they are well-written and interesting. Chasing Shadows was no exception. 

Set in the Netherlands during WWII and the Nazi occupation, it is heart-breaking and powerful. The book starts with the end of the war, so as you go through the story, you know at least Lena, the mother, survives. For someone who can tend to skip ahead to make sure the people are all right, this was quite helpful for me. 

Based on historical facts and people, Lynn weaves a story of what it was like for the Jews and also the risks the Resistance took to fight back against the Nazis in their own way. It's a story of courage and faith, of trusting God because your next breath was completely uncertain. Watching a character fight her way back to the surface of her depression and truly live and give was so encouraging.

I really enjoyed the book. Lynn's purpose was to bring out how Jesus walks with us in the hard times and I think she did a very good job at that. I truly admired the courage that was exhibited in this story.

I received this book from ;Tyndale via NetGalley and was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions expressed are my own.
Was this review helpful?
My first book to read by Lynn Austin, and I very much enjoyed Chasing Shadows.  Set during WWII in the Netherlands, the 3 main characters Lena, Ans & Miriam give us a striking view of the Nazi invasion and occupation of this beautiful well as a view of the strength and faith of the Dutch people in these harsh & trying times.  As these women endured every hardship that was placed on them & their families, their faith and love of family kept them strong.  This was one I could not put down!  I WILL be reading more by Lynn Austin.  Thank you NetGalley & Tyndale House for the advance copy to read & review.
Was this review helpful?
Exceptional book!  Highly, highly recommend!   
Please do not hesitate to read.   It kept me enthralled from page one.
I stayed up all night reading this one!
Was this review helpful?
In this book we follow 3 women under the occupation of netherlands during ww2. We get to know what they stand for, their strong belief, theirdaily life and how important family is.
I really enjoyed this book. And I tell you, bring lots of tissues, this is a complex and heartwrenching book. I like a book that makes me think and feel different emotions. I was crying for all the brutal things people had to endure during ww2.
I yelled when in my opinion they made the "wrong choice. Even though in retrospect i understood their decisions. I cried happy tears when some thing good happened to them or when It was a glimmer of hope in a dark world..
I highly recommend this book
Thank you to netgalley for letting me read this e arc in exchange for an honest opinion
Was this review helpful?
Well-written and compelling, this novel is not one to miss!  Lynn Austin always does such a phenomenal job of writing complex characters that immediately grab your heart and take you on an emotional and fascinating journey in the story.  This particular novel mostly followed three women navigating some very difficult times during World War II.  I learned so much history as the author made that era come alive with her captivating characters.  The descriptions and details truly capture the essence of the time period and together create a plot that is interesting; indeed, I had trouble putting the book down!  Despite the trials that the characters endure, there is a consistent theme of hope and strong faith woven among the pages.  The novel had several twists that were surprising and I loved how the connections between the characters came together so well.  I really enjoyed this book and most highly recommend it!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author.  Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
Was this review helpful?
Lynn Austin does it again. A historical fiction book with a Christian undercurrent. This story about WWII in the Netherlands was everything I expected. It deals with how Christians reacted and quietly fought back against the Nazi regime.
It is a Christian book and brought up some interesting thoughts about decisions that were made.
I read an ARC version and the editing was already very well done. I would definitely recommend this book if you enjoy Christian historical fiction.
Was this review helpful?
This was an interesting viewpoint of life during German occupation in the Netherlands. I think this is the first time I’ve read a novel about the intensity of living under the enemy’s rule, even though Holland was considered a neutral territory during the war. This story focuses on the underground work of the Dutch Resistance.

I could picture the countryside where Lena and Pietr’s farm is; where they helped the “shadow people” hide. I could picture the big cities where Ans moved and helped a family friend from sinking into depression. There is a colorful cast of characters that make the story quite interesting – never knowing if one could trust the other. Characters were from all walks of life and abilities which really made the story refreshing to read. I especially appreciated the scene showing the humanity of a young Nazi soldier who longed to be home.

However, the ending was a bit too happy for the type of story it was. I won’t spoil it, but I thought it should have turned out differently for a couple of the characters.

I received an ecopy from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.
Was this review helpful?
For fans of WWII fiction comes a powerful novel from Lynn Austin about three women whose lives are instantly changed when the Nazis invade the neutral Netherlands. Lena is a wife and mother who farms alongside her husband in the tranquil countryside. Her faith has always been her compass, but can she remain steadfast when the questions grow increasingly complex and the answers could mean the difference between life and death?  Lena’s daughter Ans has recently moved to the bustling city of Leiden, filled with romantic notions of a new job and a young Dutch police officer. But when she is drawn into Resistance work, her idealism collides with the dangerous reality that comes with fighting the enemy. Miriam is a young Jewish violinist who immigrated from Germany for the safety she thought Holland would offer. She finds love in her new country, but as her family settles in Leiden, the events that follow will test them in ways she could never have imagined.  The story that unfolds illuminates the surprising endurance of the human spirit and the power of faith and love to carry us through.

I have read several books by this author and loved them all, but this is the first one dealing with WWII. I love how she develops and describes her characters, and her descriptions of The Netherlands are so vivid that you feel like you are there.  I have read many WWII historical fiction, but this is the first that described how the war affected The Netherlands.  Thank you to NetGally and the publisher for allowing me to read this book even though it was newly published.
Was this review helpful?
I've read many WW II books over the years, and a lot of them are recent publications. The best ones take a unique perspective on the horrors of that war. As much as I wanted to like Chasing Shadows, it felt very derivative to me. There were words used that didn't fit the historical period and the place--e.g., German paddy wagon is cited in OED as American slang and as such doesn't fit use by the Germans. Someone, author or editor, should have questioned things like that. The ending was probably satisfying for some readers, but it was unrealistic to me for everyone to have not only survived each situation but also to have come back together in a matter of hours, maybe days. The novel was fine, but not great in my opinion.
Was this review helpful?
I have been a long time fan of author Lynn Austin - but I believe Chasing Shadows is one of her very best books.  I appreciate reading historical fiction especially pertaining to WW II.   Chasing Shadows involves the stories of a variety of characters whose lives interact in Holland in the early 1940’s.   Some of the characters are Jews who have fled from Germany to find safety in Holland before the Nazi invasion..  Other key characters are Dutch citizens, both Christian and Jewish whose lives intersect and are forever altered by the Nazi regime’s take over of their nation.  Chasing Shadows is a rich and full faceted story of individuals who faced circumstances and austerity they never could have imagined.  The characters are complex and compelling and I found this book a rich page turner.   Highly recommend! 

 I am grateful to NetGalley and Tyndale House for an advanced reader copy.  The review above is my own honest. opinion.
Was this review helpful?
Grab your tissues before beginning this book because you are going to need them! Austin has really outdone herself with this story. It weaves faith, perseverance, determination, courage, and so much more. There is love, war, family, and sacrifice written in every single chapter. The points hit me hard. At times I needed to stop and take a breath, allowing myself to digest what I'd just read. Yes, some of it was hard. But it's written during one of the cruelest times in the world. But there was also triumph, joy, and love. It was the perfect blend of all the emotions.

Austin gives readers a look into three different lives, but it never become overwhelming or confusing. I could easily follow along and remember which character belonged to which back story. All three women, as well as several of the secondary characters, are easy to connect and sympathize with. You cannot help but keep the pages turning, biting your nails to see what happens next, wondering which character may or may not survive. And in reading, you gain glimpses into how it could have been for real people back in the days of WWII. Quite often we just think of the concentration camps, and how horrendous that was. But there was so much more going on that we either don't realize, or do not give credit to. I'm thankful Austin opened my eyes to that.

Historical fiction fans will devour this book. Again, have the tissues nearby. It's not a light read, however it is an amazing read. I highly recommend! I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
Wow! I am always amazed at how much I learn by reading books like this one about WWII. This author allows readers to see this war from a few POVs. First through Lena a preacher’s kid who married a farmer, the love of her life. They were happy, but their daughter Ans is not. She wants to move to the city of Leiden. She was tired of the smell of manure and doing the never-ending farm chores. Not only that, she dreamed of the excitement in the city, the culture and doing no more farm chores. This had her at odds with her parents.

Ans meets Miriam in Leiden, she is amazed at how this beautiful Jewish violinist can play. Her father and she moved to Leiden in hopes of bringing the rest of their family with them, once they settled. But the war changed the hopes and dreams for everyone, including this family.

The author says, “Chasing Shadows was not an easy novel to write… Telling the story of life in the Netherlands during World War II meant that I had to take readers to some very dark places. I pray that in doing so, I also showed how faithfully Jesus walks beside us through those dark valleys.”

Yes, there were some gritty parts, but not as gruesome as it could have been. This is not a lighthearted read, but one that will inspire you and give you courage to face life beyond 2020. The spiritual thread is strong, but not preachy. These women cling to the faith of their youth and in other cases learn of faith for the first time, as others shined their light in the darkness and as they went through hard times together. This book will stay with you long after you read the last page. It’s a memorable read and one that will work well for your book club pick. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have received a complimentary copy of this book by the publisher through NetGalley. 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”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!
The Book Club Network blog
Was this review helpful?