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Chasing Shadows

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Member Reviews

Chasing Shadows by Lynn Austin 
Published June 8, 2021 

For fans of bestselling WWII fiction comes a powerful novel from Lynn Austin about three women whose lives are instantly changed when the Nazis invade the neutral Netherlands, forcing each into a complicated dance of choice and consequence. 
I was introduced to this author 4 years ago and I have enjoyed reading her work. This one is truly impressive. 
I will be recommending it. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the ARC. 

5 star
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Lena wants nothing more than for her children to live in safety and love God. She loves working along with her husband on their farm in the Netherlands. But when Nazis invade their neutral country, she struggles to let go of her dreams of safety and replace them with the conviction that God wants her to help others. Even if doing so puts her family at great risk. 

Lena’s daughter Ans escapes quotidian farm life by moving to Leiden. Her new job, as a companion to a professor’s wife, fills her life with culture and things she could never experience on the farm. New friends and a handsome young police officer provide sweetness in her new life. But as the Nazis take over her country, Ans must choose between following the law or following her conscience.

Miriam and her father escape Germany and flee to the Netherlands. While living in a refugee camp in the Netherlands, her father applies for a job at universities all over Europe. Miriam meets a young man and the two fall in love. At first, being Jewish in the Netherlands doesn’t pose a problem. But as the Nazis invade, they bring the hate and regulations with them. 

Austin brings together three women and their vastly different experiences in ways that will convict readers. To do what is right will always bring more satisfaction than to do what is popular—even if the right-doing comes at great personal cost. 

Why I Loved this Book

As a history buff, I love reading well-researched period pieces. The questions faced by Lena and Ans remind me of questions we face today. Should we do what seems popular and easy, or should we work tirelessly and sacrificially to help others? 

We often forget the horrors of war, but Chasing Shadows helps us understand the heroic decisions ordinary people made in extraordinary times. The story reminds us we all have a responsibility to fight for right.
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Chasing Shadows is a story of faith, love, loss, sacrifice and so much more.  Set in Holland during WWII and the German occupation, This book rings true with details of the Dutch resistance workers who helped Jews into hiding when Nazi Germany invaded the Netherlands.  And it rings true for me personally; my parents hid an American pilot and helped him to escape, and my widowed grandmother hid a family of Jews for several years.   (  Faith was paramount to the characters in this book and it is what sees them through to the end of the war.  I did find the book a little "preachy" occasionally, but it is a well written, and well researched book.
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I am not sure I will be able to do this book justice in my review. This is a very well done story set during World War 2 in the Netherlands. Lynn Austin does not gloss over or make light of the situations that happened during that time, but there is always an inspiration weaved into every situation. I loved how the stories of the families intertwined during the novel. The characters are human and flawed and that makes them so relatable to me. After reading this book, I have a greater sense of what was happening during World War 2. I mean, we have all heard the stories, but this book put you right in the middle of it, and it makes you feel like you are right there. Such a tragic time in our human history, but this book does an excellent job of telling the story. This is a must read and one of my favorite reads of 2021 so far.

I received an advanced copy from NetGalley.  All opinions are my own.
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This is a wonderful story of love and hate during the Nazi war in the Netherlands during 1940-1945.  We follow Lena and Pieter de Vries and their three children, Ans, Wim and Maaike. Along with Lena’s father who is a pastor, They work hard to save some.
Then we follow the story of Abba Meijers, a professor and his daughter, Miriam. They left their extended family in Cologne, Germany because they would not leave their home. 
This is a sad story because of the atrocities inflicted by the Nazi’s, but it also a story of the great love and sacrifice that God enables his children to make for others. Lynn Austin is such a great writer. It’s a page-turner!
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I have just finished reading Lynn Austin’s CHASING SHADOWS, and what a story of what the Dutch people dealt with during WWII and how they risked their lives to help others. Lynn’s descriptions of her characters, their lives, their joys and pains, the terrors of the war, and their faith that helped them endure almost have the reader feeling like they are living the story too. I thoroughly and whole heartedly recommend this book.

I received an advanced e-book from NetGalley and an advanced hard copy from the publisher.
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Chasing Shadows by Lynn Austin was another great book for fans of WWII historical fiction.  It is essentially about the lives of three women who live in the Netherlands and who are determined to live through the Nazi occupation.

Lena is a farm wife and mother whose family is determined to help those fleeing the Nazis wrath and death squads.  They shelter a Jewish couple and take in the newborn child of a Jewish couple who must go into hiding.  Having the child with them would be dangerous, so Lena takes the child to raise until the end of the war.  

The child’s mother, Miriam, is a violinist who immigrated to Holland where she thought she would be safe.  She finds love there, living in Leiden, but circumstances require she and her husband to flee for their safety.

Ans is the daughter of Lena and her husband and is itching to go to the big city.  However, she is caught in the Nazi takeover and must use all her ingenuity to survive and serve in the Resistance movement.

This story is so heart-breaking, but yet shows the endurance of people when they must do the unimaginable in order to survive.  I read this book in record time because it was so very interesting.
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Lynn Austin has a love for the Netherlands, and this love is evident in her newest book, Chasing Shadows. The reader is taken back to WWII. Ana is tired of living in a small farming community and her faith has faltered. She is ready to spread her wings. She moves to a university town where she becomes a companion to a woman who lost everyone she loved in WWI. When the Germans invade the Netherlands, both women work with the resistance and help Jewish families. As she helps others, Ana's faith begins to grow. Her parents, Pieter and Lena, fight the Germans in their own way. Elisheva and her husband, trust Lena enough to give her their baby hoping they will survive in hiding and be able to be reunited again. 

Many of the incidents in this book are based on true accounts of Dutch christians. These courageous people depicted in this book embody what it means to overcome evil with good and to love your neighbor as yourself
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Chasing Shadows by Lynn Austin is a historical fiction novel set in the Netherlands during WWII. After neutral Netherlands was invaded by the Nazi’s, many brave people valiantly stood up to the evil by risking their own life to safe the lives of others. Austin’s story is told through the lives of three ordinary women. Lena is a wife and mother who works along side her husband on a farm. Ans, Lena’s daughter moves to the city and gets involved in the Dutch Resistance delivering underground newspapers, ration cards, and fake IDs for Jews in hiding. Miriam is a young Jewish woman who has to go into hiding separated from her husband and young child. 
The novel’s prologue begins as the war is ending and then goes back six years earlier to 1939. Even though the reader knows that the war will end, I felt this approach to such a heart wrenching story gave the reader hope that all would end well for the characters. 
Lynn Austin has a way of getting Biblical truths across to her readers without being preachy. Her characters are real, ordinary people who live out their faith in their actions. This novel has a strong message of trusting God and drawing on Him for the strength to come through difficult times.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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If only I could give it more than 5 ⭐️!
I’ve been reading WWII novels for about 45 years, and this book is among the best! I was thoroughly engaged in the story, and in the lives of the women it followed. I  pre-ordered extra copies to use as gifts, something I seldom do without someone specific in mind. Although this pandemic now hasn’t even been close to what the Dutch endured then, I identified with them, and was emotionally involved for at least the last third of the book! I learned from their stories and believe I will face my future with more courage!
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Review will be live here on June 9, but I did really like this one!
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A tough book to read, but worthwhile, as this stuff really happened, and we need to be reminded of it so we don't repeat our history! Great character development in Ans, Eloise, and Miriam, but especially Ans.
Love how the Dutch people helped so many Jews!!
Definitely recommend this book!
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the advance e-copy of this book. All opinions are entirely my own!
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With over 3 million copies of The Hiding Place in circulation, chances are you've read or heard of Corrie Ten Boom and the way her family served the Dutch Resistance at great personal cost. I had Corrie's story in mind when I decided to read Lynn Austin's newest novel. Chasing Shadows is set in the Netherlands (1939-1945) and is told from the perspective of three fictional women: Miriam Jacobs, Lena de Vries, and Lena's daughter Ans. I'm keen on World War II books and movies because they often tell of people facing moral dilemmas, acting with extraordinary bravery, or trusting in God for deliverance—all three are found in Chasing Shadows. As with all her stories, Austin reached beyond my mind to touch my heart. First, in how her Christian characters demonstrate what it means to truly 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' Then by penning my favorite scene in which Ans is facing an accuser and suddenly recalls sweet words her parents had taught her as a child...

“I am not my own, but I belong, body and soul, in life and in death, to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ. . . . He watches over me in such a way that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head . . . He also assures me of eternal life and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto Him." (HC 1)

Chasing Shadows is a story that Austin fans won't want to miss!

I received this book from the publisher through the NetGalley review 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.”
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Three women face great hardships and dangers after the Nazis invade the Netherlands in 1940. How will their faith be tested, and their families be threatened, as they take enormous risks to protect others, and to survive themselves. In this engaging World War II story, author Lynn Austin challenges readers to trust in God when facing seemingly impossible challenges and heartbreak.
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Austin has penned a moving, intricate, and lovely work of Christian fiction that is excellently researched with an underlying message of hope.
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Lynn Austin has written another stellar read. She covers the Occupation of the Netherlands during WW2 and the resistance. The story follows 3 women's,a mother, her daughter and a Jewish friend through the challenges and horrors of war. Her book was not overly graphic without sidestepping the evil that existed. The tension between faith and hardship will encourage and convict any reader.
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Wearing their faith and living it, these valiant people of the Netherlands gave it all for others during World War II.

We meet some of these people and follow them as the darkness envelopes and doesn't want to let go. Those who have already fled their own country to flee the hate of a people, and now are on the run again.

Through the words of this author we meet all kinds of people, those that will do anything to save their own skin, and other that selflessly give the ultimate for others.

This is a fictional story, but based on facts, and the world needs to remember so that history does not repeat!

I received this book through Net Galley and Tyndale House Publishers, and was not required to give a positive review.
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I'm always glad to be able to read and review a Lynn Austin book, and thanks to NetGalley, I was able to receive an advance copy. This book was another journey back to World War II, only this time in the Netherlands. As the author often does, she introduced us to a few prominent characters whose lives would be intertwined. Each of these characters has to survive Nazi occupation and learn to trust God in ways they had never imagined. While Lena is the first character introduced, I felt that her daughter Ans was more the main character. Ans began the story leaving home and church, but the events of the story brought her back to God and a good relationship with her family. Each of the main characters had harrowing experiences that were vividly described in the story, but also shared thoughts that showed how their faith was growing. This book challenged me to think about how I might respond in similar situations. While the story couldn't end up with everyone living happily ever after, it did demonstrate God's goodness even in the tragic times. I highly recommend this book for those who love historical fiction or for those who think they don't.
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Lynn Austin’s Chasing Shadows is a fascinating book about the treatment of the people of the Netherlands during World War II. I love how even during an evil time in history, the Dutch didn’t give up and still had faith in God above.

I love the combination of historical fiction and Christian fiction that this book has. Lynn Austin does a wonderful job with the research she has put into it to bring her characters to life. 

*Note this is a review for I had gotten an advance copy of the book in order to review it for others on and also for my blog.
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I haven't read any of Lynn Austin's works before now, but I am definitely going to be looking for more of her books! 

This is a favourite time period of mine. I love WW2 history, and I particularly love the history of the resistance in the countries occupied by Germany. This story was absolutely perfect in every way, and I adored it! I felt like it was well researched, well written, and brought what it would have been like to live under German occupation to life really well. 

I liked all three of the story lines and the unique perspective each character brought to the tale. Typically, one characters part is the one that am longing to read, but in this story, I wanted to know about each of the characters -- and that is great! I loved it! I loved experiencing the same story through the eyes of three different people. The city girl, the country girl, the Jewish girl, . . and the dangers that come with each perspective. 

I loved how Lena learned to trust the Lord. I loved how Miriam found her strength. I loved how Ans realized that what she had learned as a child was important and needed. 

Reading about the courage and bravery of so many, and knowing that many of those who participated in the resistance movements lost their lives willingly, for a cause greater than themselves, is always inspiring. And Austin makes a beautiful story out of this history. Definitely recommended!!
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