Escape from Amsterdam
by Lauralee Bliss
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Pub Date 01 Sep 2022 | Archive Date 07 Oct 2022
Barbour Publishing, Barbour Fiction
Full of intrigue, adventure, and romance, this series celebrates the unsung heroes—the heroines of WWII.
Helen Smit believed she was called by God to become a teacher. Little does she know that her care for kids will take a drastic turn for survival when the Germans occupy Amsterdam and Jewish children and parents begin to be deported. Now all she can think of is helping all the kids escape before it’s too late.
Erik Misman’s newfound love for Helen is tested when he joins a plot to help move Jewish children to a safe place in the countryside. If danger can foster a closer bond with Helen and save the lives of the little ones, he will do it all. But a German patrol that stumbles upon the farm where they are hiding with three children and a soldier who takes an unexpected interest in Helen, could well destroy their plans for safety and love.
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Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 65 members
I love this series because it shows real-life examples of heroism during the WW2 era. It's not the war-scenes and the military-based operations, but the everyday people and the choices they made, often at a danger to themselves and others, to help better other people's lives during this critical period. In this one, we have a young teacher who makes the decision to work with the resistance movement and help save the lives of her students. It's such an important story to tell, as nearly 75% of the Jews living in the Netherlands died during WW2, and these young lives were saved by one brave young woman and her strong faith. Plus, there's a little romance on the side. ;)
What a wonderful story , of such a hard period of life .. ‘well told and loved the story ‘great book. I will read more of this authors book
Escape from Amsterdam is an intriguing story. The author's vivid descriptions give a clear picture of the historical era and landscape, bring the story to life. I highly recommend this book!
ESCAPE FROM AMSTERDAM by LAURALEE BLISS is the beautiful story of a young couple, Helen Smit and Erik Minger, who put their lives on the line to save three Jewish children from the Nazis. I guarantee that this book, part of the Heroines of WW11 series, and based on what really happened during the war, will touch your heart.
Helen, who “wanted to share everything she knew with the eager minds of children,” becomes a teacher at a creche after graduating from the Teachers’ College of Amsterdam, working with Jewish children under Miss Pimental. With the Germans annexation of Holland the schouwbutg across the road becomes a holding centre for Jewish families awaiting relocation to the camps. As the situation becomes worse daily, Helen and Erik grow closer to one another and also to the Lord. Erik encourages Helen to not give in to fear because “Fear breeds power in others. Don’t give them an opportunity.” What I particularly like to see is the way this young couple live out their Christian faith daily, never missing an oortunity to share Jesus with others, especially the children in their care. Other strong characters are Ephraim and Delia Visser who also are prepared to lay down their lives for others.
This book is about the sacrificial love, faith and tremendous courage shown by ordinary Dutch citizens in the face of the unbelievable atrocities perpetrated against the Jews during the German occupation of Holland, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.
I was given a free copy of the book by NetGalley from Barbour Publishing. The opinions in this review are completely my own.
As a forever historical fiction fan, especially WW2 fiction, I enjoyed this book! It was really interesting having it come from the perspective of two German people wanting to help Jewish children avoid the prison camps. Also, the romance in this story between Helen and Erik was more of a side story rather than the central one, which I also appreciated a lot! This book was a faith-filled, clean, and engaging read. Also, for those of you who prefer shorter reads, this book was 258 pages, so definitely shorter than most historical fiction books out there. Overall, an enjoyable read!
Thank you to NetGalley and the author for an eARC of Escape from Amsterdam. A positive review was not required, only my honest opinion. All thoughts are expressly my own.
This was a very interesting book and could not put down.I can't wait to read more books by this author.It is amazing what people have to do to keep alive and help others.
First of all, I would like to thank NetGalley and Barbour Publishing for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I really enjoyed this book!
Set in Amsterdam during WWII, we are given a picture of what the war was like for the Dutch people. I think this may be the first WWII with this setting that I have read. It was very interesting to read how the Dutch reacted to being invaded by the Germans. It was also interesting to read about the courage of the two real people that this book is based on.
I also appreciated the faith aspect of this book, which is not typically common in books about WWII.
I highly recommend this book!
Escape from Amsterdam by Lauralee Bliss is a faith based Holocaust story which follows the lives of Helen Smit and Erik Misman lives during the Holocaust in the Neatherlands who eventually work together to smuggle Jewish children to the countryside. Helen believes that her calling was to become a teacher, however as the war continues her life takes a drastic change when the Germans begin to deport Jewish parents and their parents. Will Helen be able to undertake this risk and help to save these innocent children before they are deported away. Erik Misman has fallen in love with Helen, which is tested when he decides to help Helen move Jewish children to the countryside. While hiding at a friend's countryside farm a German patrol comes to the farm that Helen, Erik, and the children are hiding at, who believes Helen to be someone else and takes a romantic interest in her. Will Helen and Erik be able to save their love and their newly found children.
I really enjoyed the character development of Helen and Erik as their characters changed over the course of the novel. Escape from Amsterdam is told from the perspective of Helen and Erik and switches back and forth quite frequently. I was able to keep track of whose perspective it was and did not get overly confused when the perceptive changed, as I have had some novels where the perspectives change quite frequently, however the transitions are not as smooth. Bliss also was able to include a on the side romance between Helen and Erik which I found helped to develop the story. I am not the biggest fan of romance, however I was very invested with Helen and Erik romance and how it was affected by the events of World World II. In regards to the plot, I enjoyed reading about how both Helen and Erik showed bravery, compassion, as well as love for each other and the children they risked everything in order to save. In regards to the atmosphere of the novel, Bliss is able to provide an atmosphere that was very easy for the reader to visualize in their minds. In addition I was able to see how change in the atmosphere changed the characters developed and interactions with the supporting characters. I think that this is an important aspect as people’s interactions change with the various events. When thinking about the plot of Escape from Amsterdam I think that it was well developed and was relevant to the time period. The writing was fairly simple and easy to follow, with the exception of the Dutch phrases which did not have translations; however they did not affect my understanding of the plot.
While I found the plot to be interesting, I did find the beginning to be to lag on a bit and it seemed to be more focused on Helen and Erik’s romance rather than the Holocaust. While this did not prevent me from finishing the novel, I was not expecting that there might be a wait before The Netherlands were attacked by the Germans. Another aspect that I would have liked to see Escape from Amsterdam would be for the Dutch phrases to be translated into English. As stated above, these did not affect my understanding of the plot, however I think having the translations would have benefited the novel.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel and think that any person who enjoys reading about the Holocaust needs to pick up this book. Bliss gives her reads another point of view that is not usually written about. I think that many of the Holocaust books that are published cover the typically the countries that are taught in public schools. Bliss does an amazing job at showing how her characters were affected by the invasion of the Germans. The Escape from Amsterdam is a gripping novel that gave me goosebumps while reading that any historical fiction readers will enjoy.
I want to thank NetGallery and the author - Lauralee Bliss for an advanced copy of Escape from Amsterdam.
Helen Smit of Amsterdam Noord is just embarking on adulthood, attending Teacher's College of Amsterdam, that is until her country's government surrenders to Germany and changes come to the Netherlands. Erik Minger is a young man employed in a grocery store in which his family has invested. It appears that his future lies in business management, that is until the government began restricting where certain people groups are allowed to shop and do business. In Escape From Amsterdam we follow these two characters from 1939 into 1945, along with three children who come into their care, and those who love and support this special family.
Lauralee Bliss' writing style in Escape From Amsterdam is beautiful in its simplicity. It stays laser-focused on the need to remain steadfast in one's faith in God and in the work of Christ in spite of one's circumstances. Bliss clearly demonstrates showing greater love by laying down one's life for another, which at times may mean being willing to die for someone, but also may mean giving up the kind of life one hoped to live.
I am grateful to have received a complimentary copy of Escape from Amsterdam from Barbour Publishing via NetGalley without obligation. All opinions expressed here are my own.
I really enjoyed this book. I liked getting to know the characters, and it was an unexpected joy to get to know them so thoroughly for a historical novel set in WW2. There were a few moments that I felt could have benefited from more information about the war and what was happening, but given how it was set often with the main characters' limited knowledge, that fit and showed how hard it can be to make the "right" decision with so limited field of vision sometimes. Parts were nothing short of heartbreaking and I definitely cried.
It was encouraging to see how they struggled despite their faith, as that truly humanized the characters and made them more believable as I struggle even though I trust God and His path.
I'm interested in reading some of the other Heroines of WW2 books.
Thank you to Netgalley for an Ebook ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Poignant World War II Drama
“Just keep thanking God above, because He is deserving. And keep listening to that still, small voice”.
And so it was that Helen Smit and Erik Minger had to do just that, continually, even when it seemed so difficult. I have read several inspirational World War II books, but very few about the German occupation of the Netherlands. I found myself reading with increasing horror as the conditions of life in Amsterdam rapidly deteriorated, especially for Jewish people. Events came to a head and compelled Helen and Erik to hide some Jewish children. The hardships they all endured had me turning the pages as I found myself waiting to see what would happen. Along with the author’s historical research and detail, the romance between Helen and Erik was well done—sweet yet fraught with tension due to the difficulties of war time. The faith message of trusting in God was inspiring and provided the characters with strength and hope. Ephraim and Delia were wonderful supporting characters, so uplifting and encouraging. This novel made me think and feel deeply and I love when I read books like this one that make me want to learn more about a time or place. I highly recommend this book and the entire Heroines of World War II series!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley and Celebrate Lit Bloggers and Reviewers. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions expressed here are completely my own.
What is impossible for us is possible with God. One can’t live in peace under tyranny.
This story might make you want to scream a warning, perhaps even bite your nails, and it most certainly will make you think about what you might have done if you found yourself in the same situation. Helen Smit has dreams and aspirations just like most young people - she wants to be a teacher. Erik Minger works in a very busy grocery store with the possibility of perhaps taking over some day. A chance meeting, a picnic by the sea, occupation and annexation come together to force these young people to grow up very fast and make decisions that affect others. Will their faith see them through?
This installment of the Heroines of WWII was received through Barbour Publishing and NetGalley. These impressions are my own and were in no way solicited.
This book was really good and really pulled on the heartstrings. I cried as I read about the struggle these people went through as they tried to do the right thing while surrounded by so much evil. I loved how they did what they could to help the children to escape Amsterdam. I also loved that there were people along the way that were there to help them not only with the children but with their faith. I think it would have been hard to be living in Amsterdam at the time of World War II. I thought this author did a great job of bring the characters to life and making us care about what happened to them. This really was an emotional book that will have you crying.
I received a complimentary book from publishers, publicists, and or authors. A review was not required and all opinions and ideas expressed are my own.
With a breathtaking look at Amsterdam during a war that changed so many lives, the author illustrates how dangerous it was in this period of history. I enjoyed how we felt like we were there with the people who lived peacefully in Amsterdam. When the Germans invade their peaceful land, we witness how the enemy destroys quickly and without remorse.
The plight of the Jewish people during this time was so hard to read. They were treated poorly and had to find certain places to live. The author does give us an insight into how hard it was to survive and the vicious attacks on them physically and emotionally. As we are introduced to Helen we see how compassionate she is. Her dream to become a teacher is in jeopardy as German soldiers slowly start to occupy areas where Helen used to feel safe.
Erik is very much a person who believes in helping others. He sees friends and neighbors losing their jobs and homes because they are Jewish. When he meets Helen they form a friendship that will take them on an adventure where they will see lives taken as chaos surrounds them. It is hard to read how horrible it was for people to find shelter and keep their families safe. As the enemy gets close, Erik knows he must do something to help the innocent people who are being tortured because they are Jewish.
The story takes a dark turn when talk of death camps is explained to Helen. Erik tells her that children are being taken there as well as adults. The ones who are taken away never come back and Helen suddenly understands the need to save children from this horrific place. There is an urgency to get the few children they can to safety. When Helen and Erik return to friends they had met before, this loving couple took them in without hesitation. I adored Ephraim and Delia and found them to be a very important part of this story. For me they were the real heroes of the story. They risked everything to hide Erik, Helen and the three children from German soldiers. Their faith was very strong and they knew that God had called them to do this mission.
I found the book to be interesting and really gave a voice to the Jewish people who had suffered at the hands of evil which I hope will never be repeated. The author notes at the end gives us more details about this war and the people who were persecuted. We find that there were people who were willing to risk their safety to help others who needed to find shelter. I loved how the author used faith throughout the story and showed how people were faithful to trust God to keep them from harm.
“We must care for each other as God would have it. There is no greater calling on earth.”
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
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Compiled by Barbour Staff
Compiled by Barbour Staff