This week, we start a new series of stories behind the stories from WWII authors. I’m so excited about the line-up. And we couldn’t have started it with a bigger bang than with Cathy Gohlke. If you haven’t read her books yet, run out and get them. They’re fabulous. Today she shares with us the story behind her latest release, Until We Find Home.
First, a little bit about the book:
As the German army plows its way west, Claire Stewart flees France with five Jewish children—children meant to be rescued by a Resistance contact who never shows. Desperate to return to Paris and the work and man she loves, Claire begs an estranged aunt to take the children into her magnificent home in England’s storied Lake District.
Linking the world’s most beloved children’s author and illustrator, Beatrix Potter, with C. S. Lewis, England’s voice of reason during WWII, Until We Find Home brings life full circle for each of its characters, giving us reason to rethink those we call family, and embrace a new form of home.
What inspired you to write Until We Find Home?
Alarmed by the plight of young refugees fleeing gangs in Mexico to cross United States borders, and heart heavy for victims and refugees worldwide who’ve suffered and continue to suffer under oppressive regimes, I looked for a moment in history to tell their story as I wish it could play out. I didn’t have to look far.
The Kindertransport of 1938-1940, brought 10,000 predominantly Jewish children to Great Britain for refuge from Nazi oppression. Accounts abound of men and women who rescued children through resistance, often at great cost—even life itself.
But what happened next? What happened when those children entered countries of refuge? I wondered about the average person and what role they might have played once the children were out of immediate danger. . . and what role we might play in refugees’ desperate need today.
World News reported that in 2015, 51% of the world’s refugees were children. Scripture tells us to care for widows and orphans. How do we do that from where we live, and as Christians, how do we reconcile this directive with the world’s reality and our need for safe borders?
Characters were partially inspired by people I know (the youngest refugee, Aimee, was inspired by my young granddaughter). Some of the children’s creative antics (embarrassed to say), and some of the older characters’ life struggles were inspired by my own childhood antics and life stories—including Miranda’s journey with cancer. Bluebell Wood’s “secret garden” and many of the books and poems Claire loves in the story are based on books and poems I grew up learning and loving—thanks especially to my dear English grandmother, who read to me.
Until We Find Home embodies a great many things dear to me. It is, in many ways, my victory book through battling cancer.
Three-time Christy, and two-time Carol and INSPY Award-winning author, Cathy Gohlke, writes novels steeped with inspirational lessons from history. Her stories reveal how people break the chains that bind them and triumph over adversity through faith. Visit her website at www.cathygohlke.com and find her on Facebook at CathyGohlkeBooks.
Cathy is giving away a copy of Until We Find Home. Follow the instructions below to enter.
Thanks for joining us, Cathy! It’s been great having you.