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Excellent storytelling, accurate historical reporting, and gritty, persevering characters

The Story behind Until We Find Home by Cathy Gohlke


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:

Reconnaissance, smuggling, the French Resistance—words Claire Stewart found so romantic in fiction . . . impossible and dangerous in life.

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 and find her on Facebook at CathyGohlkeBooks.

Cathy is giving away a copy of Until We Find Home. Follow the instructions below to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for joining us, Cathy! It’s been great having you.


  1. this was a great post. Until my mom died it was her. Now it is my sister. My sister and I are 9 years apart and have never been real close. She was super close to mom also. But when mom died, it seemed to have naturally drawn the two of us closer. Now we are super close.

    • Lori, I understand how the loss of a beloved family member draws us closer to those remaining, especially our siblings. No one else shares our history in quite the same way, and no one else (usually) knows so well that dear person we’ve lost.
      Thank you so much for stopping by! God bless!

  2. I guess it would be my husband. Our kids are close but from 45 minutes to 3 hours away. Only two go to the same kind of church as we do. Not really close to my brother and sisters. My mother is 101 years old and is getting hard to understand on the phone. She lives far away and I haven’t visited in three years.
    This looks like the kind of story I would like to read. Just finished Melody of the Soul! Outstanding!

    • Paula, it’s wonderful that your husband and you are so very close. How important and precious it is to share life with someone you dearly love!
      Thanks so much for stopping by today. I hope you enjoy Until We Find Home!

  3. Cathy’s books are always good! I enjoyed the article and am also looking forward to reading Liz’s new release, too. I have very small family so would say closest family member is hubby (and the dog).

    • Cathy, you are so encouraging! It’s wonderful that you are especially close to your husband. Sharing the day to day makes life richer and sweeter. Your comment about your dog made me smile. They certainly become family members, don’t they? Our dog, Reilly, is quite sure he’s human. ; )

  4. Hmm. Closest family member… husband. Then my mother.

    • MH, three cheers for being closest to your husband! Marriage is all the sweeter when we walk in harmony with our spouses. I know how precious it is to have a strong relationship with a mother, too. My mom is 90, and though she’s not very strong now, each day with her is precious.

  5. Sounds like an interesting story. My closest family member is my husband. Thank you for offering a book for a giveaway. I have this one on my TBR list.

    • Thank you, Karen R, for stopping by. I hope you enjoy Until We Find Home.

      It’s wonderful to have a strong marriage. I’m sure your husband would be truly pleased to read your response to the question of your closest family member. God bless!

  6. My closest family member is my Father. He lives next door and I go over to see him everyday.

  7. Since my Dad & Mom are both gone, the family member that I am closest to, would be my “baby” sister. She lives close by and we get together at least once a week.

    • Janet, that’s wonderful that you see your sister once a week! My sister lives a few hundred miles away and our times together are few and far between–3 or 4 visits per year, at most. I treasure those times and think it would be wonderful to live closer, as you and your sister do. God bless!

  8. My closest family member is now my husband. Both my mother and my husband were my closest family member, but my mother has passed away last September and she is surely missed. I do have a sister but we are not very close like I was with our mother. Maybe, with our mother gone that may change.

    • Karen, my deep and sincere sympathies on the passing of your precious mother. There’s no one that can take another’s place, and that’s surely true of our mothers. I’m so glad you have your husband, and I pray that your relationship with your sister will grow continually closer. God bless!

  9. My younger sister. She lives over 1000 miles away but we chat on the phone a couple of times a week, facebook message a lot & we get together once a year. She wasn’t even supposed to live to become a teenager, but we’re both several decades past our teens. God always knows better than the doctors do! I’m very thankful for that. Thanks for sharing your story with us!

    • Robin, I love your story about your sister and your wonderful relationship! Sisters are surely a precious gift. It’s so interesting how social media enables us to connect in ways we never did before, and with the cost of long distance telephone calls having drastically reduced from what they were a few decades ago, it’s so much easier to stay in touch. Thanks so much for stopping by. God bless!

  10. My husband and my mom! Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  11. I was close to my mom until her passing a couple of years ago. I’m thankful that my daughter and I also have a close relationship. I really enjoy Cathy’s books so Until We Find Home is on my “want to read” list. Thanks for the giveaway.

    • Pam K.–So nice to see you here. My sincere sympathies on the passing of your dear mother. I’m sure she is dearly missed. It’s wonderful that you and your daughter have such a special relationship. That’s truly worth celebrating at every opportunity! God bless! I hope you enjoy Until We Find Home.

  12. I’m closest with my sister. We are two peas in a pod. 🙂

    • Cheryl, that’s wonderful! Are you familiar with the song “Sisters” that was featured in the old Bing Crosby movie, “White Christmas?” My sister and I used to sing that song. It sounds like it fits you and your sister, too! : ) God bless!

  13. Liz, thank you so much for having me! It’s been a pleasure getting to know some of your readers and learning about the relationships close to their heart.

    God’s blessings for you! I’m so looking forward to reading your new book, The Melody of the Soul!

  14. I love your books, Cathy….and trying to read them all!
    I am an “only” and parents deceased so I guess my husband is one I am closest to!!

    Best wishes on your writing!!

    • Jackie, you made my day! I’m delighted that you enjoy my books and are on a mission to read them all.

      It’s wonderful to be close to your husband–wonderful for him and for you! God bless!

  15. I am closest to my husband since my parents and sister are with the Lord. I am also close to my mom’s best friend who I have always called Aunt. They even share the same first name.

    • Merry, that’s really something that your mom and your mom’s best friend share the same name. How precious that your “Aunt” is part of your life. It’s interesting and a blessing, too, how for so many of us our husbands become dearer and dearer friends as time goes on. God bless!

  16. My Daddy was the one I was close to. He’s graduated to Heaven January 15, 2011. I miss him every day.

    • Caryl, my deep and sincere sympathies on the passing of your dear father. How wonderful to know he truly did graduate and that you will one day seem him again. You must have been a great and precious blessing to him. God bless you!

  17. I’m closest to my husband and sister.

  18. I’m closest to my husband — but outside of my immediate family, I’m closest to my grandmother.

  19. My hubby and children 🙂

  20. My paternal grandmother, until she died in 1994, and my children

  21. I’m closet to my husband. It took me three tries but I finally found my soulmate.

  22. I’m closest to my husband, he understands me better than I understand myself sometimes!

  23. My husband but I am also close to my children and grandchildren.

  24. My closest family member would be my youngest son Dennis who is 40. We talk often and we get along so well.

  25. My husband of 33 years… been thru hell and back but we stuck to it….:)

  26. I’m closest to my husband. Then my mom next.

  27. I’m closest with my children.

  28. I’m closest with my sister!

  29. I am closest to my mother because we have been through so much together.

  30. My dad, since I moved in to look after him.

  31. I’m closest to my sister.

  32. I’m closest to my 18 year old (today is her bday) granddaughter who lives with us.

  33. I’m closest to my husband. After that, it would be our two daughters.

  34. I am closest to my husband.

  35. My daughter- even though she passed away unexpectedly, I still write to her in a journal nearly every day and talk to her all the time. She is still my best friend and we are still bonded even through the veil.

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