The Peacemakers Trilogy

The Peacemakers TrilogyThe Peacemakers Trilogy by Anna Schmidt
Series: The Peacemakers
Genres: Historical
Published by Barbour Books on December 1, 2015
Pages: 952

 

About All God’s Children:
Elizabeth is a Quaker.  Elizabeth is an American.  Elizabeth is trapped in Munich during World War II.  When Elizabeth went to live with her aunt and uncle to assist with her young cousin eight years ago, no one knew she could be making a life or death decision.  Now her Quaker beliefs are tested on a daily basis and with each decision she makes, she increases the danger for both her and her family. 

Joseph is a doctor who comes to board with Elizabeth and her family.  In the intervening months, he and Beth begin to share a passion for resistance to the Nazi regime.  And for each other.  As Beth and Joseph pull together closer, the world around them falls apart.  They must say goodbye to their families and eventually are sent to a work camp in Poland.  A daring escape, gunshot wounds during their journey northward and a new home all await in the final pages of this first novel in the Peacemaker’s Trilogy.

About Simple Faith:
Anja escaped the horrors of a Nazi concentration camp with her friends Beth and Joseph.  But she lost both her infant daughter and husband.  While her Quaker faith calls her to be a pacifist, she simply cannot sit idle and do nothing.  And so, Anja becomes and instrumental member on the underground transport line which moves Allied solider trapped behind Nazi lines to the safety of Gibraltar and on to the British embassy.  But now she must move herself and her son on this same line.

Peter is an American crew member on a downed bomber mission in Belgium.  Now he must trust those who have come to his rescue, which to this brash American doesn’t come easy.  Taking orders from a women complicates matters even more.  Over thousands of miles and hours of training on how to make it out safely, Peter falls in love with Anja.  Willing to sacrifice all to save her, in the end he obtains the desire of his heart…a wife, a son and a new mission in life.

About Safe Haven:
Theo Bridgewater is a small time, son of a farmer.  He is also Beth’s brother.  When he finds himself travelling to Oswego, New York to meet his aunt Ilse, Uncle Franz, and cousin Liesel he doesn’t really know what to think.  His family has been brought to America under FDR’s agreement to temporarily offer refuge to displaced and hunted persons by the Nazi party.  But Fort Ontario, as it is called, really is just a glimmer of hope and freedom.

Suzanne travels to Fort Ontario as a disgraced reporter trying to earn her way back into the public’s good graces.  But what she finds once there is a story with many sides and lots of gray area.  Suzanne quickly makes friends with Theo, eventually falling in love.  But will his run for Congress and her need to tell the story and reclaim her glory meld together to create something better?

Spoiler to note:  The end of All God’s Children was a great cliffhanger ending leaving me wanting to know more about what happened to all the remaining characters and plot lines within the book. If you aren’t a fan of knowing what comes next, skip over the author’s notes between All God’s Children and Simple Faith.  I think these notes were rather poorly placed in the sequence as it spoiled what the next two books in the trilogy, as they tell-although not in great detail-the plot lines of the subsequent two books in the trilogy.  But it was enough that I found myself not necessarily psyched about finishing the trilogy.  These novels were previously published as separate works in 2013 and 2014 by the same publisher and here make their entrance on to the market as one anthology.  I would highly suggest reading all three in order and not skipping back and forth as the story lines will be far more readable.

If you aren’t a fan of knowing what comes next, skip over the author’s notes between All God’s Children and Simple Faith.

These three novels are very well written.  The narrative flows with rich detail and the characters are complex.  Each character mirrors what I believe are very true to life people during that time period.  The language is simple and straightforward and where there could be confusion about the religious beliefs and practices of the cast, the author does a very good job of explaining why they do what they do. I found the descriptions of the Quaker faith and practices sprinkled throughout the books quite interesting.  The juxtaposition of a faith grounded in nonviolence and peace in the middle of the world’s greatest war was a topic I haven’t seen tackled in a great deal of WWII fiction.  It made for a highly interesting read and left me wanting to know a lot more about the practices of the Friends community.

I would highly suggest reading all three in order and not skipping back and forth as the story lines will be far more readable.

The most impressive thing about reading all three novels together was how novel three, Safe Haven, tied together all the previous plot lines and characters so seamlessly.  I’ll admit, at the end of Simple Faith (Book One) I felt like we started with one cast of characters that quickly went three separate paths and didn’t really come back together again.  Boy was I wrong.  Safe Haven is a masterful piece that brought all the story lines around to a full conclusion and admittedly, I read it much faster than I read the other two.

I found the descriptions of the Quaker faith and practices sprinkled throughout the books quite interesting.

Overall, a great series of books that I would highly recommend.  Well-developed characters, suspenseful plot lines, and rich descriptions all lend themselves to a satisfying read.

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