Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Friends and Enemies by Terri Wangard

This is an entertaining and informative World War II novel. I really liked how the story followed a woman in Germany and an American airman.

About the Book:
Widowed seamstress Heidi Wetzel finds new meaning in life by caring for evacuated children on a farm in war-torn western Germany. Never a supporter of National Socialism, she takes pleasure in passive resistance, but must exercise caution around neighbors who delight in reporting to the Gestapo. Having lived in the United States, she wonders about her friend Rachel. Flying cadet Paul Braedel’s wife dies while he trains for the U.S. Army Air Corps. Following bereavement leave, he joins a navigation class. He’s lost his zest for life and heads to England, not caring if he lives or dies. When he and his crew are shot down over Germany, he evades capture and, for the first time since Rachel’s death, hears the voice of God whisper guidance. “Find Heidi.” Heidi meets the man she recognizes from her high school days in America. Aiding a downed airman is punishable by execution, but she agrees to help. Then they’re betrayed.

My Review:
I enjoyed reading this historical novel. Wangard has done a great job recreating the situation in Germany during WW II. The tension, the shortages of everyday supplies and food, all of that was described in a way that drew me into the scenes. I was introduced to the care of orphans in rural farm areas. Families took in children when they didn't have enough food and clothing for their own children. It was a time when even saying something unpatriotic was punishable by execution.

This novel emphasizes relationships. We really see the effects of war on relationships. Heidi lost her husband to the German war effort. Paul lost his wife to a sudden illness when he was at military training. I was again reminded of how much loss there is in time of war.

There is also some action in the novel. We see the danger Germans faced when they were not loyal to the war effort. Women were vulnerable to Gestapo and other males of authority in the villages. There is also some action with Paul and the bombing runs over Germany. Overall, there was not as much action as I expected for a WW II novel.

I would recommend this novel to those who enjoy historical novels emphasizing relationships. You'll learn about the situation in Germany during the war and how it affected the Germans themselves.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Terri Wangard grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin, during the Lombardi Glory Years. Her first Girl Scout badge was the Writer. These days she is writing historical fiction, and won the 2013 Writers on the Storm contest and 2013 First Impressions, as well as being a 2012 Genesis finalist. Holder of a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in library science, she lives in Wisconsin. Her research included going for a ride in a WWII B-17 Flying Fortress bomber. Classic Boating Magazine, a family business since 1984, keeps her busy as an associate editor. Connect with Terri: www.terriwangard.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorTerriWangard Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/terriwangard/

HopeSpring Books, 425 pages. You can purchase the book here.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Celebrate Lit for the purpose of an independent and honest review.

Blog Tour Stops
Visit each blog to read their reviews.
Jan 5: Writing Between Sundays
Jan 6: Thinking Thoughts
Jan 6: Novel pastimes
Jan 7: Simple harvest Reads
Jan 8: Artistic Nobody
Jan 9: A Greater Yes
Jan 10: Cassandra M’s Place
Jan 11: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberation
Jan 12: The Grafted Word
Jan 13: Our Perfectly Imperfect Life
Jan 14: Texas Book-aholic
Jan 15: Christian Book Aholic
Jan 16:  Bukwurmzzz
Jan 17: Through the Open Window
Jan 18: Highlighted Author
Jan 18: For the Love of Books 
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