Title: Until We Find Home
Author: Cathy Gohlke
Major Themes: England, World War II
Synopsis: Claire has been forced to escape from France to England at the beginning of World War II, and is torn between her duty to the children she helped across the Channel, and her love for a man in the Resistance in France.
Until We Find Home showed me a side of World War II that I had not seen before. I have read a children’s book about the Kindertransport, which helped Jewish children escape Europe before the Nazis got them, a children’s story about Dunkirk, and Paris Underground, about the French Resistance. This book, however, pulls those three nonfiction stories together into a fictitious story that gives another dimension to the picture.
Claire was working with the Resistance in France as the Nazis took control. Her job was to get Jewish children to where they could reach safety in England—but the night the story began, the man who had the contacts didn’t show up. What could she do but accompany the children across the English Channel herself—but she refused to do that until circumstances gave her no option. Once in England, what was she to do? The only person she had ever even heard of there was her estranged aunt, and she didn’t know where to find her!
Finally, Claire found her Aunt Miranda, who took the children in on one condition—that Claire, who knew nothing about taking care of children and who desperately wanted to return to France immediately to search for her lover, stay with them. With no options, Claire stayed. As the war continued, she kept learning uncomfortable things about herself, and struggling with her feelings about her lover in France and the tiny bits of news she occasionally got from him, as well as the American man who was billeted in the big house.
I appreciated the way this story was told. There was a bit of romance, but not much; the main emphasis seemed to me to be on Claire and the changes that needed to happen in her life to make her the person God wanted her to be. There were also changes in Aunt Miranda’s heart. I loved some of the children; poor little Aimee was a dear. The boys were delightful—the scrapes they got into as they tried to help were so typical. Another thing that was fun was the frequent references to classic children’s books. Beatrix Potter and C. S. Lewis figure into the story a number of times, as well. I also thoroughly enjoyed the surprise in the epilogue—there was a twist I wasn’t expecting!
I received a free ecopy of this book from NetGalley and chose to write a review.
WARNING: Chapter 31 describes an abduction and a violent fight with an escaped German prisoner of war.