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Rare and Old Masters’ art in Holland during World War II. Nazi officers lust after the value of art collections. Not only for the currency or investment but the desire to own others’ precious property. This tension foundations “Where Treasure Hides.” The story of Alison and Ian through tragedy and victory.
What would you choose?
The book revolves around the Van Schuyler Art Gallery in Rotterdam, Holland. The gallery belongs to Alison’s family. Rotterdam, Holland. They are determined to protect the artwork from Nazi looters. Alarmed, they plan before the actual invasion.
As they plan, there is a proverbial choice. “The Louvre is on fire. You have to decide to save the Mona Lisa or the life of a child trapped in the building. You can’t take both.” Before the invasion prosperity works in the flurry of prosperity and business. Alison believes that she would save the treasured art. This opinion is in place before she meets Ian Devlin. They are both at a train station in London. A case of love at first sight involving refugee children messes with her ideals.
As the war progresses, the family becomes involved in resistance. They hide and disguise paintings and sculptures. They help hide children as small living treasures. As Holland is brought to its knees, Ian is serving in the British military and becomes a prisoner of war.
Alison and Ian, along with other strong characters struggle toward their victory through
• Resistance Risks
• Prisoner of war suffering
• Decimation of the Rotterdam home and the death of two family members
• Severe wounds
• Violent tragedy
Through each challenging day, Alison and Ian, along with other characters keep their faith at the forefront. Encouraging scriptures come to their hearts, bringing peace, hope, and wisdom
History would not repeat itself
Hollanders intended to maintain neutrality, as they had done through the Great War. They anticipated the intention would be respected and honored. Boy, were they wrong! Nazis were not only disrespectful; they practiced remorseless hatred. “Where Treasure Hides” is fictional. In real life, such scenarios, or worse, happened.
During the invasion, understanding of conditions in Germany was vague. The Hollanders only could be certain their homes were destroyed. Children were sent into hiding or transported to England. Parents did not have a promising future.
Prejudice and bigotry in action
In the “Where Treasure Hides” story, there is a sub-level of the book involving bigotry on all levels.
- Ian’s family in England is ‘socially prejudiced” against Jewish people, even children. This prejudice outside of Germany was not uncommon
- Alison learns that her maternal grandfather was Jewish. He married a Gentile woman. His family resented that choice. They were bigoted against Gentiles. The couple, their children and Alixon’s father were abused by the traditional Jews in the family. Beatings were common. With a deep, frightening secret in their hearts, Alison’s father and mother went to America.
- The Nazis are equal opportunity haters — hating regardless of race, nationality, age, or status. They hate themselves.
Reflecting real life in fiction
Just as real people lived out each minute of the war, so do these characters.
Resistance activities involve rescuing children from certain death while plotting sabotage. And living the bitter truth of wartime violence and devastation.
Prisoners of war were professional escapees in real life and in “Where Treasure Hides.”
Bullets wound and kill. Civilians and soldiers suffered wounds— some succumbed, others recovered. Pitchforks and bombs destroy and kill. These are facts of war. Fiction cannot imagine and make up more than the real things.
Surviving Twists and Turns.
The war reached a point that was clearly not good for Germany. Readers want to believe Ian and Allison will be reunited. It is difficult to see how that will be accomplished. No one anticipates a last page twist! (And, I’m not telling!)
What Are the Treasures
Hidden treasures included:
- Art Treasures
- Shared faith across the continent regardless of doctrine
- Family Restoration
- High Romance with deep and lasting love for one another
- A lifesaving gold pendant
- A significant ring with a sapphire surrounded by diamonds
A Book to Be Treasured
Johnnie Alexander has written a beautiful story. She interweaves romance, art, cruelty, tragedy and suffering with quiet, but victorious faith. She does it all without using vulgar language, erotica or shock and awe description. Without being doctrinal, the faith is Biblical. The characters use their scriptures as encouragement during their darkest times.
“Where Treasure Hides” was published by Tyndale House Publishers in 2012 as a debut novel for author Johnnie Alexander.
The lovely story is NOT published by Mosaic Collection Books. Mosaic is a lovely publisher, but so are many others!
The Mosaic Collection is an international group of women authors. The authors’ calling is to create community and write faith-based fiction for God’s glory and our good! You can learn more about the group at Mosaic Collection Books.
As a reader and reviewer, I belong to a Facebook group centered around the Mosaic group. I received an autographed copy of “Where Treasure Hides” as part of the activities in that group. I was not required to write a review. I want to review the book because I do admire this book and others by the author. I am honored to have a copy in my collection.
I confess. I enjoyed the book so much that my first draft got out of control. I wanted to tell you SO much that I wrote around 1050 words. The draft resembled an elementary school Book Report. I could not shut my fingers off on the keyboard! It was not a wicked draft, but TOO much information.
An Author to Follow
Johnnie Alexander is a prolific author! She has several other books, including series. She’s written for Annie’s Fiction. I love Annie’s books for their wonderful paper presentation. The covers and binding are beautiful as is the little ribbon place marker attached to each.
You can learn more about this talented author at her website, johnnie-alexander.com. She has a blog there with frequent giveaways. Not only her books but the books she has enjoyed from other authors. There’s a fun Readers’ tab that has some behind-the-scenes bits that complete the story. Also readers’ guides for discussion groups.
Treat yourself to a very good book in ‘Where Treasure Hides.” Then go looking at more offered from Johnnie Alexander and our friends at Mosaic Collection Books. Summer does not mean less reading! NEVER! NEVER! NEVER!
Remember our author friends benefit from reviews about their art. Subscribers can download their free copy of Book Notes to keep track of review notes. And have ongoing access to other new things that will be coming to the Resource Library at Cardinal Bluff.