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Beth Bridgewater, a German American, finds herself in a nightmare as World War II erupts—a war in which she takes no side, for she is a Quaker pacifist. Just as she gains opportunity to escape Germany, Beth decides to stay to help the helpless. Meanwhile, Josef Buch, a passionately patriot German, is becoming involved in his own secret ways of resisting the Nazis. . . . De Beth Bridgewater, a German American, finds herself in a nightmare as World War II erupts—a war in which she takes no side, for she is a Quaker pacifist. Just as she gains opportunity to escape Germany, Beth decides to stay to help the helpless. Meanwhile, Josef Buch, a passionately patriot German, is becoming involved in his own secret ways of resisting the Nazis. . . . Despite their differences, Beth and Josef join together in nonviolent resistance—and in love. Does their love stand a chance. . .if they even survive at all? The Peacemakers Series: Book 2: Simple Faith - Available March 2014


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Beth Bridgewater, a German American, finds herself in a nightmare as World War II erupts—a war in which she takes no side, for she is a Quaker pacifist. Just as she gains opportunity to escape Germany, Beth decides to stay to help the helpless. Meanwhile, Josef Buch, a passionately patriot German, is becoming involved in his own secret ways of resisting the Nazis. . . . De Beth Bridgewater, a German American, finds herself in a nightmare as World War II erupts—a war in which she takes no side, for she is a Quaker pacifist. Just as she gains opportunity to escape Germany, Beth decides to stay to help the helpless. Meanwhile, Josef Buch, a passionately patriot German, is becoming involved in his own secret ways of resisting the Nazis. . . . Despite their differences, Beth and Josef join together in nonviolent resistance—and in love. Does their love stand a chance. . .if they even survive at all? The Peacemakers Series: Book 2: Simple Faith - Available March 2014

30 review for All God's Children

  1. 4 out of 5

    Iola

    Warning: This is a long review. But it’s shorter than if Winston Churchill had written it. And a little less opinionated. There were less than two hundred members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Germany at the outbreak of World War Two, and they managed to save over 1000 lives. The American and British Friends were awarded the 1947 Nobel Peace Prize for their work in post-war Germany. There are some fascinating stories about the actions of Quakers in Hitler’s Germany, but All Go Warning: This is a long review. But it’s shorter than if Winston Churchill had written it. And a little less opinionated. There were less than two hundred members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Germany at the outbreak of World War Two, and they managed to save over 1000 lives. The American and British Friends were awarded the 1947 Nobel Peace Prize for their work in post-war Germany. There are some fascinating stories about the actions of Quakers in Hitler’s Germany, but All God’s Children is not one of them. There are advantages and disadvantages to receiving advance copies of books to review. The advantage is free ebooks and the chance to discover and recommend new authors (and new-to-me) authors. The disadvantage is that I only have the book cover and publisher’s blurb on which to base my decision: I don’t have the opportunity to browse the first few pages and decide if it’s going to be something I’ll enjoy. I was attracted by the blurb to All God’s Children: As World War II erupts, Beth Bridgewater, a Quaker pacifist, and Josef Buch, a passionate German Patriot, join together in nonviolent resistance of the Nazis—and in love. Does their love stand a chance in the midst of such evil. . .if they even survive at all? “As World War II erupts …”. England declared war on Germany on 3 September 1939, after Germany’s invasion of Poland. This was followed by Germany’s stampede across Western Europe, invading neutral Holland before driving the retreating Allied forces into the sea at Dunkirk. Hitler then turned his attentions to Crete, Russia and Africa before the Americans finally joined the fight after the attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. Yet All God’s Children opens in Munich, Germany, in July 1942, almost three years after the outbreak of war (which the German Quaker meeting had predicted ). Then why had Beth not returned home to American in 1939? She originally arrived in Germany in 1934 to care for her young cousin, as her aunt was too frail after the birth. Apparently, she was still too frail in 1939, and is not yet recovered when the story opens in 1942. I just wanted to shake Beth’s aunt and uncle for their self-centredness (in contrast to their stated Quaker beliefs) and for their complete lack of attention to national events. If Aunt Isle really was so frail, why did the family not use the Quaker networks to leave Germany before the outbreak of war? I could go on. I found a lot of inconsistencies and unanswered questions, but to include them would both make this review longer than it is already, and would give spoilers. Suffice to say that while All God’s Children is full of internal and external conflict, I thought it all seemed contrived for the purposes of a story. It didn’t grab me, and I never felt these could be real people (which is a common factor in books I enjoy). I didn’t care at all what happened to any of these characters, and I only finished the book because I had to. If I had been able to browse before downloading it for review, then I don’t think I’d have got past the opening paragraph. Anna Schmidt’s previous books have been Amish romance, and Beth is reminiscient of an Amish heroine: loyal and Godly, but entirely wilful, naïve about life outside her immediate family, and entirely unengaging. Because I couldn’t bring myself to like Beth, I couldn’t see why Josef was interested in her. I’m not sure if All God’s Children is supposed to be historical romance or historical fiction. I certainly didn’t feel it succeeded as a romance. I liked Josef: he was intelligent, brave and loyal. But I couldn’t see that he had any religious faith or belief: it seemed his faith was in the Germany he grew up in. And even Josef, my favourite character, was rather two-dimensional. The only character I was interested in learning more about was Josef’s father, a high ranking member of the Gestapo. Why were the beliefs of father and son so different? Or were they? I got the impression that Herr Buch was hiding a secret, and that would make an interesting story... Having said all that, the writing was strong and there was a tangible sense of the fear and tension those living in Germany during the war were subject to. For those of you who are interested in this period, or who like your historical fiction to be based on historical fact, I recommend the Secret of the Rose series by Michael Phillips or the Zion Chronicles by Bodie and Brock Thone (the writing style of both series is a bit dated, but the characters and storytelling are excellent). Thanks to the Barbour Publishing and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Yibbie

    Well, I finished it. I’m not sure why this is classified as Christian fiction. There is nothing, nothing about traditionally Christianity, let alone Biblical Christianity in it. Oh, it was clean. There was no swearing, no questionable situations. They did mention a god, but it was a god of ‘light’ that dwells in all men, even Hitler, hardly a Biblical definition of God. Their idea of prayer was and guidance wasn’t any closer to the Biblical model either. Rather, it sounded more like a New Age m Well, I finished it. I’m not sure why this is classified as Christian fiction. There is nothing, nothing about traditionally Christianity, let alone Biblical Christianity in it. Oh, it was clean. There was no swearing, no questionable situations. They did mention a god, but it was a god of ‘light’ that dwells in all men, even Hitler, hardly a Biblical definition of God. Their idea of prayer was and guidance wasn’t any closer to the Biblical model either. Rather, it sounded more like a New Age meditation practice. Just empty your mind and whala! Now you know what God wants. Oh yes, also, if there's time take a poll of others who are doing the same. Never once is the Bible mentioned. One verse is misquoted, but that’s it. It’s a ‘cozy’ story as in a ‘cozy mystery’ but it gets no closer to Christian than that. I should know better than to expect too much from historical fiction. One of the, personally, most annoying things about much of it is authors’ tendency to intrude their characters into the true hero’s life. This time, it was Hans and Sophie Sholl who received the imaginary help. Just how our hero and heroine found them and gained access to their plot isn’t explained. Up until they were suddenly part of that, I was enjoying the book. It had a very interesting premise. Then… Really!? She volunteers to go to prison?! In Nazi Germany? Uh… really? Before, your husband is sentenced you stand up admit your and his guilt and ask for the same sentence? Hu?? And that sentence!? (view spoiler)[ Life in the SS-Sonderkommando Sobibor? That wasn’t a camp where one was sent to serve a long sentence. It’s hardly what Nazi Judge would have given a German found guilty of political crimes. It felt as if Schmidt wanted to write about two separate historical events and took the shortest and weakest, way to slap them into one story line. So here are a few of the things I found unbelievable in the last section of the book… She gets to the camp and can’t figure out what it is? Even though she admits knowledge of extermination camps before they left Berlin. The heroine and her friend have an extremely out of place discussion on the ethics of stealing from the Nazis. This happened well into their time at the camp. Eventually, it’s accepted as being for the ‘greater good.’ Again, it’s rather a departure from the reality of the camps. Polish farmers with tractors, guns, maps to the sea. Old friends showing up from other countries. Underground couriers contacting each other by letter. Schmidt took the idea of hiding in plain sight to all new levels. There’s the convenient cottage. They attend worship services. They have a wedding ceremony. They are writing to the relatives in the Gestapo. No mention is made of any attempt to gain new papers, ration cards, money. And never once are there any Germans about. The last section had too many coincidences to make a good story line. It just didn’t ring true. I have read many biographies of WW2, many of people in the camps, and one by an escapee from Treblinka. Their reactions and the reactions of the characters in this book are so far apart. Perhaps that’s why this book rang so false for me. Through the whole section, there is a weird optimism. In no biography have I read of anyone being convinced they would live because they had met their true love or because they could help others. That brings me to another concern. Having the characters placed in such a limited group as the escapees from Sobibor bothers me. Those people went through so much. Their stories don’t need to be dramatized. They deserve our respect and honor. It just seems to cheapen what they went through to put fictional characters in their place. (hide spoiler)] So I can’t recommend this book. It’s too farfetched even for fiction.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Olivia

    This was a bit hard to rate. The storyline was good, and interesting. One main thing I had a problem with was the characters themselves. Josef didn't even seem a Christian. Instead, all he seemed worried about was saving his country...and it almost seemed like he was irritated at Beth's quaker like prayers. Being a doctor, I believe the author should have shown more of his work. And Beth...for some reason I found it odd that she would be so willing to put her life at risk. I know there were peop This was a bit hard to rate. The storyline was good, and interesting. One main thing I had a problem with was the characters themselves. Josef didn't even seem a Christian. Instead, all he seemed worried about was saving his country...and it almost seemed like he was irritated at Beth's quaker like prayers. Being a doctor, I believe the author should have shown more of his work. And Beth...for some reason I found it odd that she would be so willing to put her life at risk. I know there were people like that during the war who didn't think about themselves. I liked how she wanted to help people, but I think she should have struggled more with making the decision. And lastly, Josef and Beth's romance. I have a big problem in books with couples falling in love with each other before you hardly even see them interact. I didn't have the same emotions I could have felt when Beth was worried about what would happen to Josef. The last fourth of the book probably was the best. The plan of escape from the camp, running away, and finding a safe place to hide. There should have been a little more action, rather the telling, but I can live with that :) An interesting premise, just not a favorite.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    A good Christian historical fiction story about World War 2, set in Munich, Germany. A German-American woman living as nanny and helper in the home of her aunt and uncle, Beth Bridgewater is caught up in some activities which test her and lead her on a path she could not have imagined. What I liked about this book by Anna Schmidt is, the characters were believable, and easy to identify with. I liked the descriptions of Munich, and surrounding areas, from Beth’s point of view, which is that of a p A good Christian historical fiction story about World War 2, set in Munich, Germany. A German-American woman living as nanny and helper in the home of her aunt and uncle, Beth Bridgewater is caught up in some activities which test her and lead her on a path she could not have imagined. What I liked about this book by Anna Schmidt is, the characters were believable, and easy to identify with. I liked the descriptions of Munich, and surrounding areas, from Beth’s point of view, which is that of a person NOT being persecuted or harassed, at least not immediately. There is a glimpse into the home life of a man in the Gestapo, which I thought to be an unusual point of view. I really liked Anna’s introduction to The White Rose, a resistance movement which, if you haven’t read about it, you really should. What I disliked about it was, the favorable view that was given to the Quaker doctrine, which is, that God is in everyone, which is a blatant lie. They also believe redemption and the Kingdom of Heaven are to be experienced now, in this world, which is also false doctrine. So, for that reason, I don’t recommend this book. Too many false teachings which will confuse and lead astray weak Christians, or lost people. Here is the Truth: Romans 10:9-13; John 3:16-21

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Okay... I'm not sure what to make of this book. I liked Beth. I liked Joseph until I realized he really had no faith whatsoever. While an interesting idea for a book (a German-American-Quaker, living in Germany during WW II) it really fell flat. It lacked the emotional depth or reality to truly carry the seriousness of the story. The faith aspect was weak, but the romance was sweet. Okay... I'm not sure what to make of this book. I liked Beth. I liked Joseph until I realized he really had no faith whatsoever. While an interesting idea for a book (a German-American-Quaker, living in Germany during WW II) it really fell flat. It lacked the emotional depth or reality to truly carry the seriousness of the story. The faith aspect was weak, but the romance was sweet.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    This book starts out very strong, and is carried well to the end by a great plot idea--how better to demonstrate that not all Germans were Nazis and that Christians of every ethnicity come together during a horrific catastrophe like WW II than to have a romance starring a German Resistance man and a Christian American woman? The beginning areas were exceptionally realistic---and anyone who thinks otherwise must be congratulated on never having had to deal with unreasonable, selfish older woman l This book starts out very strong, and is carried well to the end by a great plot idea--how better to demonstrate that not all Germans were Nazis and that Christians of every ethnicity come together during a horrific catastrophe like WW II than to have a romance starring a German Resistance man and a Christian American woman? The beginning areas were exceptionally realistic---and anyone who thinks otherwise must be congratulated on never having had to deal with unreasonable, selfish older woman like Beth's aunt and difficult kids like Liesl ( Beth's niece). Beth's weird and dangerous social position as an American stuck living in Germany because of reckless generosity and demanding relatives immediately made me relate to her. The book is in 3 parts. Parts 1 and 2 mostly involve Beth's efforts to rescue Jewish refugees in the city and her learning to trust the hero's motives in hanging out so much with her family. Part 3 shows them as a married couple being sent to a prison camp, where an extraordinary--and historical--escape of the prisoners is accomplished. I am glad there are other books in the series--which apparently center on Anja ( a friend whose Jewish husband is tragically killed) and Liesl-- as the main problem of this book was not enough exploration of characters who weren't Joseph and Beth. The book had a good concept, and gallons of interesting history, but round about the middle of the book I felt the author was drowning in her subject matter--she had so much history to work with that she neglected to introduce us to interesting people. This was especially noticeable regarding the Resistance movement. We didn't get to know any of the rebels at all, other than Joseph, and the result was a feeling in me -- that perhaps doesn't give credit to my character ;) -- that the Resistance wasn't worth it and Joseph and Beth should just leave immediately. To wrap up, I'll note that I found Joseph's parents were believable and fleshed out characters, and that the romance was good.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Donia

    Books such as this one insult my intelligence. They assume the reader has no grasp of the correct facts of War Time Germany. The actions of the characters in All God's Children are simply not realistic. World War 2 fiction is my favorite read and I give a fair amount of sway because I am so addicted. But this story was a big let down. The story presents itself rather like a simplistic young adult story and just doesn't make sense given what we know about living in Munich during the War. The char Books such as this one insult my intelligence. They assume the reader has no grasp of the correct facts of War Time Germany. The actions of the characters in All God's Children are simply not realistic. World War 2 fiction is my favorite read and I give a fair amount of sway because I am so addicted. But this story was a big let down. The story presents itself rather like a simplistic young adult story and just doesn't make sense given what we know about living in Munich during the War. The characters are all clueless and the story is filled with cliches and contrived plot advancements and the characters lack a sense of reality. All God's Children opens in Munich, Germany, in July 1942, almost three years after the outbreak of war; the war is well advanced by then and the dangers to any citizens living in Munich at this time are known to all. Why had Beth an "enemy" alien not returned home to American by say 1939? She originally arrived in Germany in 1934 to care for her cousin, who had mental health issues following the birth of a child. Certainly 8 years later by the time the story opens in 1942 the Aunt and her husband who have an extensive network of Quaker friends close by, could have found another person to assist the ailing aunt instead of keeping a young American relative in danger. It just doesn't figure. This behavior is not in line with Quaker beliefs. Despite being well connected in the community the family is completely unaware of the significance of national events.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Michele

    The first in the Peacemakers Trilogy, All God's Children is an exceptionally written story which shows the atrocities of war. Set in Munich during WW II, the reader is pulled along with the characters on a life changing journey. The writing is vivid and depicts the time and places accurately. While the story of Beth and Josef seems to come to an end, we get the feeling more is yet to come for them and others in this heart wrenching story of love, forgiveness and perseverance. The author leaves t The first in the Peacemakers Trilogy, All God's Children is an exceptionally written story which shows the atrocities of war. Set in Munich during WW II, the reader is pulled along with the characters on a life changing journey. The writing is vivid and depicts the time and places accurately. While the story of Beth and Josef seems to come to an end, we get the feeling more is yet to come for them and others in this heart wrenching story of love, forgiveness and perseverance. The author leaves the reader with the feeling of urgency for the 2nd and 3rd books in the series. Synopsis: Beth Bridgewater, a German America, (who is also a Quaker pacifist), finds herself amid the turmoil of war when she decides, after being given the chance to leave Germany, to continue to stay to help her family and others like them who are being affected by the war and persecuted by the Nazis. Josef Buch, a German soldier and doctor is also committed to saving his beloved country from the Nazis. Beth and Josef connect in an effort to peacefully end the resistance but find themselves drawn together by more than their convictions to end the war. The cannot soon deny their feelings for each other and they are led down a dangerous path of love with long lasting consequences.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tom

    Anna Schmidt's novel, All God's Children, Book l, the Peacemakers Series, gives us a different view of tensions and turbulence in World War II Germany. We see the dynamics of war through the eyes of family and friends as they try to escape the devastating persecution of Hitler's Gestapo and Nazi terror. I found myself totally involved in this story of an American-German woman who chose to help her relatives at a time when she could have easily returned to America several times to escape the fear Anna Schmidt's novel, All God's Children, Book l, the Peacemakers Series, gives us a different view of tensions and turbulence in World War II Germany. We see the dynamics of war through the eyes of family and friends as they try to escape the devastating persecution of Hitler's Gestapo and Nazi terror. I found myself totally involved in this story of an American-German woman who chose to help her relatives at a time when she could have easily returned to America several times to escape the fear and death of World War II Germany. She is a professed Quaker, opposed to war, and decides to remain in Germany. I asked myself several times:"What would I do if caught in WW II Germany but had opportunities to return to my America?" This novel is worth reading and I would recommend it to anyone. It is a 5 star gem. I received this free book from the BookFun club for my honest review. This review can be found at DeeperShopping, and Amazon

  10. 5 out of 5

    Susie

    Beth and Josef's story drew me into WWII's tragic conflict. On this side of the world, we don't often think about what it was like for German citizens who were appalled at the actions of their government. Reading about Josef's estrangement from his father, a high-ranking Gestapo agent I found a similarity with Colonial patriots whose families remained tied to England, and families who found themselves on opposite sides of the Civil War. Taking a stand against those you love -- for a righteous ca Beth and Josef's story drew me into WWII's tragic conflict. On this side of the world, we don't often think about what it was like for German citizens who were appalled at the actions of their government. Reading about Josef's estrangement from his father, a high-ranking Gestapo agent I found a similarity with Colonial patriots whose families remained tied to England, and families who found themselves on opposite sides of the Civil War. Taking a stand against those you love -- for a righteous cause -- requires amazing courage and faith. I know nothing about the life of Quakers, and was intrigued by the quiet strength they drew from their meetings. I loved Beth's commitment to doing what she felt was right to help one in need, not thinking of the danger to herself. I like a story that is filled with hope, even though the Happily-ever-after ending isn't promised. I look forward to reading the other books in this series!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Diana Montgomery

    All God’s Children By: Anna Schimidt I would say I really enjoyed All God’s Children written by Anna Schimidt. Well written that it kept you wanting t keep on reading. The story is taking place in the time of WWII in Germany. Beth goes to Germany to help her Uncle out after his wife having a baby and not dealing well with it. So for eight years Beth has spent their not being able to go back home because she has no visa papers. She gave her visa to a Jewish girl so she could live the country. Probl All God’s Children By: Anna Schimidt I would say I really enjoyed All God’s Children written by Anna Schimidt. Well written that it kept you wanting t keep on reading. The story is taking place in the time of WWII in Germany. Beth goes to Germany to help her Uncle out after his wife having a baby and not dealing well with it. So for eight years Beth has spent their not being able to go back home because she has no visa papers. She gave her visa to a Jewish girl so she could live the country. Problem is now she can’t leave. How is she ever going get back home now. Being a American it is not a safe place to be for her. She has to be very careful. The her Uncle rents out the attic room to a German who is studying to be a doctor. Will he be a spy or is he there to help? Great book. It will keep you wanting to read. Looking forward to the next book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lori Weller

    All God's Children is the first book of a trilogy concerning a set of families living in Nazi Germany. It is a suspenseful, sit on the edge of your seat, rewarding book. The history learned in this book is fascinating and very new to this history buff. The story revolves around an American, Beth, who lived with her German aunt, uncle, and cousin while her aunt is ill. The family are Quakers. Beth meets a German doctor whose father is a high government official. The two of them begin participatin All God's Children is the first book of a trilogy concerning a set of families living in Nazi Germany. It is a suspenseful, sit on the edge of your seat, rewarding book. The history learned in this book is fascinating and very new to this history buff. The story revolves around an American, Beth, who lived with her German aunt, uncle, and cousin while her aunt is ill. The family are Quakers. Beth meets a German doctor whose father is a high government official. The two of them begin participating in the underground movement. It was a great story and I can't wait to read the next book. This is the first book of Anna Schmidt's I have read but it is certainly not my last. I recieved my book from the Book Club Network for my honest review

  13. 4 out of 5

    Joy C.

    The first in a three-book series set in WW2, I quite enjoyed this book. It covers the events of the White Rose in Germany, amid the resistance work of Sophie Scholl and the underground movement. I liked Josef's character :), but I have to say the story did have its weak points - mostly, I thought there were a few plot-holes in relation to Beth's character and her reasons for staying in Berlin. Also, while interesting, the Quaker element was not my favourite aspect of the story. But the theme of The first in a three-book series set in WW2, I quite enjoyed this book. It covers the events of the White Rose in Germany, amid the resistance work of Sophie Scholl and the underground movement. I liked Josef's character :), but I have to say the story did have its weak points - mostly, I thought there were a few plot-holes in relation to Beth's character and her reasons for staying in Berlin. Also, while interesting, the Quaker element was not my favourite aspect of the story. But the theme of "All God's children" and the sad gravity of the time, the sufferings the characters experienced in consequences of doing what was right, was very special. On the whole, I think I enjoyed it enough that I am willing to try more of Schmidt's work :).

  14. 4 out of 5

    Audrey

    Anna is a young American Quaker woman who has been living in Germany for the past eight years. Since her aunt hasn't been well she was asked to come help her. Now it is the middle of World War Two and life is dangerous. Beth is determined to help those in need. A former student of her uncle, Josef, is boarding with them. Beth and Josef get involved with the White Rose, an underground resistance movement. They also fall in love and eventually get married. When they get arrested they are taken to Anna is a young American Quaker woman who has been living in Germany for the past eight years. Since her aunt hasn't been well she was asked to come help her. Now it is the middle of World War Two and life is dangerous. Beth is determined to help those in need. A former student of her uncle, Josef, is boarding with them. Beth and Josef get involved with the White Rose, an underground resistance movement. They also fall in love and eventually get married. When they get arrested they are taken to Sobibor, Poland but eventually able to escape to Denmark. I hope to someday read the rest of the books in this series.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Shannon Brown

    I started this book last night, and read the whole thing. I did not realize I had been reading that long, until I saw the sun peaking through the window... There were many times in this story, that I caught my heart beating wildly feeling the fear of the characters during their plight. I thought it was excellent, and I can not wait to read the rest of the series...

  16. 5 out of 5

    Janelle

    3 1/2 stars. I enjoyed it, and I thought it was well written. I guess it just didn't captivate me. 3 1/2 stars. I enjoyed it, and I thought it was well written. I guess it just didn't captivate me.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Bookish Jen

    In the first installment of romance author Anna Schmidt’s Peacekeeper series, All God’s Children, we are introduced to Beth Bridgewater, an American woman from Wisconsin who is now living in 1940s Germany with her Uncle Franz, Aunt Ilse and their young daughter. Beth originally came to Germany to help her aunt and uncle raise their daughter. Ilse has not been well since the birth of her daughter and she relies a great deal on Beth, who selflessly helps take care of her little cousin any way she In the first installment of romance author Anna Schmidt’s Peacekeeper series, All God’s Children, we are introduced to Beth Bridgewater, an American woman from Wisconsin who is now living in 1940s Germany with her Uncle Franz, Aunt Ilse and their young daughter. Beth originally came to Germany to help her aunt and uncle raise their daughter. Ilse has not been well since the birth of her daughter and she relies a great deal on Beth, who selflessly helps take care of her little cousin any way she can. Early 1940s Germany was a perilous time. The Hitler regime was taking over and countless Jewish people were being sent to their death in concentration camps. Beth is horrified by these turn of events, and wonders what will become of her and her German relatives. She is also very concerned about her Jewish friends and acquaintances. In a somewhat hasty, yet giving move, Beth hands over her immigration papers to a young Jewish woman so this woman can escape Germany to avoid being sent to a camp. Now paperless, Beth can’t leave Germany to go back to her Wisconsin home. Entering Beth’s life is Josef Buch. Josef is a former student of Uncle Franz’s, and is now studying to be a doctor. Josef chooses to live with Beth’s uncle and aunt so he can be close to his medical studies at the university. Despite the proximity to the university, it is a wonder why Josef would choose to live in a cramped apartment attic rather than parents much more spacious home. Josef’s father is also a high ranking official in the Gestapo. Hmm, could Josef also be part of the Gestapo? Is he a Nazi sympathizer? Could he possibly be a spy? Josef is an enigma, and Beth questions his motives. Yet, she is also intrigued and drawn towards this handsome stranger. Soon she realizes Josef is also appalled by the rise of Hitler and the Nazis. Like, Beth, Josef wants to also resist the Nazi regime and help Germany’s Jewish citizens who live under persecution every single day. Non-Jewish Germans must also fear for their lives; especially those who resist the Nazi regime. Beth knows she most do something beyond giving away her immigration papers to a Jewish friend. And it is her strong Quaker faith, known as “Freunde” in Germany, that most guides her. As a Quaker, Beth is a pacifist. She refuses to take up violent means to defy the Nazis. However, she knows she can get help in other ways. It isn’t long before Beth and Josef get involved with the White Rose, a resistance group who pass out leaflets exposing the evil of the Nazi regime and how to defy it. Both Beth and Josef bring their considerable gifts and strong moral code to the White Rose. Whereas, Beth is impulsive, she is also hugely giving and empathetic. And Josef’s considerable planning and organizational skills are also valuable to the White Rose. Getting involved in the White Rose puts both Beth and Josef in a precarious situation, but they refuse to be deterred even though the face mortal danger every single day. Before long, Beth and Josef find their friendship turning to love. With their shared commitment to helping others and defying the Nazi regime, they begin to have romantic feelings for each other. Beth and Josef can’t deny their strong feelings, and soon they fall in love and get married. Unlike most newlyweds, Beth and Josef do not spend time unwrapping weddings gifts, setting up a household and contemplating starting a family. They face danger and death on a daily basis. And before long, Josef and Beth’s activities with the White Rose are discovered and they are sent to the camp Sobibor. Beth spends her days sorting out the clothing, shoes and various items of Soibor’s prisoners. These are prisoners who have already been sent to the gas chambers, a fact that horrifies Beth to her very core. Despite being separated at Sobibor, Beth and Josef can spend some time together, and soon they lives are upended once again when they make a daring escape. Beth and Josef face so much turmoil in their young lives uncertainty, violence, betrayal, near death and a gripping fear that they may never see another day. Yet, they are unwavering in their commitment peace, to their family and friends, to helping others and yes, to each other. All God’s Children is a romance. But it’s so much more than that. It’s not a “bodice-ripper,” and it’s certainly not a romance of the clichéd “chick lit” variety. Too be honest, I’ve never been a huge romantic fiction fan. I went through a brief “bodice ripper” phase in high school, and to me, most “chick lit” has all the depth of a Jimmy Choo in-step. But Josef and Beth are two fully-realized characters who you can truly believe in. Beth is a young woman of both grace and gravitas. And we need more men like Josef. I also have to give author Anna Schmidt a huge amount of credit for all of the research she did on World War II and the Nazi takeover of Germany and the rest of Europe. I must admit my own education on this horrific time is quite limited, just what I learned in school and through books like “The Diary of Anne Frank” and movies like “Schindler’s List.” I gained so much knowledge reading All God’s Children. I’m smart enough to realize that not all non-Jewish Germans were Nazis or Nazi sympathizers. Many were truly sickened by the Nazi regime, and many of them got involved in resistance movements and worked tirelessly on behalf of their Jewish neighbors and friends. Also, non-Jewish Germans suffered under the Nazi regime, with many of them being sent to concentration camps, and many of them facing torture and death. All God’s Children piqued my interest in the White Rose, and through the miracle of Google, I did some research and learned so much more. I can proudly say members of the White Rose are now heroes of mine and I plan on reading about their work. I also learned more about the Quaker faith. As a lapsed Roman Catholic turned Unitarian, I was only marginally acquainted with Quakers and how they live out their faith on a daily basis. I am in total awe how so many Quakers go above and beyond to help others, and do it without violent means. Yes, All God’s Children is a lovely romantic story of two very notable and admirable characters. But it is also a story of courage, inspiration and a very worthwhile history lesson. Originally Published at The Book Self: http://thebookselfblog.wordpress.com/...

  18. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    Totally enjoyed this story - I would like to read the other 2 in this trilogy. The characters are delightful and the story line is believable, illuminating how 'average' citizens were impacted in Nazi Germany. Totally enjoyed this story - I would like to read the other 2 in this trilogy. The characters are delightful and the story line is believable, illuminating how 'average' citizens were impacted in Nazi Germany.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ellen

    All the Quaker "inner light" references and clarity seeking really cost me enjoyment of the story. If this was the intent of the series, I humbly apologize. I felt the romance was completely lost in it as the story bogged down. All the Quaker "inner light" references and clarity seeking really cost me enjoyment of the story. If this was the intent of the series, I humbly apologize. I felt the romance was completely lost in it as the story bogged down.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Shirley Parker

    Amazing I was spellbound. Amazing story of faith and bravery and sadness and heart ache. Let us pray this never happens again. A must read for all.

  21. 4 out of 5

    LM Huffman

    I am finished with this book, I didn’t actually finish it. Boring.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    An exciting Christian adventure / romance set in World War II Germany and based on actual events.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lois

    Historical Fiction Excellent recounting of history with these characters to fill in some gaps. I also enjoyed learning a bit more about the Quaker way of life in those times.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    Can't wait to read the next book Can't wait to read the next book

  25. 5 out of 5

    Stephen White

    Awesome This book is so interesting about World War II and real people’s lives. It is difficult to lay it down once you start reading.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rosie Read

    Firstly, the blurb on the back of the novel was a bit misleading. I thought we'd get a nice build-up to Nazi Germany instead we're thrown in in 1942, three years after the outbreak of war and nine since the beginning of the Nazi regime. Nevertheless, Schmidt does a good job of quickly sketching out the details of life in Germany at the time without overloading the reader with information that they're more than likely to already have. However, it's not just here that Schmidt seems to skip a coupl Firstly, the blurb on the back of the novel was a bit misleading. I thought we'd get a nice build-up to Nazi Germany instead we're thrown in in 1942, three years after the outbreak of war and nine since the beginning of the Nazi regime. Nevertheless, Schmidt does a good job of quickly sketching out the details of life in Germany at the time without overloading the reader with information that they're more than likely to already have. However, it's not just here that Schmidt seems to skip a couple of steps. All God's Children was billed as a romance and I have to say that I would really disagree with this. Yes, there is a romantic relationship between our two main characters, however, it does not fulfil the usual romance novel criteria. Beth and Josef's relationship comes to a head fairly quickly with only a few bumps along the road to show any real development. I would be much happier categorising Schmidt's novel as historical fiction with a central love story. How diplomatic of me. One aspect of the book that I was a bit concerned about, and that I should imagine would make a lot of readers wary, was the Quaker element. A lot of Beth's actions are dictated by her beliefs and several other of the characters in the novel are of the same persuasion which maybe strengthens their relationships a bit prematurely for most readers. In the end I found I quite enjoyed learning a bit more about Quakers and the Society of Friends, I think that Schmidt found the right balance between instruction and preaching and kept the religious elements of the book central to the characters and their motivations. I found Beth an interesting heroine. Schmidt clearly maps out and rationalises her thought processes and resulting actions, however, I could never really get behind her as a character and constantly found her naive and wilful. Josef was a stereotypical hero, loyal, brave and unflinching. Personally I found Josef's journey throughout the novel much more interesting, he's gradual disenchantment and inner turmoil over the fate of his homeland was skilfully executed by Schmidt. For me the novel falls down when it comes to pacing and the overarching plot. Despite setting her novel during one of the most turbulent times in recent memory Schmidt never really takes full advantage of the possible tension that the period could offer. The historical detail is almost dealt with in a perfunctory manner, which is a shame given the potential the period offers. The novel also seems to end rather abruptly and [SPOILER] before the conclusion of the war which left me somewhat mystified and disatisfied. It was only when reading the postscript that I discovered that All God's Children is in fact the first in a trilogy and that several loose story lines will be tied up in the following novels. If romance is what you're looking for then I don't think that I would be too quick to recommend all God's Children, however, if you like historical fiction and are looking for something around the period I think that Schmidt has crafted a fairly good novel; although perhaps not the best if you want something a bit richer to illuminate experiences of life in Nazi Germany. Full review at Rosie Reads Romance *ARC received from NetGalley in return for an honest review.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Johnson

    Title: All God’s Children (The Peacemakers #1) Author: Anna Schmidt Pages: 314 Year: 2013 Publisher: Barbour Publishing This is the first in a series dealing with a resistance movement during WWII in Germany called the White Rose. The other two books in the series are titled, Simple Faith, due to be released in the spring of 2014 and Safe Haven, which has no release date yet. This first novel is begins in the fall/winter of 1942. Beth Bridgewater has been living in Munich, Germany for the last eight y Title: All God’s Children (The Peacemakers #1) Author: Anna Schmidt Pages: 314 Year: 2013 Publisher: Barbour Publishing This is the first in a series dealing with a resistance movement during WWII in Germany called the White Rose. The other two books in the series are titled, Simple Faith, due to be released in the spring of 2014 and Safe Haven, which has no release date yet. This first novel is begins in the fall/winter of 1942. Beth Bridgewater has been living in Munich, Germany for the last eight years, helping her anxiety-ridden frail aunt raise her 8-year-old daughter. Beth is an American citizen, but she is without her visa papers and therefore in constant danger of being arrested. Her uncle teaches at the nearby university. Beth, her aunt and uncle are Quakers and under suspicion by Germans loyal to Hitler due to their pacifist stance. Uncle Franz invites a former student, Josef Buch, a doctor, to live with them temporarily while he continues his studies. He is also a member of the German army, so Beth and her aunt are very uncomfortable having him in their home. Soon Beth and Franz begin to trust Josef. Beth seems to always impulsively befriend those in need without thinking of the repercussions to her and others. Josef Buch admires Beth from afar and knows a relationship between them is not possible, but he can’t help his feelings for her. Does she feel the same? He knows his being a soldier makes her uncomfortable, but is gladdened when she shows some signs of trusting him. He is living with his former professor as he can’t live at home with his parents. His father is a high-ranking member of the Gestapo and Josef is at odds with how the Gestapo is running the country. Josef is to Germany, not necessarily Hitler and certainly opposes his racial extermination policies. While there were tension-filled moments and the fear was almost palpable at times, I didn’t feel like Beth should have been experiencing these issues because she should have been sent home. Surely her uncle and aunt should have been thinking of the safety of their American niece since the war had started in 1939. Why was she still in Germany when the story starts in 1942? I didn’t like the aspect of Beth seeking the “Inner Light” before making some decisions. There is also the matter of having to take an issue to a clearance committee before making a decision or having a general consensus tell a person what to do in any given situation is central to Quaker thinking as portrayed in this story, but Beth encounters situations that require quick decisions and I did like that she made her decisions with her heart and didn’t stick to a strict legalistic religion. She did what she thought God would have her do, which I applaud; however, I still couldn’t really connect with this story or the characters. My rating is 3 stars. Note: I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book from www.bookfun.org. The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspo... . Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson...

  28. 4 out of 5

    Reet Champion

    Beth Bridgewater is living on the edge and she knows it. But with so many needy people can she walk away from the home she has known for the last seven years? As if being an American in Nazi Germany isn’t bad enough Elizabeth “Beth” Bridgewater is also a paperless American in Nazi Germany. Being such a kind and giving person can have its drawbacks, however, as far as her relatives and friends are concerned. Helping a Jewish family out on the street where discovery isn’t quite so ominous isn’t qui Beth Bridgewater is living on the edge and she knows it. But with so many needy people can she walk away from the home she has known for the last seven years? As if being an American in Nazi Germany isn’t bad enough Elizabeth “Beth” Bridgewater is also a paperless American in Nazi Germany. Being such a kind and giving person can have its drawbacks, however, as far as her relatives and friends are concerned. Helping a Jewish family out on the street where discovery isn’t quite so ominous isn’t quite the same thing as bringing that family home while hiding and providing for them. But Beth, in her element, cannot be deterred. Before long she has joined forces with her uncle’s new boarder and the son of a Gestapo officer, Dr. Josef Buch. Together they work with the White Rose group, distributing literature that expresses anti-Nazi sentiments. Their work and the fact that they live in the same house often throws Beth ad Josef together and it isn’t long before a future marriage is pending. Providing their work isn’t discovered first. And providing that aren’t ruthlessly killed as many of their compatriots have been. With the uncertain future hanging over their heads Beth and Josef forge ahead for better or for worse. Anna Schmidt’s All God’s Children is a riveting, action-packed read (not to mention educational). Ms. Schmidt manages to seamlessly weave historical events and facts into the story providing a very realistic setting. Characters are placed in direct contact with real people and organizations of the time. The characters themselves were well-grounded, I thought. I liked how the story started right off; it didn’t take ages for it to get going, at all! The third part of the story was somewhat surprising (I don’t read much World War II fiction – nonfiction yes, fiction no – so I wouldn’t know one way or the other if the particular turn of events featured in All God’s Children was a common technique in stories such as these, but I thought it was very good). You got to say one thing about it – the author didn’t give her character an easy go of it, that’s for certain! Five out of five stars. DISCLAIMER: In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising” we would like to note that we received an electronic copy of “All God’s Children” from NetGalley.com provided by the publishers, Barbour Publishing, Inc, in exchange for our honest review. Previously published here: http://reetchampionbookreviews.wordpr...

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ibjoy1953

    MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK Beth Bridgewater has been in Germany for about eight years taking care of her younger cousin, because her Aunt Isle had health issues that prohibited her from taking care of her daughter. As World War II erupts, Beth, a Quaker pacifist, and Josef Buch, a passionate German Patriot and the former student that Beth’s uncle opened his extra attic room to, join together in nonviolent resistance of the Nazis—and in love. Does their love stand a chance in the midst of such evil. MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK Beth Bridgewater has been in Germany for about eight years taking care of her younger cousin, because her Aunt Isle had health issues that prohibited her from taking care of her daughter. As World War II erupts, Beth, a Quaker pacifist, and Josef Buch, a passionate German Patriot and the former student that Beth’s uncle opened his extra attic room to, join together in nonviolent resistance of the Nazis—and in love. Does their love stand a chance in the midst of such evil. . .if they even survive at all? I really like the catchy book blurb! This book was different than other books I have read by Anna Schmidt, and haven’t read any Amish or Quaker stories taking place around the World War II era, so this was interesting. For me, the book started off slow but after a few chapters, it turned into a true Anna Schmidt story with creative and realistic characters that tell their story so well. Beth’s Aunt Isle was puzzling at times, I just wasn’t sure what her sickly nature was about. Beth and Josef were so different, but they shared an attraction to each other, and they worked well together. And the suspense and mystery surrounding Josef was the driving force for me, because I wanted to keep reading to see what would happen next. As with all historical fiction, I really enjoyed the history part of the story, and the author did a phenomenal job of describing historical Germany in the early 1940’s and what it was like there after the war. Ms. Schmidt leaves you feeling like you are joining the characters in the story, and you will be truly entertained and blessed as you read All God’s Children. I was happy to read that there will be books two and three coming out later to continue where this story and these characters were left off. If you enjoy historical fiction, and WWII fiction, you will love this one! I received this book from the publisher Barbour Books to read and review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 55.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Pat

    I finished this book less than an hour ago. Its definitely a "keeper". I'm a fan of Anna Schmidt and I've read all of her Amish books. This one is set during WWII but from the German perspective. Beth went to Germany to help her aunt and to stay after aunt had a baby. During this time German and America have gone to war. Anna shows the hardships, friendships and how hard it is to trust someone under Hitler. Even the children are taught to tell on their parents at school. To make it harder, Beth I finished this book less than an hour ago. Its definitely a "keeper". I'm a fan of Anna Schmidt and I've read all of her Amish books. This one is set during WWII but from the German perspective. Beth went to Germany to help her aunt and to stay after aunt had a baby. During this time German and America have gone to war. Anna shows the hardships, friendships and how hard it is to trust someone under Hitler. Even the children are taught to tell on their parents at school. To make it harder, Beth is a Quaker. Josef was a student of her Uncle when he was in college. He's a doctor and soldier who rents a room from the family. No one understands why since his father is a high ranking government official and has a large luxurious home. The book shows how hard it was for the Germans that didn't follow Hitler, how the people suffered not only from hunger, cold but from fear that someone would report them for saying something the wrong way. I lived in post-WWII Germany and I saw the bombed out buildings the churches with only the outer walls standing. In 1955 Germany was still suffering from the war and the distrust still remained for a lot of the German people. This book brought back a lot of the stories I hear from my German friends' parents. Just because they were German it didn't mean they were treated any better unless they were with the Gestapo or SS. There are places in this book that will have you smiling, shedding tears from both joy and sorrow. I hope the next book in this series will be out early 2014. Anna doesn't pull her punches in showing how hard it was for so many Germans. You have families almost starving, being pulled from their homes in the middle of the night and never heard from again. Death camps, traitors, hardships of prison for both men and women. This book touched my heart in a way that most fiction doesn't. I highly recommend this book to everyone. I received this book through the www.bookfun.org (bookclub.org) to read and leave an honest review and opinion. I've been a fan of Anna Schmidt about two years and this is her best one yet.

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