The Medallion by Cathy Gohlke is a masterfully written WWII story. The book was a complete page turner from beginning to end and I loved it! While rich in history it is also deep in connection. I became invested and connected to both Sophie and Rosa as their stories ufolded. I found Gohlke’s writing to be rich in imagery and the detailed descriptions painted vivid pictures that completely captivated me.
While the story is so tragic and I was overwhelmed with conviction and grief reading, I was also filled with hope as moments of humanity and spiritual conviction led characters to do brave and unthinkable things. I found the story to be engaging from beginning to end and loved the shift in Part II as Gohlke completes the story beautifully.
I have never read anything by Gohlke, but I am not surprised that she is award winning and a much awaited author. I was impressed with how she naturally and believably integrated faith and prayer through the story and within the characters. This is something that is hard to do in general and often I feel like is added as an afterthought. Integrating Jesus, redemption, human spirituality and prayer could have been especially challenging in such a racially and religiously driven time in our history. Gohlke did it seemlessly and believably. As I read I could only think may we never repeat these terrible mistakes of hatred and selfishness that lead to the dehumanization of people, God’s people. I am grateful for the story and the author’s beautiful writing.
Thanks to Celebrate Lit Bloggers for providing me a copy of the book. All opinions shared here are my own.
About the Book
Book: The Medallion
Author: Cathy Gohlke
Genre: Historical Fiction (World War II)
Release date: June 4, 2019
For fans of bestselling World War II fiction like Sarah’s Key and The Nightingale comes an illuminating tale of courage, sacrifice, and survival, about two couples whose lives are ravaged by Hitler’s mad war yet eventually redeemed through the fate of one little girl.
Seemingly overnight, the German blitzkrieg of Warsaw in 1939 turns its streets to a war zone and shatters the life of each citizen—Polish, Jewish, or otherwise. Sophie Kumiega, a British bride working in the city’s library, awaits news of her husband, Janek, recently deployed with the Polish Air Force. Though Sophie is determined that she and the baby in her womb will stay safe, the days ahead will draw her into the plight of those around her, compelling her to help, whatever the danger.
Rosa and Itzhak Dunovich never imagined they would welcome their longed-for first child in the Jewish ghetto, or that they would let anything tear their family apart. But as daily atrocities intensify, Rosa soon faces a terrifying reality: to save their daughter’s life, she must send her into hiding. Her only hope of finding her after the war—if any of them survive—is a medallion she cuts in half and places around her neck.
Inspired by true events of Poland’s darkest days and brightest heroes, The Medallion paints a stunning portrait of war and its aftermath, daring us to believe that when all seems lost, God can make a way forward.
Click here to purchase your copy.
About the Author
Three-time Christy and two-time Carol and INSPY Award–winning and bestselling author Cathy Gohlke writes novels steeped with inspirational lessons, speaking of world and life events through the lens of history. She champions the battle against oppression, celebrating the freedom found only in Christ. Cathy has worked as a school librarian, drama director, and director of children’s and education ministries. When not traveling to historic sites for research, she, her husband, and their dog, Reilly, divide their time between northern Virginia and the Jersey Shore, enjoying time with their grown children and grandchildren. Visit her website at www.cathygohlke.com and find her on Facebook at CathyGohlkeBooks.
More from Cathy
Every story begins with a journey. Sharing that journey is twice the joy.
The Medallion was inspired by two true stories—the first was the WWII account of Itzhak Dugin and his Jewish family, persecuted in Lithuania. Their heart-wrenching story made world news when the tunnel from which Itzhak escaped the Nazis was discovered using modern technology.
The second was the story of Irena Sendler, a Polish Catholic social worker within Żegota (an underground Polish Council to Aid Jews), who developed a network to rescue children. Despite terrible risks, they smuggled 2500 Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto and certain death at the hands of the Nazis, then hid them in Polish homes, convents, churches and hospitals until the end of the war. Approximately 2,000 of those children were found after the war. Theories abound regarding the whereabouts of those missing. I couldn’t help but wonder, and imagine: What became of those 400 to 500 missing children? What became of one?
Set in WWII Poland and post-war England, The Medallion is a story of courage, sacrifice, love, forgiveness and redemption.
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To celebrate her tour, Cathy is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/e50c/the-medallion-celebration-tour-giveaway
Thank you, Alex, for this wonderful review of The Medallion, and for sharing the story with your readers. God’s blessings!