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Chasing Shadows

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For fans of bestselling WWII fiction comes a powerful novel from Lynn Austin about three women whose lives are instantly changed when the Nazis invade the neutral Netherlands, forcing each into a complicated dance of choice and consequence. Lena is a wife and mother who farms alongside her husband in the tranquil countryside. Her faith has always been her compass, but can s For fans of bestselling WWII fiction comes a powerful novel from Lynn Austin about three women whose lives are instantly changed when the Nazis invade the neutral Netherlands, forcing each into a complicated dance of choice and consequence. Lena is a wife and mother who farms alongside her husband in the tranquil countryside. Her faith has always been her compass, but can she remain steadfast when the questions grow increasingly complex and the answers could mean the difference between life and death? Lena's daughter Ans has recently moved to the bustling city of Leiden, filled with romantic notions of a new job and a young Dutch police officer. But when she is drawn into Resistance work, her idealism collides with the dangerous reality that comes with fighting the enemy. Miriam is a young Jewish violinist who immigrated for the safety she thought Holland would offer. She finds love in her new country, but as her family settles in Leiden, the events that follow will test them in ways she could never have imagined. The Nazi invasion propels these women onto paths that cross in unexpected, sometimes-heartbreaking ways. Yet the story that unfolds illuminates the surprising endurance of the human spirit and the power of faith and love to carry us through.


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For fans of bestselling WWII fiction comes a powerful novel from Lynn Austin about three women whose lives are instantly changed when the Nazis invade the neutral Netherlands, forcing each into a complicated dance of choice and consequence. Lena is a wife and mother who farms alongside her husband in the tranquil countryside. Her faith has always been her compass, but can s For fans of bestselling WWII fiction comes a powerful novel from Lynn Austin about three women whose lives are instantly changed when the Nazis invade the neutral Netherlands, forcing each into a complicated dance of choice and consequence. Lena is a wife and mother who farms alongside her husband in the tranquil countryside. Her faith has always been her compass, but can she remain steadfast when the questions grow increasingly complex and the answers could mean the difference between life and death? Lena's daughter Ans has recently moved to the bustling city of Leiden, filled with romantic notions of a new job and a young Dutch police officer. But when she is drawn into Resistance work, her idealism collides with the dangerous reality that comes with fighting the enemy. Miriam is a young Jewish violinist who immigrated for the safety she thought Holland would offer. She finds love in her new country, but as her family settles in Leiden, the events that follow will test them in ways she could never have imagined. The Nazi invasion propels these women onto paths that cross in unexpected, sometimes-heartbreaking ways. Yet the story that unfolds illuminates the surprising endurance of the human spirit and the power of faith and love to carry us through.

30 review for Chasing Shadows

  1. 5 out of 5

    Karren Sandercock

    Pieter and Lena de Vries live in the Netherlands, they own a farm and happily work together. The couple have been blessed with three children, Ans, Wim and Maaike, the children have been raised to believe in the lord and follow their parent’s faith. Holland's a neutral country, when the German’s invade Poland and the de Vries family are very worried. Ans finds life on the farm boring, she’s tired of going to church and she wants to move to Leiden. Herman Huizenga needs a companion for his wife E Pieter and Lena de Vries live in the Netherlands, they own a farm and happily work together. The couple have been blessed with three children, Ans, Wim and Maaike, the children have been raised to believe in the lord and follow their parent’s faith. Holland's a neutral country, when the German’s invade Poland and the de Vries family are very worried. Ans finds life on the farm boring, she’s tired of going to church and she wants to move to Leiden. Herman Huizenga needs a companion for his wife Eloise, she suffers from a nervous condition, the threat of war has increased her anxiety and Ans keeps her company during the day. Ans meets Erik Brouwer, he’s a police officer in Leiden, he’s dedicated to his job and they fall in love. Her feelings towards the German's are very different to Erik’s, can she trust him and is he really a collaborator? Miriam Jacobs lives in Cologne Germany, she’s a talented Jewish violinist, when it becomes unsafe to stay in their homeland she and her father escape to Holland. Here she meets Avraham Leopold, they fall in love, marry and start a family. The Nazi’s start targeting Jewish people, just like they did in Germany, they can't escape because Hollands surrounded and the Leopold family need to go into hiding. The Netherlands endured five long years of German occupation, Holland was cut off from the rest of the world and what happened during this time was truly horrific. Chasing Shadows story recounts Lena, Ans and Miriam’s wartime experiences, strong, brave and extremely courageous women. Selfless, they protected the people they loved, helped others and their faith kept them going during the darkest of times. I received a copy of this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review, Lynn Austin has done it again, outstanding writing and five stars from me. https://karrenreadsbooks.blogspot.com/

  2. 4 out of 5

    Deanne Patterson

    Every time I open a Lynn Austin book I think to myself she couldn't possibly top her last book . Somehow she does it every single time! Meticulously researched, I know the author put a lot of time into this book. Like pouring her heart and soul into it. It's just that outstanding! This book features a lot of characters and they are part of the Dutch Resistance. The book takes place in the Netherlands during WW11. We see the Nazi's invading neutral Netherlands and the choices the people there must Every time I open a Lynn Austin book I think to myself she couldn't possibly top her last book . Somehow she does it every single time! Meticulously researched, I know the author put a lot of time into this book. Like pouring her heart and soul into it. It's just that outstanding! This book features a lot of characters and they are part of the Dutch Resistance. The book takes place in the Netherlands during WW11. We see the Nazi's invading neutral Netherlands and the choices the people there must make in their daily lives for their safety and the consequences they face for these choices. Heartbreaking and realistic but we feel a sense of rebound as the human spirit can endure with faith,hope and love. Excellent!!!!! Pub Date 08 Jun 2021 I was given a complimentary copy of this book. Thank you. All opinions expressed are my own.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Staci

    The Netherlands 1939-1945 Neutral Netherlands is considered a safe place to be. Until a Nazi invasion occurs. The characters in Chasing Shadows show how war impacts people differently. The main characters are four females: Lena, a farmer's wife; Lena's daughter Ans that wants to escape small town life; Miriam, a Jewish refugee and Eloise, suffering from depression following WWI. Each of their stories intertwines and shows resilience. It was the smallest details that could make all the difference, e The Netherlands 1939-1945 Neutral Netherlands is considered a safe place to be. Until a Nazi invasion occurs. The characters in Chasing Shadows show how war impacts people differently. The main characters are four females: Lena, a farmer's wife; Lena's daughter Ans that wants to escape small town life; Miriam, a Jewish refugee and Eloise, suffering from depression following WWI. Each of their stories intertwines and shows resilience. It was the smallest details that could make all the difference, either in a positive or negative way. For example, Miriam's talent as a violinist had positive impacts a number of times, both for her and for others. Beautifully written novel showing the love of Christ and humanity.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Rachel McMillan

    Lynn Austin's obvious passion for the Netherlands and her resplendent ease at the research and excavation of the all-too-human stories set against the backdrop of WWII, make her the perfect voice to wrap around the similar yet very different experiences of three dimensional, humane, compassionate and romantic women who must rise to challenges of love and sacrifice they never could have imagined. This is Austin in her comfort zone: focusing on the triumphs and travails of generations eager to pas Lynn Austin's obvious passion for the Netherlands and her resplendent ease at the research and excavation of the all-too-human stories set against the backdrop of WWII, make her the perfect voice to wrap around the similar yet very different experiences of three dimensional, humane, compassionate and romantic women who must rise to challenges of love and sacrifice they never could have imagined. This is Austin in her comfort zone: focusing on the triumphs and travails of generations eager to pass on their wisdom and relinquish the mistakes of the past but finding redemption in the promise of stepping into the unknown. This is vintage Lynn Austin and a wonderful addition to the canon of WWII fiction that compels and lures the reader with vignettes of everyday heroism. At times romantic and heart-twisting, it is a treatise on friendship, music, faith and longing. No one in the world excels at Inspirational Fiction like Austin does . It makes me downright GIDDY that this book exists.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Christy

    There are not enough adequate words to describe what a wonderful book this was to read. While I normally tend to write rather long reviews, I will leave you to discover and experience this book for yourself. I assure you - it will be well worth your time. I have been surprisingly obsessed with WWII fiction this year, and each book I read seems to surpass the quality of the last. Lynn Austin has written a real treasure of a book against a haunting backdrop of war. There were moments of deep grief There are not enough adequate words to describe what a wonderful book this was to read. While I normally tend to write rather long reviews, I will leave you to discover and experience this book for yourself. I assure you - it will be well worth your time. I have been surprisingly obsessed with WWII fiction this year, and each book I read seems to surpass the quality of the last. Lynn Austin has written a real treasure of a book against a haunting backdrop of war. There were moments of deep grief, pain, and tears, and times when I needed to put it down for a few moments before continuing. I hope and pray this type of history never repeats itself, but yet thankful for the brave men and women who fought against tyranny and evil when faced with it. 5 stars were never more well deserved than for a book such as this one.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Geaney

    With over 3 million copies of The Hiding Place in circulation, chances are you've read or heard of Corrie Ten Boom and the way her family served the Dutch Resistance at great personal cost. I had Corrie's story in mind when I decided to read Lynn Austin's newest novel. Chasing Shadows is set in the Netherlands (1939-1945) and is told from the perspective of three fictional women: Miriam Jacobs, Lena de Vries, and Lena's daughter Ans. I'm keen on World War II books and movies because they often t With over 3 million copies of The Hiding Place in circulation, chances are you've read or heard of Corrie Ten Boom and the way her family served the Dutch Resistance at great personal cost. I had Corrie's story in mind when I decided to read Lynn Austin's newest novel. Chasing Shadows is set in the Netherlands (1939-1945) and is told from the perspective of three fictional women: Miriam Jacobs, Lena de Vries, and Lena's daughter Ans. I'm keen on World War II books and movies because they often tell of people facing moral dilemmas, acting with extraordinary bravery, or trusting in God for deliverance—all three are found in Chasing Shadows. As with all her stories, Austin reached beyond my mind to touch my heart. First, in how her Christian characters demonstrate what it means to truly 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' Then by penning my favorite scene in which Ans is facing an accuser and suddenly recalls sweet words her parents had taught her as a child... “I am not my own, but I belong, body and soul, in life and in death, to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ. . . . He watches over me in such a way that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head . . . He also assures me of eternal life and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto Him." (HC 1) Chasing Shadows is a story that Austin fans won't want to miss! I received this book from the publisher through the NetGalley review program. 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 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

  7. 5 out of 5

    Paula Shreckhise

    “The only truly safe place to be is in God’s hands.” What an emotionally impactful story set in Holland during World War II. In my opinion, this is a must read, so that we do not forget the sacrifice of these precious people during a horrible time in history. It is a story of triumph during adversity, of clinging to God when there is no other hope. “Let your fear drive you into the arms of God.” It is a story of courage and how God can show mercy and draw you closer to Him. “When faced with a dil “The only truly safe place to be is in God’s hands.” What an emotionally impactful story set in Holland during World War II. In my opinion, this is a must read, so that we do not forget the sacrifice of these precious people during a horrible time in history. It is a story of triumph during adversity, of clinging to God when there is no other hope. “Let your fear drive you into the arms of God.” It is a story of courage and how God can show mercy and draw you closer to Him. “When faced with a dilemma, we can ask, What is the best way to show our love for God and for our neighbor.” We can even forgive if it is required. It is a story showing how we can build on our foundational faith and be reminded of scripture and the catechism when we need it. “Keep your eyes on the Cross and the Resurrection. When we remember how much Christ sacrificed for us, we will know we can trust Him with anything.” An excellent book by one of my favorite authors. Do not miss this one! I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale Publishers on behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*

  8. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    I still remember the first Lynn Austin book I ever read, primarily because I reread it recently and it still resonated with me. So when a Lynn Austin book becomes available I have to read it, well, most of the time. There are a few of her books I still haven't delved into, but that's a story for another day. Today's review is on Chasing Shadows, a World War II era book that takes place in the Netherlands. While there are some books about World War II that deal with the battles and their aftermat I still remember the first Lynn Austin book I ever read, primarily because I reread it recently and it still resonated with me. So when a Lynn Austin book becomes available I have to read it, well, most of the time. There are a few of her books I still haven't delved into, but that's a story for another day. Today's review is on Chasing Shadows, a World War II era book that takes place in the Netherlands. While there are some books about World War II that deal with the battles and their aftermath, this one deals with the lives of people who are subject to the whims and impulses of a conquering government. Imperialism and domination were the keystones of the two major Axis players of the war. The German National Socialists were also seeking racial purity and elimination of a race of people they deemed evil and corrupting. While many people did not hold with the government's ideologies and did what they could to protect the Jews, they were still subject to the rules and laws of those people in power. Some people put on their courageousness and did what they could to help these marginalized citizens. Chasing Shadows is a book about the bravery of ordinary people who disagreed with those in power, especially those who let their power go to their heads. The plot is dark with the clouds of evil hovering over the daily lives of the characters, and it deals with not only the history of the era, but also the fallout of the war on individual lives. There are two intersecting stories that were common to the times. On the one hand, there are the lives of farmers--ordinary citizens, as it were--and their families who have their food confiscated by the soldiers, but they also provide a safe haven and what little food they can for the Jews who would otherwise be sent to the camps. On the other hand, there are the families of the Jews themselves who live in great fear every moment of the day. Lynn has focused on one farmer's family and one Jewish family in this book and these narratives are based on real people and real events. I've never read a book of the World War II era that showcased the daily life of people and their hardships. I do enjoy reading WWII era books because my father served, two of his brothers served, and several of my uncles on my mother's side of the family also served. It is not as though I was unaware of the events, but to read it in a novelization where the emotions and the thoughts of the characters are displayed, the true meaning of the events drives home. This is a five star book that will last in the reader's mind for a long time after the last pages are read. Tyndale House and NetGalley.com provided the copy I read for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    Another fabulous book by one of my favorite authors! Story was well written and researched. Characters will make you fall in love with them and yes they will also break your heart many times over as you go through their journey with them. I loved this story because it teaches and reminds of God's love even through difficulties. I liked Lena's papa. He was so strong and brave. And so full of wisdom. His words of comfort. God is there to lean on even after he's gone from this world Lena. You must lea Another fabulous book by one of my favorite authors! Story was well written and researched. Characters will make you fall in love with them and yes they will also break your heart many times over as you go through their journey with them. I loved this story because it teaches and reminds of God's love even through difficulties. I liked Lena's papa. He was so strong and brave. And so full of wisdom. His words of comfort. God is there to lean on even after he's gone from this world Lena. You must learn to lean on Him. I can pray with you but you mustn't lean on me but lean on the Lord. This story offers hope. Hope through the evil times that God would eventually redeem His people. This book will keep your interest. Ms. Austin's novels are always a treat to read and she never disappoints. I look forward to her next adventure. I highly recommend! My thanks for a copy of this book. I was NOT required to write a positive review and all opinions are my own.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kav

    What an emotional read! Austin takes her readers into the lives of three Dutch women during World War II and delivers a memorable story full of heartache and hope. I feel like my eyes were opened as I embraced Lena, Ans and Miriam and lived their stories along side them. I mean, I thought I knew about the Holocaust and the resistance movement but Austin's stirring storytelling turned those facts into deeply emotional impressions. I was reeling by the end. Burst into gut-wrenching sobs of release What an emotional read! Austin takes her readers into the lives of three Dutch women during World War II and delivers a memorable story full of heartache and hope. I feel like my eyes were opened as I embraced Lena, Ans and Miriam and lived their stories along side them. I mean, I thought I knew about the Holocaust and the resistance movement but Austin's stirring storytelling turned those facts into deeply emotional impressions. I was reeling by the end. Burst into gut-wrenching sobs of release -- sad, happy, hurting, hopeful tears to match my jumbled emotions. There are incredibly moving inspirational threads woven throughout this story and i appreciate that the author includes both Christian and Jewish faith arcs. Lena, in her forties, a farm wife and mother, has always relied on her pastor father for spiritual guidance. Her daughter, Ans, rebels against her parents' religion as she makes a new life in the city. And Miriam has never given her Jewish roots much thought other than on the occasional holiday. Over the course of the war, each woman learns to derive comfort and courage from a renewed faith in God. I'm struggling to find the right words to describe the impact Chasing Shadows had on me. (Incredible title, by the way, which aptly fits the novel.) I spotted so many parallels to our tumultuous 21st century times. Particularly in the way some people need a scapegoat to blame when things get tough. And feel the need to lash out at anyone with different ideas, politics or cultural backgrounds. It seems like humanity is destined to keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again. Which is why I think books like this one are so important to read. I listened to the audible edtion and was completely transfixed by Stina Nielsen's narration. I hung on her every word as she guided me through the intricacies of war torn Holland. She brought vibrancy and colour to Austin's incredible storytelling.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Tero

    It has been a few years since I’ve read Lynn Austin, but I know she’s good for a solid, well-researched story. This one did not at all disappoint. The characters were so good! You felt them being torn in different directions as Germany overtook the Netherlands. Their fear and struggles were palpable and I was immersed in how real the different perspectives were during WWII. I may have cried for several parts. It was realistic, heart-wrenching, and oh so good. The spiritual content was amazing. Les It has been a few years since I’ve read Lynn Austin, but I know she’s good for a solid, well-researched story. This one did not at all disappoint. The characters were so good! You felt them being torn in different directions as Germany overtook the Netherlands. Their fear and struggles were palpable and I was immersed in how real the different perspectives were during WWII. I may have cried for several parts. It was realistic, heart-wrenching, and oh so good. The spiritual content was amazing. Lessons of following God in hard times, letting go and giving it to God, and trusting God were the heartbeat of this story. There was romance, but it was part of the character’s normal life and not brought out with emotional passions. Occasionally, particularly in the beginning, the story seemed to be written in paraphrase style as there was so many details to the story and I feel she was limited on word count. I would have liked more depth to some parts, but I also realize this is my personal writing style preference. I highly recommend this for someone who loves WWII, the Resistance, and more serious stories. *I received this book from the publisher and happily provided my honest review*

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Chasing Shadows by Lynn Austin is an excellent WWII-era historical fiction novel that takes place in the Netherlands. This is a stunning tapestry of a collection of ordinary citizens and how they adapt and respond to adversity and exhibit perseverance during the war. This book is such an impressive and beautiful narrative of what the people of the Netherlands experienced in the face of fear, change, tests of faith, and how each responded in their own way to the invasion of the Nazis into their la Chasing Shadows by Lynn Austin is an excellent WWII-era historical fiction novel that takes place in the Netherlands. This is a stunning tapestry of a collection of ordinary citizens and how they adapt and respond to adversity and exhibit perseverance during the war. This book is such an impressive and beautiful narrative of what the people of the Netherlands experienced in the face of fear, change, tests of faith, and how each responded in their own way to the invasion of the Nazis into their land, forever changing everything and everyone. I was drawn in immediately by the wonderful way in which Ms. Austin creates and describes her cast of characters. I know that these people and events were inspired by real people and happenings, but she really was able to portray how “ordinary” people lived in response to the fear, changes, risks, and often mortal danger in the face of oppression, anger, imprisonments, silence, and attempts at domination. The cast of characters, their pasts, their fears, hopes, dreams, goals, and actions were richly portrayed to the point that my heart raced and tears formed at many pivotal points during the book. The development of the women and families that intersected during this story was amazing. The strength of Lena, Ans, Miriam, and the rest of the cast during these horrific times have forever placed imprints on my heart. To see what these innocent people went through from yet another environment and aspect is extremely important. This is a novel about overcoming adversity, faith in oneself and in a greater power, and the sacrifices that each person made in their own way to help one another survive atrocities will always resonate with any generation. I am forever touched and humbled by reading all that these women (and men) loved, lost, and eventually gained during the war. I will never be able to read enough examples people from all walks of life went through that help remind me and lend a voice of what my family and many other of Jewish faith (amongst others of course) experienced at the hands of such evils during WWII. I am blessed to have been able to read this story. This is what historical fiction should be. 5/5 stars Thank you EW and Tyndale House Publishers for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. I am posting this review to my GR, Instagram, and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication on 6/8/21.

  13. 4 out of 5

    LisLovesReading E.Espinoza

    Chasing Shadows, by Lynn Austin, is a remarkable work of historical fiction. Set in the Netherlands during WWII, this powerful novel is engrossing and thoroughly moving as it tells the story of three women linked together through love and war. With unflinching skill, Ms. Austin leads the reader on an intense journey through horrific events that test the resiliency of the human heart and the human will to fight for significance and survival. Yet, this journey through and beyond tragedy and despai Chasing Shadows, by Lynn Austin, is a remarkable work of historical fiction. Set in the Netherlands during WWII, this powerful novel is engrossing and thoroughly moving as it tells the story of three women linked together through love and war. With unflinching skill, Ms. Austin leads the reader on an intense journey through horrific events that test the resiliency of the human heart and the human will to fight for significance and survival. Yet, this journey through and beyond tragedy and despair is strengthened and uplifted by honest moments of grace and gentle reminders that hope, healing, and restoration are ultimately made possible through God’s love and mercy. Under the tyranny of an evil regime, the uncertainty of daily life in the Netherlands during WWII becomes unfathomable, especially for the persecuted Jewish people and those committed to helping them. It is within this setting that the characters come alive to the reader. These well-developed characters are authentic, vulnerable, and captivating. Their questions, their insecurities, their fears, their needs, and their desires are wholly believable, gut-wrenching, and inspiring. As they face unimaginable losses and uncertainties, they struggle with their faith and God’s specific purposes for their lives. Yet through it all, they demonstrate determination, perseverance, and courage as they bravely endeavor to help each other and save others during many dangerous situations brought on by the cruelties of war, racism, and selfish ambition. The opportunities, the choices, and the trials that the characters endure are intricately developed, and from them there unfolds a story that is truly surprising, enriching, and profoundly memorable.    Ms. Austin is an incredibly gifted author with a real talent for meaningful storytelling. In Chasing Shadows, she offers the reader a heartfelt and utterly touching story of loss, love, faith, and family. This is a novel that courageously explores humanity’s capacity for love and hate, hope and despair, self-sacrifice and cruelty, perseverance and struggle, and faithfulness and uncertainty. Within this book, the well-researched details and descriptions ensure that every moment spent reading this story is a thoughtful, immersive experience. From the gripping plot, to the extraordinary characters, to the compelling themes, this novel easily held my attention page after page. Chasing Shadows is a book I wholeheartedly recommend to anyone who enjoys outstanding historical fiction.   *I was given a copy of this book by the publisher and NetGalley. A review was not required. The review I have written is voluntary and contains opinions that are entirely my own.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lucy

    Oh my! I’m totally without adequate words to describe this jaw dropping, gut wrenching, hope filled masterpiece. I can’t imagine the research involved and the tears shed by the author as I can feel she poured her heart and soul into this novel. Yes it is dark and hard to read at times like it was when I went to the Holocaust museum but so worth the effort and sobs to find the hope and faith contained within. The characters are so worth investing into as they are alive and breathing souls that yo Oh my! I’m totally without adequate words to describe this jaw dropping, gut wrenching, hope filled masterpiece. I can’t imagine the research involved and the tears shed by the author as I can feel she poured her heart and soul into this novel. Yes it is dark and hard to read at times like it was when I went to the Holocaust museum but so worth the effort and sobs to find the hope and faith contained within. The characters are so worth investing into as they are alive and breathing souls that you wish to help. I pray if ever faced with choices like these that I could be so brave and stand on my faith and the word of God no matter the consequences. The pacing and eloquent words are superior and I wish I could give this 10 glowing stars. May all pick this up and read it and go forth remembering...lest we forget. My review doesn’t begin to do this justice so I will end with please make this a priority read this summer. I received a complimentary copy from the author/publisher. The honest review and opinions are my own and were not required.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kailey

    This is such a wonderful book! Lynn Austin wrote such an amazing story in this one! She didn’t shy away from the gritty parts, but wrote them with grace. This book left me evaluating my faith and if I would have been able to do what these ladies had to do. This one is definitely a keeper! I would highly recommend this book for historical fiction fans! I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Karen R

    An inspiring, compelling read about the brave people who were involved in the Dutch Resistance during WWII. These everyday, ordinary type men and women--farmers, teachers, housewives, students--do extraordinary things, risking their lives to help save others, many motivated by their faith. The focus is on three women--including one Jewish refugee--and their difficult journey through the war. “What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God...the An inspiring, compelling read about the brave people who were involved in the Dutch Resistance during WWII. These everyday, ordinary type men and women--farmers, teachers, housewives, students--do extraordinary things, risking their lives to help save others, many motivated by their faith. The focus is on three women--including one Jewish refugee--and their difficult journey through the war. “What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God...the God who would ask me to risk my life is the same God who gave His own life for us. Because He loves us.” The author does a great job drawing the reader into the lives of the main characters and walking through the valley of shadows with them. I grew to care deeply for all of them, and had to stop reading a few times dreading what might happen next. I was challenged to think about my own faith and what I would do if put in the same circumstances. This story wasn't an easy read, but it was well done from a Christian perspective, with truth and hope shining in the darkness. The story is told in retrospect, then finishes with a heart tugging, satisfying wrap up. Have the tissues ready. Fans of Corrie ten Boom, Kristy Cambron, Melanie Dobson and Liz Tolsma's WWII stories will love this one. (An e-book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.)

  17. 4 out of 5

    Maureen Timerman

    Wearing their faith and living it, these valiant people of the Netherlands gave it all for others during World War II. We meet some of these people and follow them as the darkness envelopes and doesn't want to let go. Those who have already fled their own country to flee the hate of a people, and now are on the run again. Through the words of this author we meet all kinds of people, those that will do anything to save their own skin, and other that selflessly give the ultimate for others. This is a Wearing their faith and living it, these valiant people of the Netherlands gave it all for others during World War II. We meet some of these people and follow them as the darkness envelopes and doesn't want to let go. Those who have already fled their own country to flee the hate of a people, and now are on the run again. Through the words of this author we meet all kinds of people, those that will do anything to save their own skin, and other that selflessly give the ultimate for others. This is a fictional story, but based on facts, and the world needs to remember so that history does not repeat! I received this book through Net Galley and Tyndale House Publishers, and was not required to give a positive review.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Erin Laramore

    What a beautiful story of resilience, shining one's light in the darkest places, and forgiveness. Taking place in the Netherlands during WWII, this book highlights 3 different women who had different experiences, but all chose to "be the good". I loved the varying viewpoints and seeing the ravages of war and the goodness of people through the eyes of the characters. There was a lot of gray area for one character, whose love chose "the other side", feeling as though he didn't have a choice other What a beautiful story of resilience, shining one's light in the darkest places, and forgiveness. Taking place in the Netherlands during WWII, this book highlights 3 different women who had different experiences, but all chose to "be the good". I loved the varying viewpoints and seeing the ravages of war and the goodness of people through the eyes of the characters. There was a lot of gray area for one character, whose love chose "the other side", feeling as though he didn't have a choice other than to follow the Nazis. I appreciated the detailed scenes and full depth of emotions that ran throughout this time. In addition to the historical elements of a lesser-known aspect of WWII and the superb character development, there was also a spotlight on mental health, as one character was bi-polar (though there was no such diagnosis then) and one of the women in hiding ended up in an asylum. Those conditions were all treated with grace and respect. A light was shined on the caregivers of those individuals as well, as should be done. The messages of forgiveness were strong throughout and there was a very solid faith thread as all of the characters grew in their faith throughout the book. This book had all of the elements needed for an excellent inspirational historical novel. Special thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an advance e-copy of this book. I was under no obligation to provide a review and the thoughts contained herein are my own.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Bridgewater

    Chasing Shadows by Lynn Austin is a World War II delight to ponder and think about. This plot stuck with me long after I was reading and while I was reading, I kept thinking of what America is slowly walking into. With practically every World War II novel that I read, I can't stop flipping through the pages to see how the story would end. I have read so many stories in this era that I know the Nazi's were defeated in April 1945, so when the story starts with a countdown, I now that the character Chasing Shadows by Lynn Austin is a World War II delight to ponder and think about. This plot stuck with me long after I was reading and while I was reading, I kept thinking of what America is slowly walking into. With practically every World War II novel that I read, I can't stop flipping through the pages to see how the story would end. I have read so many stories in this era that I know the Nazi's were defeated in April 1945, so when the story starts with a countdown, I now that the characters are coming to the end of their story. This story stuck a little closer to home because of the political lies and propaganda that is floating through America's culture. Overall, I adored this novel. I can't wait to purchase a copy and place it on my shelf with all my other World War II novels. I highly recommend this story for anyone who is marveled about the heroics of this generation OR to anyone who is frightened by the path that America is taking. I received a complimentary copy of Chasing Shadows by Lynn Austin, but the opinions stated are all my own.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    Chasing shadows Lynn Austin I have been a fan of Lynn Austin for years. This is one of her best, a powerful story based on the accounts of people who lived a complex dance of choice and consequence through the years 1940- 1945. Lena is one of three women in the story. She is a wife and mother who farms and works alongside her husband. Faith has always been her compass but the invasion of Nazi troops brings new life and death challenges. Her “imagination partnered with fear, squeezing her heart d Chasing shadows Lynn Austin I have been a fan of Lynn Austin for years. This is one of her best, a powerful story based on the accounts of people who lived a complex dance of choice and consequence through the years 1940- 1945. Lena is one of three women in the story. She is a wife and mother who farms and works alongside her husband. Faith has always been her compass but the invasion of Nazi troops brings new life and death challenges. Her “imagination partnered with fear, squeezing her heart dry.” “She learned to face death, gripping her Savior’s hand.” Perfect description. I appreciated how Lynn Austin wrote of hiding the “shadow people.” The consequences of choosing to help, if caught could mean death. This is a wonderful historical story, but it is also inspirational. Nothing I face today compares to what so many in Europe faced during WWII. I had read little about those living in the Netherlands during this tragic time. Ans is Lena’s daughter who left the farm to move into the city of Leiden. She has ideas about romance and becomes involved in resistance work. Neither mother or daughter share the dangers they each take hold of willingly. There is a third courageous woman, Miriam, a young Jewish violinist. Hollard seems an escape and there Miriam discovers both love and tragedy. The endurance of the shadow people is awesome and filled with tragedy. The courage of those who come alongside those people is inspiring. Love and faith carry the characters through the turbulent years. Well done. I will reread! #netgalley

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    Whenever I read a Lynn Austin book, I know it will be a strong, faith-filled story. But this book had that little something extra that pushed it into the rare 5-star read category for me. I'm not I can pinpoint exactly what did it . . . but the combination of Len's, Ans', and Miriam's journeys in the Netherlands during WWII brought me to tears . . . of sadness, of course . . . but also tears of hope as each woman learned what it meant for her personally to trust in God even in the horrible times, Whenever I read a Lynn Austin book, I know it will be a strong, faith-filled story. But this book had that little something extra that pushed it into the rare 5-star read category for me. I'm not I can pinpoint exactly what did it . . . but the combination of Len's, Ans', and Miriam's journeys in the Netherlands during WWII brought me to tears . . . of sadness, of course . . . but also tears of hope as each woman learned what it meant for her personally to trust in God even in the horrible times, and to rely on her faith to help her overcome . . . come what may.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Suzie Waltner

    It never ceases to amaze me how far reaching the prejudice, destruction, and evil of the Nazis during World War II. In Chasing Shadows, Lynn Austin whisks readers back in time to the Netherlands as we follow three women through this dark and trying time. Grab a good stash of tissues as you follow Lena, her daughter Ans, and Miriam through dark days as they face difficulties, fears, and choice that require courage and faith. Austin does an excellent job of giving each of these characters a strong v It never ceases to amaze me how far reaching the prejudice, destruction, and evil of the Nazis during World War II. In Chasing Shadows, Lynn Austin whisks readers back in time to the Netherlands as we follow three women through this dark and trying time. Grab a good stash of tissues as you follow Lena, her daughter Ans, and Miriam through dark days as they face difficulties, fears, and choice that require courage and faith. Austin does an excellent job of giving each of these characters a strong voice, so you don’t get lost with whose story is being told or their backstories. Chasing Shadows not only touches hearts but causes readers to ponder if they would have the courage to stand in the face of the worst kind of adversity with poise and bravery. Disclosure statement: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Brenda

    Lynn Austin's newest book, Chasing Shadows, is historical/Christian fiction at its finest! Set in the Netherlands during World war II when the Nazis invade the (neutral) Netherlands. It is the story of 3 women who must make the most difficult (unthinkable!) decisions and know they must live with those choices. A wife and mother, a daughter, and a young Jewish violinist who had sought the safety in Holland. As the war escalates and the Nazis invade Holland, these 3 women find their paths crossing Lynn Austin's newest book, Chasing Shadows, is historical/Christian fiction at its finest! Set in the Netherlands during World war II when the Nazis invade the (neutral) Netherlands. It is the story of 3 women who must make the most difficult (unthinkable!) decisions and know they must live with those choices. A wife and mother, a daughter, and a young Jewish violinist who had sought the safety in Holland. As the war escalates and the Nazis invade Holland, these 3 women find their paths crossing and their lives forever intertwined. The passage about a young Nazi soldier standing on Lena's property touched me deeply! Two enemies coming together and finding common ground. Each having empathy for the other, putting aside their hate and their fear. Sharing a story, a moment, a hug, and a prayer. This brought me to tears. This passage and the quote ~"Don't hate them" Mama said as if reading Ans mind. "They'll win if we hate them"~ This is the story of ordinary people who did extraordinary things! I was brought to tears and cheers more than once. I gasped, I held my breath, I learned things I never knew, and I was touched beyond words. Lynn is a fabulous researcher and the details she uncovers during her research really makes her books come alive! I loved this book, this story! This book is one you'll not want to miss!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    Chasing Shadows is only the second book I've read by Lynn Austin, but I need to pick up more of her books as it was another AMAZING read. It started off a little slow, but once I got about a third of the way into the book I could hardly put it down. I was drawn into the story and felt like I was there. The story had some heartbreaking moments, which is to be expected considering it is set during WWII, but it also had moments of pure joy. I loved the characters and their relationships. I felt lik Chasing Shadows is only the second book I've read by Lynn Austin, but I need to pick up more of her books as it was another AMAZING read. It started off a little slow, but once I got about a third of the way into the book I could hardly put it down. I was drawn into the story and felt like I was there. The story had some heartbreaking moments, which is to be expected considering it is set during WWII, but it also had moments of pure joy. I loved the characters and their relationships. I felt like they were real people and can only imagine the pain of making some of the choices they did. All in all, Chasing Shadows was a stellar read and I recommend it to fans of historical reads. *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tara Bentley

    The perfect vaction companion... Another amazing read from Lynn Austin! Chasing Shadows tells the story of three different families as Hitler rises to power through the destruction of WWII that changes all of their lives. Told though the eyes of three main characters Lena, Ans, and Miriam, we walk alongside each woman as she comes to terms with the shifting world around them and how they should respond. As usual, Austin masterfully crafts characters that are genuine and endearing. The challenges f The perfect vaction companion... Another amazing read from Lynn Austin! Chasing Shadows tells the story of three different families as Hitler rises to power through the destruction of WWII that changes all of their lives. Told though the eyes of three main characters Lena, Ans, and Miriam, we walk alongside each woman as she comes to terms with the shifting world around them and how they should respond. As usual, Austin masterfully crafts characters that are genuine and endearing. The challenges faced in the midst of such a horrific war could feel distant, but the choices each of these ladies echo many that must deal with today. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”― Edmund Burke I received a free copy of this book from Tyndale House in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed are my own.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Marinda

    4.5 Stars* for Lynn Austin's latest slam dunk contribution to historical Christian Fiction. I've been a fan for a long time and this book did not disappoint! Lynn Austin's love and respect for the Dutch people comes through every page. There are a million WW2 books out there, but this one really opened my eyes to the struggle of the everyday citizen in occupied countries. The characters show a full range of experiences, from the refuge to the ordinary citizen just trying to do the right thing in 4.5 Stars* for Lynn Austin's latest slam dunk contribution to historical Christian Fiction. I've been a fan for a long time and this book did not disappoint! Lynn Austin's love and respect for the Dutch people comes through every page. There are a million WW2 books out there, but this one really opened my eyes to the struggle of the everyday citizen in occupied countries. The characters show a full range of experiences, from the refuge to the ordinary citizen just trying to do the right thing in a world gone wrong. "What would I do in this situation?" came to my mind more than once, and the story has stayed with me for days. In the story, Lena calls the people she is hiding on her farm "the shadow people." They only came out at night; most of the time she didn't even see their faces. Yet she fed and sheltered them. They didn't know her or her family, but they depended on her for their very lives. The shadow metaphor grows stronger throughout the story. Over and over, the main characters learn to take refuge in God's shadow, trusting in His will and His word as they sought to survive the darkness. An excellent choice for book clubs or anyone seeking to deepen their faith, I highly recommend this book! *4.5 stars instead of 5 because I did feel that there could have been more language showing instead of telling the story. Some parts moved too quickly for my liking; I felt that they could have been flushed out more.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kaitlyn S.

    I haven't read any of Lynn Austin's works before now, but I am definitely going to be looking for more of her books! This is a favourite time period of mine. I love WW2 history, and I particularly love the history of the resistance in the countries occupied by Germany. This story was absolutely perfect in every way, and I adored it! I felt like it was well researched, well written, and brought what it would have been like to live under German occupation to life really well. I liked all three of I haven't read any of Lynn Austin's works before now, but I am definitely going to be looking for more of her books! This is a favourite time period of mine. I love WW2 history, and I particularly love the history of the resistance in the countries occupied by Germany. This story was absolutely perfect in every way, and I adored it! I felt like it was well researched, well written, and brought what it would have been like to live under German occupation to life really well. I liked all three of the story lines and the unique perspective each character brought to the tale. Typically, one characters part is the one that am longing to read, but in this story, I wanted to know about each of the characters -- and that is great! I loved it! I loved experiencing the same story through the eyes of three different people. The city girl, the country girl, the Jewish girl, . . and the dangers that come with each perspective. I loved how Lena learned to trust the Lord. I loved how Miriam found her strength. I loved how Ans realized that what she had learned as a child was important and needed. Reading about the courage and bravery of so many, and knowing that many of those who participated in the resistance movements lost their lives willingly, for a cause greater than themselves, is always inspiring. And Austin makes a beautiful story out of this history. Definitely recommended!!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Phyllis

    Chasing Shadows by Lynn Austin is a historical fiction novel set in the Netherlands during WWII. After neutral Netherlands was invaded by the Nazi’s, many brave people valiantly stood up to the evil by risking their own life to safe the lives of others. Austin’s story is told through the lives of three ordinary women. Lena is a wife and mother who works along side her husband on a farm. Ans, Lena’s daughter moves to the city and gets involved in the Dutch Resistance delivering underground newspa Chasing Shadows by Lynn Austin is a historical fiction novel set in the Netherlands during WWII. After neutral Netherlands was invaded by the Nazi’s, many brave people valiantly stood up to the evil by risking their own life to safe the lives of others. Austin’s story is told through the lives of three ordinary women. Lena is a wife and mother who works along side her husband on a farm. Ans, Lena’s daughter moves to the city and gets involved in the Dutch Resistance delivering underground newspapers, ration cards, and fake IDs for Jews in hiding. Miriam is a young Jewish woman who has to go into hiding separated from her husband and young child. The novel’s prologue begins as the war is ending and then goes back six years earlier to 1939. Even though the reader knows that the war will end, I felt this approach to such a heart wrenching story gave the reader hope that all would end well for the characters. Lynn Austin has a way of getting Biblical truths across to her readers without being preachy. Her characters are real, ordinary people who live out their faith in their actions. This novel has a strong message of trusting God and drawing on Him for the strength to come through difficult times. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Hernandez

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Chasing Shadows was an excellently crafted, well-researched novel. As I read, I was continually in awe of how much research must have gone into this book. This WWII novel gives you a broad look at what life was like in the Netherlands starting right before the Nazi invasion, during the occupation, and finally it's liberation. The book follows three characters, and through them, the reader is able to see the different aspects of life may have been like in the country, in the city working for the Chasing Shadows was an excellently crafted, well-researched novel. As I read, I was continually in awe of how much research must have gone into this book. This WWII novel gives you a broad look at what life was like in the Netherlands starting right before the Nazi invasion, during the occupation, and finally it's liberation. The book follows three characters, and through them, the reader is able to see the different aspects of life may have been like in the country, in the city working for the Resistance, and as a Jew having to go into hiding. I love The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom, so I loved learning more about what life was like in the Netherlands during that time, especially for the people who were willing to risk their lives to hide the Jewish people. So many things in this book broke my heart: Miriam's dad going to the labor camp to give his daughter and family a better chance; Miriam giving up her baby daughter to give her a better chance; Miriam and Avi having to be separated; Pieter leaving Lena; Wim being captured; the rampant starvation that happened; even Lena giving Bep back to Miriam. However, even though so many things were so hard to read, Lynn Austin did such an excellent job at finding the correct tension between suffering and hope, heartbreak and truth. One of the central themes of this book is trusting that God is in control in every situation, even during the most awful thing you could ever imagine happening to you. The characters struggle with their faith, yet they grow in their relationship with God, staying grounded on His truth, willing to do what He commands by loving others, even if doing so might mean death. This is why I really appreciated this book: Austin is unabashed about exposing the most difficult truths about God in the most difficult of situations. She isn't afraid of tackling the hard questions. However, she's never preachy about it. She let's her characters wrestle and grow. She uses her plot to reveal God's goodness and faithfulness, and to me, that is the mark of a brilliant author. I only had a few pet-peeves with this book. First, I thought for the themes she was trying to get across and for how accurately she details the historical events, everything wrapped up a bit too nicely. Everyone significant survives. I was ready for Miriam, Avi, Ans, Pieter, or Wim not to make it. I honestly wished one of them hadn't, because it would have hit closer to home and been more realistic. These characters went through grueling situations, encountering so many close calls, yet no one dies? It seems a little to neat and tidy. Consequently, I would have been okay with Eloise's husband dying. I loved Eloise's character: her struggles, her growth, her willingness to serve others. I would have liked to see that final "she's arrived and overcome" moment by her ability to rise up and make it without her husband. I would have liked to see her growth as a Christian (she starts off completely against God, but starts praying), and her surrendering and giving over her mental illness to God. In saying this, I'm not making light of mental illness or not looking for a miraculous healing, but just a willingness to allow God to enter into the fight with her, to rely on Him as her strength and not herself, her husband, or Ans. (I would totally read a spin-off of Eloise and what happens to her after the war). Second, this is a personal preference, but this book was much more plot-driven than character-driven. Obviously, this isn't an issue, because plot-driven books can be fantastic, but I personally like character-driven books better. I didn't feel super connected to any of the three characters. When they all went through really transformative moments (Lena realizing she can't hate the Nazi's; Ans saying no [FINALLY] to Erik) I wasn't so invested in the characters that I really felt this happening. I wish there had been more dialogue, and not so many densely packed paragraphs; but again, this is a personal preference in writing style and type of plot. Last, I thought that Ans staying with Erik for so long went against her character. I understand wanting to have someone in your life. I get wanting to be in love. However, Ans grew SO much in this book, and it seems off somehow that she wouldn't have broken it off way before she actually did. For example, she was in the labor camp, scrubbing toilets and encouraging women... and then wanting Erik, even though she knows he personally rounded up people and put them in camps! Her wanting to be with him, despite the shallowness of their relationship, got old pretty quickly. I was honestly hoping she would meet someone who would show her what true love and companionship could be like. I was very glad when Eloise knocked some sense into her at the end. Overall, despite these few things that irked me, this novel still has great themes, was incredibly well researched, and so well plotted out. On top of that, I learned so much reading this book. I really love Christian fiction that is honest and raw and not "fluff," that encourages my walk with the Lord, which this one did. I love that this book made me so painfully aware that my life is so good and easy compared to what people faced during this time, and are still facing today. It challenged me to be thankful, and to pray for those in persecution today. Thank you, Lynn Austin, for writing a beautiful novel, exposing the atrocities and evils of this world, but showing that God's love, goodness, and faithfulness overcomes every single time.

  30. 5 out of 5

    theliterateleprechaun

    What would you sacrifice to save a stranger? Is your faith big enough to accept what God sends your way? Which is bigger - your problem or your God? Lynn Austin provides readers with plenty of food for thought. Three ordinary women, Ans, Lena and Miriam, are confronted with a choice when the Nazis invade neutral Netherlands: accept and become complacent or unite and defy the occupying force during WW2. The Nazis were hoping that the Dutch would side with them as they let it be known that they co What would you sacrifice to save a stranger? Is your faith big enough to accept what God sends your way? Which is bigger - your problem or your God? Lynn Austin provides readers with plenty of food for thought. Three ordinary women, Ans, Lena and Miriam, are confronted with a choice when the Nazis invade neutral Netherlands: accept and become complacent or unite and defy the occupying force during WW2. The Nazis were hoping that the Dutch would side with them as they let it be known that they considered the Dutch members of the Aryan race and invited them to join in building the Reich. Life would have been easier to accept and join, BUT they couldn’t have lived with their choice. Austin’s story focuses on the challenges and repercussions these women faced in choosing to stand up against the enemy. Sometimes, the choice was costly. I was in awe, knowing that their little country was surrounded by the enemy on all sides, yet they held to their convictions. It was easy to be lulled into thinking all would be ok as they went about their work, business as usual, during the ‘phoney war’ but for readers, knowing what lay in wait added to the tension. Risking their lives for sheltering others would mean famine and suffering. The three main characters are all in different seasons of life and have different outlooks on the world. I identified most with Lena simply because age gives me perspective; however, I do remember what it was like to have 19 year old Ans’s attitude. Like Miriam, I resort to music when I’m stressed. Regardless, each woman grew stronger as a result of her wartime experience. My favourite take-away is in Lena’s growth. She used to believe that the enemy of faith was doubt, but by the end she’d learned that fear was actually faith’s destroyer. This is an intense and emotional look at darkest days of war and the encouragement found by digging deep to rely on one’s faith and in relying on the strength of friends. “How can God remain silent and do nothing in the face of all this evil?” I was gifted this copy by Lynn Austin, Tyndale House and NetGalley and was under no obligation to provide a review.

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