"Are you going to turn out the light, Honey?" my husband barely murmured, while covering his head with a pillow.
"Just one more paragraph," I replied, not taking my eyes off the page I was reading.
"Honey, this is the third night in a row. Are you ever going to sleep again?"
I did not reply because I was too busy reading book 7 of the Zion Chronicles. I had given up cooking dinner, washing the dishes, and checking my Facebook. I rationalized it by telling myself that I was just giving my daughters the opportunity to learn homemaking skills.
Really, all I wanted to do was read these books.
A big history buff, I appreciated the historical accuracy. My mother, born in 1937, knew men and women who had personally experienced the horrors of World War II. She was always sharing information with me. Like many others, she wanted to make sure that history will never repeat itself. Facts and antidotes I already knew about Hitler and World War II came alive for me in a brand new way, breaking my heart in two.
This is an emotional series of books, covering a heart-breaking portion of history. When you read of ships of German Jewish refuges sailing from port to port due to the rejection of nation after nation, including our own, you feel sad. When you read about individuals named Aaron and Rebekah with their five children aboard the Dangier, you will weep as I did when the ship went down in a hurricane after the United States refused to let the ship ride out the storm in one of its harbors.
Christ-centered, these books tell the story of Christians who were brave, salvations, God's interventions, and miracles in the midst of dark evil.
Book 1, Vienna Prelude, introduces us to a lovely musician named Elisa who must decide whether to join the Underground or not to fight Hitler's wicked policies. The year is 1936 and Austria is in danger. We also meet Winston Churchill, an American reporter named Murphy, young Zionists, and more characters we will follow through the series.
Book 2, Prague Counterpoint, finds Elisa safe in Czechoslovakia (March 1938) while violence against Jews in Nazi-occupied Vienna, Austria escalates horribly. In this book we meet the twins Charles and Louis, whose father is killed by the Nazis. Charles has a cleft palate, a condition worthy of death in Hitler's plan to create a perfect Aryan Race.
Book 3, Munich Signature, follows the desperate attempts of Jews to escape the Third Reich in May 1938. England's Chamberlain continues to let Germany do whatever she wants to so that the world can be "at peace." This book shows nations closing their doors to Jewish refuges and the plight of the refuge "Coffin Ships" (sad facts of history!).
Book 4, Jerusalem Interlude, opens in August, 1938, with Jews being deported to Poland in cattle cars. Other Jews flee to the Promised Land of Palestine, but end up behind barbed wire in refuge camps. Shimon and Leah make it to Jerusalem to face more evil. The Grand Mufti meets with Hitler to discuss their mutual problem: the Jews!
Book 5, Danzig Passage, opens in November 1938 with Kristalnacht the Night of Broken Glass. We meet three sets of people who must escape to Poland by train or be killed by Nazis. We meet Lucy, the mistress of a Prussian Nazi, a godly pastor and his family, and the family of a murdered Jewish intellectual.
Book 7, London Refrain, Nazi war planes drop bombs on Warsaw, Poland, in the fall of 1939. As usual, just before the Nazis take over a nation, long lines outside the British and American embassies are filled with people hoping to escape with their lives. The darkness continues to spread.
Book 8, Paris Encore, begins in the fall of 1939 with France in danger of invasion.
Book 9, Dunkirk Crescendo, opens in the spring of 1940 with the invasion of France by the Nazis.
Our hearts become attached to the characters in these books, some of whom are real people and the rest loosely based on real people. We see the fear, horror, bravery, and mercy of God face to face in this series. The appeasement of Britain and France to Germany and their abandonment of Austria and Czechoslovakia is more horrible than when we read about it in a history book. The Zion Covenant is sure to bring the march of Nazi Germany across Europe alive for their readers.
Not recommended for younger children, I suggest these books as supplements for high school students because of the honest portrayal of this historical period. Though there are no sexual scenes, it does refer to rape, Nazi mistresses, and many other acts of violence and torture. This was a brutal time of history.
A gripping plot, endearing and enraging characters, and a battle between good and evil...your children might just love history after reading these books!
I am working on a World War II Course using these books. Let me know if you are interested. :)
Merey (Meredith Ludwig Curtis)