WHEN THE HEART SINGS
Natia has a secret -- and she's hiding him right beneath her captor's nose.
In 1943 Poland, the Nazis have forced Natia and Teodor from their peaceful farm to the harsh confines of a labor camp. When the couple is separated, Natia is chosen to be the housekeeper for the camp's overseer, and Teodor is sent to work in the factory. Despite the strict camp rules -- and the consequences for disobeying them -- Natia finds a way to communicate with Teodor by sending messages through song as she passes Teodor's dormitory.
The stakes get higher when Natia finds a Jewish orphan on the overseer's doorstep. She is determined to protect the boy and raise him as the child she and her husband were unable to bear -- but if her German captors discover how much she's hiding, both she and Teodor may pay the ultimate price...
What a haunting love story! Not a romance in the conventional sense -- in fact, I don't think When the Heart Sings is tagged as Historical Romance, but it does showcase the breadth and depth of true love -- it's the epitome of that old cliche "love conquers all."
Natia and Teodor have already endured enough tragedy in their young marriage when the Nazis confiscate their farm and send them to a work camp. Though they are separated upon their arrival, it is the power of their love that sustains them through the grueling months ahead.
Told from multiple points of view, Tolsma has brought history to life through these characters. Once again, I marvel over the new twist this author brings to the popular World War II Fiction genre -- the persecution of Polish Christians and the way she uses music to inspire hope in the most desperate of times.
I knew about the barbaric conditions of the Warsaw ghetto where Polish Jews were held captive but I didn't realize the extent of the German occupation throughout the rest of the country. Even small villages and rural communities weren't safe from Nazi barbarism. Farmland stolen from generational Polish farmers was gifted to displaced German families while the Poles were sent to work camps where they were, quite literally, worked to death.
So where is God in all this mess? That's the challenge Natia and Teodor face as they struggle to survive the deplorable conditions and the evil intentions of their captors. When the Heart Sings is a tough read but it is also an inspiring one. A real celebration of triumph and overcoming in the midst of unspeakable horror. Simply stunning!
If you would like a chance to win a copy of When the Heart Sings, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add an email to your comment, remember to use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in order to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email, please add the title to the subject line so it's easy to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Saturday March 2 2019. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck!