Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Arms of Deliverance

Arms of Deliverance: A Story of PromiseArms of Deliverance: A Story of Promise by Tricia Goyer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Arms of Deliverance is author Tricia Goyer’s fourth novel to feature Christian values in a World War II setting. Surprisingly, the main focus of her story is not the men who fought the battles in this bloody, war-torn era. It is, instead, a tale of three women: competitive New York Tribune reporters Mary Kelley and Lee O’Donnelley, and Czech-born Katrine. These women find their lives intertwined despite their vast differences. Mary, a tag-along reporter on a bombing run, finds herself behind enemy lines when Destiny’s Child, the B-17 she is aboard, is shot down while returning from its mission over Berlin. Lee, hailing from the glitz and glamour of high society, learns several lessons of the heart as Mary’s occasional roommate, as a war correspondent on the front lines following the Normandy invasion, and in her effort to rescue her friend. Katrine is an Aryan-appearing Jew hiding in plain sight in Nazi-occupied Belgium. Her deception is so effective and complete that she becomes pregnant with the child of a Nazi Schutzstaffel officer. She lives in terror that her secret will be discovered, thus threatening her life and the life of her unborn child. Heinrich, the SS officer, has devout belief in the righteousness of the Nazi cause. He is a complex character who possesses great national pride and a single-minded drive that is stereotypical of Nazi inflexibility and madness. Though he seems human at times, his humanity is often swallowed up by the part of him that is has become a brutally evil monstrosity. His actions are governed by his misguided belief in the Nazi philosophy of Aryan supremacy, his rationalization of the Nazi breeding program, and a deep desire to produce a son to perpetuate the Thousand Year Reich.

The Historical Notes and Acknowledgments pages, thoughtfully included by the author, speak of the care she has taken to bring her readers realism through research and historical accuracy. Although her book is a work of fiction, she has skillfully interwoven fact into this tale, effectively breathing life and honest emotion into the characters that populate it.

Arms of Deliverance is touted as "A Story of Promise" and, in this, Tricia Goyer does not disappoint. The diverse obstacles each of the three women face and the tough choices they make in moments of great adversity contribute to their increased faith in God and a resulting bond of trust in each other. Although some may be tempted to categorize her work as historical romance, it goes beyond such mundane attempts to pigeonhole it. Goyer’s book is a war story, a tale of faith in God, and a romance. Even so, her book is not written for the hardened student of military history, nor is it strictly for the Christian fiction crowd, nor those who devour romance novels by the dozen. In Arms of Deliverance, the author has created a sweeping meld of genres, and has provided a story that will be satisfying to a wide range of readers. It is an unexpectedly heartwarming story of promise—Tricia Goyer offers us the promise that there is hope for humanity through kindness, love, sacrifice, and individual acts of faith.

For more information about Tricia Goyer and the books she has written, visit http://www.thegoyers.com/

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