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Memories of Glass

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Reminiscent of Diane Ackerman’s The Zookeeper’s Wife, this stunning novel draws from true accounts to shine a light on a period of Holland’s darkest history and bravest heroes. 1942. As war rips through the heart of Holland, childhood friends Josie van Rees and Eliese Linden partner with a few daring citizens to rescue Eliese’s son and hundreds of other Jewish c Reminiscent of Diane Ackerman’s The Zookeeper’s Wife, this stunning novel draws from true accounts to shine a light on a period of Holland’s darkest history and bravest heroes. 1942. As war rips through the heart of Holland, childhood friends Josie van Rees and Eliese Linden partner with a few daring citizens to rescue Eliese’s son and hundreds of other Jewish children who await deportation in a converted theater in Amsterdam. But amid their resistance work, Josie and Eliese’s dangerous secrets could derail their friendship and their entire mission. When the enemy finds these women, only one will escape. Seventy-five years later, Ava Drake begins to suspect that her great-grandfather William Kingston was not the World War II hero he claimed to be. Her work as director of the prestigious Kingston Family Foundation leads her to Landon West’s Ugandan coffee plantation, and Ava and Landon soon discover a connection between their families. As Landon’s great-grandmother shares the broken pieces of her story, Ava must confront the greatest loss in her own life―and powerful members of the Kingston family who will do anything to keep the truth buried. Illuminating the story and strength of these women, award-winning author Melanie Dobson transports readers through time and place, from World War II Holland to contemporary Uganda, in this rich and inspiring novel.


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Reminiscent of Diane Ackerman’s The Zookeeper’s Wife, this stunning novel draws from true accounts to shine a light on a period of Holland’s darkest history and bravest heroes. 1942. As war rips through the heart of Holland, childhood friends Josie van Rees and Eliese Linden partner with a few daring citizens to rescue Eliese’s son and hundreds of other Jewish c Reminiscent of Diane Ackerman’s The Zookeeper’s Wife, this stunning novel draws from true accounts to shine a light on a period of Holland’s darkest history and bravest heroes. 1942. As war rips through the heart of Holland, childhood friends Josie van Rees and Eliese Linden partner with a few daring citizens to rescue Eliese’s son and hundreds of other Jewish children who await deportation in a converted theater in Amsterdam. But amid their resistance work, Josie and Eliese’s dangerous secrets could derail their friendship and their entire mission. When the enemy finds these women, only one will escape. Seventy-five years later, Ava Drake begins to suspect that her great-grandfather William Kingston was not the World War II hero he claimed to be. Her work as director of the prestigious Kingston Family Foundation leads her to Landon West’s Ugandan coffee plantation, and Ava and Landon soon discover a connection between their families. As Landon’s great-grandmother shares the broken pieces of her story, Ava must confront the greatest loss in her own life―and powerful members of the Kingston family who will do anything to keep the truth buried. Illuminating the story and strength of these women, award-winning author Melanie Dobson transports readers through time and place, from World War II Holland to contemporary Uganda, in this rich and inspiring novel.

30 review for Memories of Glass

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Sundin

    Breathtaking, heartbreaking, and ultimately uplifting. Memories of Glass shows the beauty when people do anything to help others, the ugliness when people do anything to help only themselves, and the destructive power of secrets through the generations. Melanie Dobson’s memorable characters and fine eye for detail bring the danger of the Netherlands under Nazi occupation to life. This novel will stay with you.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Karren Sandercock

    Nazi occupied Holland in 1942, childhood friends Josie van Rees and Eliese Linden along with a few brave Dutch citizens manage to hide Eliese’s son Hein and 600 other Jewish children. The children along with their parents could be deported at anytime to Auschwitz and no one is safe! Josie works as a child minder in the creche where Jewish children are living, some are orphans and others are being kept separate from their parents. Eliese works as a clerk, she's in charge of typing up t Nazi occupied Holland in 1942, childhood friends Josie van Rees and Eliese Linden along with a few brave Dutch citizens manage to hide Eliese’s son Hein and 600 other Jewish children. The children along with their parents could be deported at anytime to Auschwitz and no one is safe! Josie works as a child minder in the creche where Jewish children are living, some are orphans and others are being kept separate from their parents. Eliese works as a clerk, she's in charge of typing up the identity cards of the families who are being detained in a near by converted theater and she hates her job. Is she a traitor, is she safe and is her son Hein still safe? Seventy-five years later, Ava Drake begins to suspect that her great-grandfather William Kingston wasn't the World War II hero he claimed to be. Her work as director of the prestigious Kingston Family Foundation leads her to Landon West’s Ugandan coffee plantation, and Ava and Landon soon discover a connection between both families. As Landon’s great-grandmother shares her tragic story, Ava must confront the greatest loss in her own life? Powerful members of the Kingston family will do anything to keep the truth buried and will they succeed? Memories Of Glass is a story about good versus evil, greed, betrayal, danger, war, secrets, sacrifice and a mothers love. The book has a dual timeline that perfectly blends the past with the present and it's a real page turner. I really enjoyed reading Memories Of Glass and I gave it 5 big stars. I have shared my review on Goodreads, Twitter, and my blog. https://karrenreadsbooks.blogspot.com/

  3. 5 out of 5

    Loraine

    This time-slip novel draws from Holland's darkest period of history to create a stunning true story novel that captured my attention from start to finish. It's 1942, and Josie Van Reese and her best friend Eliese Linden partner to rescue hundreds of Jewish children who were set for deportation to Nazi death camps. In current time, Ava Drake begins to suspect that her great-grandfather, William Kingston, was not the wonderful philanthropist he seemed to be but instead had hidden secrets that woul This time-slip novel draws from Holland's darkest period of history to create a stunning true story novel that captured my attention from start to finish. It's 1942, and Josie Van Reese and her best friend Eliese Linden partner to rescue hundreds of Jewish children who were set for deportation to Nazi death camps. In current time, Ava Drake begins to suspect that her great-grandfather, William Kingston, was not the wonderful philanthropist he seemed to be but instead had hidden secrets that would blow their family apart. Heartbreaking, yet uplifting, both Josie and Eliese played a critical role in saving hundreds of Jewish children from extermination. Multi-layered with its time slip threads each revealing roles that the main and secondary characters played during this atrocious time period. Choices were made that would affect not only their own lives but the lives of those who surrounded them. It also highlighted the fact that these choices have consequences that can affect further generations. Friendship and faith were what allowed the Dutch people to help one another throughout this devastating period. Written with a pace that gained momentum with each page carrying me through til the very end. This is a book that will long stay in any reader's mind. **I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publisher through NetGalley. Opinions are mine alone. I was not compensated for this review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Karen R

    A compelling, complex story based on real people and events of WW2. Amid the onslaught of Nazi occupation, the brave Dutch people shine as stars as they use their resources to quietly fight the Jewish Holocaust. Digging into the past reveals a mystery that might just unravel more than one prominent family's reputation. "The truth will set us free." This book had me holding my breath sometimes, and brought me to tears more than once. It was very well done, bringing all the charact A compelling, complex story based on real people and events of WW2. Amid the onslaught of Nazi occupation, the brave Dutch people shine as stars as they use their resources to quietly fight the Jewish Holocaust. Digging into the past reveals a mystery that might just unravel more than one prominent family's reputation. "The truth will set us free." This book had me holding my breath sometimes, and brought me to tears more than once. It was very well done, bringing all the characters' stories together and creating a moving drama with some suspense, and a complicated mystery. The dual timeline worked well in bringing Ava's family history to light, and in telling the story of Dutch heroes who bravely worked in the resistance, saving children especially. They used their gifts for good instead of evil. It was quite inspirational! The legacy of love and faith, self-sacrifice and courage was a direct contrast to the evil and greed in both past and present. It all came together perfectly in the end, leaving a hopeful message. "The darker the evil, I think, the more brilliant are the flickers of light." If readers like stories that are well researched historicals with complex characters, they should enjoy this book. Highly recommend! 5 stars! (An ebook was provided by the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Beth Erin

    Full review (plus author q&a) on FaithfullyBookish.com Melanie Dobson is a masterful storyteller. She weaves past and present, ordinary and extraordinary, love and loss, fears and faith in an intricate tapestry of experience and emotion. My words can't even begin to scratch the surface of Dobson’s exquisite art. The richness and depth of not only faith and emotion but also fascinating historical detail captivated my heart, mind, and spirit. The characters (and real peop Full review (plus author q&a) on FaithfullyBookish.com Melanie Dobson is a masterful storyteller. She weaves past and present, ordinary and extraordinary, love and loss, fears and faith in an intricate tapestry of experience and emotion. My words can't even begin to scratch the surface of Dobson’s exquisite art. The richness and depth of not only faith and emotion but also fascinating historical detail captivated my heart, mind, and spirit. The characters (and real people who inspired them) speak truth to us and our lives today. Despite their grave circumstances, these people made a difference in the lives of others by loving and acting sacrificially. Memories of Glass tore my heart out, engaged my mind, and challenged my spirit in such a way that I am grateful for and changed by the experience. I highly recommend this book and I will definitely be purchasing a print copy for my all-time favorites shelf. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was under no obligation to post a review. The opinions expressed are my own.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kav

    My brain is muddled and my heart is fractured. What an emotional read! I was gulping down great heaving sobs by the end. Pretty much teary for the last quarter of the book. Luckily I listened to the audible version so an innocent paperback wasn't water damaged. :-) This is one of those reviews that should be wordless because there simply aren't any that can adequately describe the power of this story. The magic is in the details -- so many details! -- and the way the author blends the My brain is muddled and my heart is fractured. What an emotional read! I was gulping down great heaving sobs by the end. Pretty much teary for the last quarter of the book. Luckily I listened to the audible version so an innocent paperback wasn't water damaged. :-) This is one of those reviews that should be wordless because there simply aren't any that can adequately describe the power of this story. The magic is in the details -- so many details! -- and the way the author blends the two timelines is amazing and incredible and utterly clever! I could see some of the pieces coming together early on and my imagination went rampant with possible scenarios. Love it when a story excites me so much that I have to take pauses so I can do some creative thinking of my own! Nancy Peterson's narration was exquisite and added so much to my 'reading' pleasure. She brought the characters to life and into my heart and I don't know how she managed to get through some of the scenes without crying! I really was a weepy mess by the conclusion of this read, A shuddering mix of sad and happy tears, left basking in a stupor of awe and hope and the certainty that every life is precious.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    Originally posted on Inkwell Inspirations “The past often has a way of creeping into our present.” With a powerful and compelling style, award-winning author Melanie Dobson creates an extraordinary time-slip novel that demonstrates the strength and determination of the human spirit. In Memories of Glass, Melanie Dobson shares the courageous story of the heroic men and women who risked their lives during World War II to rescue countless Jewish children from the Nazis. During this time of extreme evil in the world/>“The Originally posted on Inkwell Inspirations “The past often has a way of creeping into our present.” With a powerful and compelling style, award-winning author Melanie Dobson creates an extraordinary time-slip novel that demonstrates the strength and determination of the human spirit. In Memories of Glass, Melanie Dobson shares the courageous story of the heroic men and women who risked their lives during World War II to rescue countless Jewish children from the Nazis. During this time of extreme evil in the world, countless lives were lost as the Nazis began to carry out Hitler’s Final Solution, while many brave Dutch citizens joined together in the resistance.Memories of Glass weaves the historical and contemporary storylines together as Ava Drake’s present-day work as director of the Kingston Family Foundation leads her to a coffee plantation in Uganda and, ultimately, the dangerous search for answers about her family’s history during World War II in Holland. The stunning conclusion to this novel leaves the readers filled with compassion and hope for the future. Memories of Glass is a story of forgiveness, resilience, and the silent heroes who fought against the Nazis. The author shares the message of God’s forgiveness and grace and the “reminder of God’s love no matter the wickedness of man.” Melanie Dobson is a favorite author of many World War II historical fiction readers because of the incredible way she ties her contemporary and historical storylines together, her strong and courageous heroes and heroines, and her ability to weave the characters’ faith seamlessly into her novels. Memories of Glass is highly recommended for fans of World War II fiction, and readers who enjoy time-slip novels by authors such as Heidi Chiavaroli, Rachel Hauck, and Sarah Monzon. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers and was not required to write a review. All opinions expressed are mine. Additional Quotes: “Books, she once said, are the best legacy. They outlast one’s life and shed light on the past when truth is hard to find.” “God is going to use you to bring people together instead of tear them apart.” “He desires redemption, not pain, for His children.”

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kate Breslin

    Once again author Melanie Dobson writes an elegantly complex and gripping dual-time tale that kept me enthralled until the very last page! Her beautiful writing immediately dropped me into the story, and as the past slowly revealed the many hidden terrors of the Netherlands during WWII, I became completely absorbed with the characters and one woman's struggle to discover her family's darkest secrets. Memories of Glass is a slice of remarkable history and one not to be missed!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Staci

    Lovely time slip novel set in Amsterdam, U.S. and Africa with intertwining story lines in present day and WWII. It was a moving novel primarily about saving children from harm. I am rarely moved to tears while reading and this is one of those rare novels. Highly recommended for fans of historical fiction.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Marian Baay

    I'm totally impressed by this beautiful story that captivated me from page one and stole my sleep, because I couldn't stop reading. Wow, just wow!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Heidi Chiavaroli

    Oh my. I'm still reeling from this book, which I finished a couple days ago. Equally compelling present and historical chapters drew me in, Melanie Dobson's enticing characters and brilliant plot kept me turning the pages. This was a tear-jerker that broke my heart but did not leave me without satisfying hope. I love how she takes real history and blends it into fiction in such a seamless manner. Beautiful and masterful.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Leslie M.

    I enjoy books about WWII, and I enjoy Melanie Dobson’s books, so I’m not surprised that I loved this book. It's a story that will stick with me for some time, and it should, as this is about a part of history that shouldn't be forgotten. Dobson has crafted a powerful time-slip novel with well-developed characters who show strength and determination when faced with unbelievable circumstances. This book is a testament to the numerous men and women who risked their lives during WWII to h I enjoy books about WWII, and I enjoy Melanie Dobson’s books, so I’m not surprised that I loved this book. It's a story that will stick with me for some time, and it should, as this is about a part of history that shouldn't be forgotten. Dobson has crafted a powerful time-slip novel with well-developed characters who show strength and determination when faced with unbelievable circumstances. This book is a testament to the numerous men and women who risked their lives during WWII to help save others (in the case of Memories of Glass, children). While many people have heard horrific details about the Holocaust, this side of the Holocaust is not as widely known. The story weaves together Ava Drake’s present-day story, as director of the Kingston Family Foundation, with the historical angle, where she uncovers secrets about her family’s history in Holland during WWII. The conclusion is one that will likely leave the reader feeling a bit more hopeful. Themes of forgiveness and resilience are key, as well as the message that God’s grace is always present. Faith is woven throughout. It’s obvious that Dobson did an extensive amount of research for this book. I also enjoyed the Author’s Note, which gave some insight on how the story came to be written. Some of my favorite quotes: “God is going to use you to bring people together instead of tear them apart.” “We’ll never be satisfied in here … by relying on someone other than God to heal us.” “Hatred stops at nothing to destroy, but love can break through the root of evil.” Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy, but I wasn’t required to leave a positive review.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Suzie Waltner

    With decades comes perspective but what if you were on the other side of WWII and the Nazi regime? What if you didn’t realize what would happen to the families you helped register before they were loaded on trains to a German concentration camp? Melanie Dobson puts you in those shoes and others in the Dutch resistance group in Memories of Glass. I was immediately drawn into this tale of three women. Josie and Eliese met and became friends as young girls in Holland. The war brings them With decades comes perspective but what if you were on the other side of WWII and the Nazi regime? What if you didn’t realize what would happen to the families you helped register before they were loaded on trains to a German concentration camp? Melanie Dobson puts you in those shoes and others in the Dutch resistance group in Memories of Glass. I was immediately drawn into this tale of three women. Josie and Eliese met and became friends as young girls in Holland. The war brings them together years later and together they work together to save children from the camps. Ava Drake longs for a family that’s not motivated by greed like those surrounding her. When she discovers some new information about the Kingston family, she sets out on a journey to uncover the truth with no idea of what she will uncover. From Holland to Portland to Uganda, Dobson paints portraits of a life lived in selfishness versus a life lived in selflessness with beautiful prose and a story of sacrifice that will stay with the reader long after the final word is read. Disclosure statement: I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lynn

    I did ultimately find this book extremely interesting, and though I certainly learned much about Dutch resistance and the Nazi occupation, I found the book difficult to read. The characters were interwoven through the generations, the setting moved from Holland to South Carolina to Africa to Portland Oregon and back to New York, and the setting and year did not appear at the beginning of every chapter. When I was at about the halfway point in the book, I had to start over, making copious notes o I did ultimately find this book extremely interesting, and though I certainly learned much about Dutch resistance and the Nazi occupation, I found the book difficult to read. The characters were interwoven through the generations, the setting moved from Holland to South Carolina to Africa to Portland Oregon and back to New York, and the setting and year did not appear at the beginning of every chapter. When I was at about the halfway point in the book, I had to start over, making copious notes of family trees and connectedness. What, after all, does a coffee plantation in Uganda have to do with the Jews who were "shipped East" during WWII? "One hundred twelve thousand Dutch Jews were deported during the Holocaust. Five thousand survived, but nothing was ever the same for those men and women who came home." This book is a testament to the fact that, before you start digging into your family's past, you'd better be prepared to confront all the information. Published by Tyndale Press, pub date September 3, 2019

  15. 5 out of 5

    Erin Laramore

    This book took me a bit to get into - in part because I'd just finished a contemporary romantic suspense and in part because the last historical I'd read wasn't very good, so I wans't really in the mood for a historical (or even a partial historical since this was a dual timeline). But when the library says the book is ready for you (and you have no idea when that will happen again), you take it. And once I was able to get into it, I couldn't stop reading. My only complaint was the POV changes. This book took me a bit to get into - in part because I'd just finished a contemporary romantic suspense and in part because the last historical I'd read wasn't very good, so I wans't really in the mood for a historical (or even a partial historical since this was a dual timeline). But when the library says the book is ready for you (and you have no idea when that will happen again), you take it. And once I was able to get into it, I couldn't stop reading. My only complaint was the POV changes. There were 2 3rd person perspectives in the past and then the modern timeline was 1st person. The chapter beginnings for the historical timeline gave you the name of the person whose perspective you were seeing, but then chapters would jump back to the present without any warning. The next chapter would just start in the present time, first person perspective. I wish the author had put the name heading on those chapters as well, but clearly once you read a sentence or so, you knew you'd switched timelines and it really wasn't confusing. This story follows Ava Drake in the modern timeline, adopted granddaughter of Marcella Kingston, one of the wealhiest families in the world. The family has great power struggles over the money and there is a sordid past that they are trying to keep hidden. Ava works with her grandmother on the family's non-profit foundation, doling out the family funds to deserving organizations who are making the world a better place, in an attempt to better the Kingston name. In the historical timeline, Dutch woman Josie Van Rees and German Jewish Dutch Immigrant Eliese work together during the war to hide away Jewish children from being deported. This story is beautiful and absolutely heart-rending. It pays homage to the heroes of WWII who aided the Jewish people at the cost of their own lives and freedoms. The ending where the story lines come together is just beautiful. I did a good bit of crying in the last bit of the book. Some of the details were shocking and the story's villain was truly devious. I love how Ms. Dobson brings in the vast array of emotions both past and present - how she presented the people as very human, and the very visible faith thread that is woven in as characters in both timelines need to learn to not only forgive others, but forgive themselves and accept God's grace. I would highly recommend this book to lovers of historical fiction (particularly WWII), dual timelines, and inspirational women's fiction.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Susan Snodgrass

    'Hatred stops at nothing to destroy, but love can break through the root of evil.' Melanie Dobson is a master at this type of story: dual time line, one period set in a very dark period of history during the Nazi invasion of Holland, and another in the present day when a young woman stumbles upon her family history and has a great deal to learn about those dark days. This one reminds me some of The Zookeeper's Wife, with characters determined to do their part in the middle of all the 'Hatred stops at nothing to destroy, but love can break through the root of evil.' Melanie Dobson is a master at this type of story: dual time line, one period set in a very dark period of history during the Nazi invasion of Holland, and another in the present day when a young woman stumbles upon her family history and has a great deal to learn about those dark days. This one reminds me some of The Zookeeper's Wife, with characters determined to do their part in the middle of all the atrocities and hatred spreading through their beloved country. Dobson knows her way around this. Her research is impeccable and it's a story that needed to be told, based on fact. *My thanks to Tyndale House Publishers for a preview copy of this book via Net Galley. The opinions stated here are entirely my own.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    4.5 stars "If only I could ask questions about my family and get straight answers. If only people would share their stories instead of locking them away. " If only. It's the story of Ava Drake's life. So much of her family history is shrouded in secrecy, facts hidden in the shadows and the truth anything but clear. Along the fault lines are stories dating back to World War II, when there fortunes to be made upon the sacrifice of the innocent. As Ava digs deeper into her gra 4.5 stars "If only I could ask questions about my family and get straight answers. If only people would share their stories instead of locking them away. " If only. It's the story of Ava Drake's life. So much of her family history is shrouded in secrecy, facts hidden in the shadows and the truth anything but clear. Along the fault lines are stories dating back to World War II, when there fortunes to be made upon the sacrifice of the innocent. As Ava digs deeper into her grandfather's past, her present occupation as the director of the famed Kingston Family Foundation leads her straight to Uganda, where she meets the kind of man who insists that the truth can set her free. "Windows are a curious thing. . . . the stained ones transform the light but not the transparent glass." Rich in history, this lovely story paints a mural of love, loss, and bravery using colors bold enough to cover the ugliness that begs to raise its hideous voice among the shattered "memories of glass". It's a complex story, especially in the beginning, when layer after layer of family connections and deceit threaten to snuff out the souls who rose to an occasion that they never would have chosen for themselves. And yet they did; they certainly did. I received a copy of this book from the author. The opinions stated above are entirely my own.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jodi

    A few years ago, I read Chateau of Secrets, by Melanie Dobson, the story captivated me from the beginning and I became a fan of Melanie Dobson fiction. My father was born in the Netherlands just after the end of the second World War, so I was immediately intrigued to read of the culture and perilous climate that my grandparents and uncles would have lived through during the occupation of Holland as well as the work of the Dutch resistance. Memories of Glass is a split-time novel and Melanie Dobs A few years ago, I read Chateau of Secrets, by Melanie Dobson, the story captivated me from the beginning and I became a fan of Melanie Dobson fiction. My father was born in the Netherlands just after the end of the second World War, so I was immediately intrigued to read of the culture and perilous climate that my grandparents and uncles would have lived through during the occupation of Holland as well as the work of the Dutch resistance. Memories of Glass is a split-time novel and Melanie Dobson does a wonderful job of weaving the lives of her characters together. I found myself trying to figure out how all the characters were connected as I eagerly turned pages. The plotline is complex and it was a little difficult to keep track of the characters at the beginning. A list of characters and a short description of them (at the beginning of the book) would have been helpful to keep them straight. Themes of faith and courage leap from the pages of this story as the characters of 1942 fight to save children from the growing, evil Nazi regime. I also enjoyed the mystery of the glass bottles mentioned in the preface and how the glass tied everything up in the end. If you enjoy reading fiction set during WWII or if you read Chateau of Secrets and enjoyed it, then you will enjoy reading Memories of Glass. Memories of Glass, by Melanie Dobson will be available for purchase from your local or online book retailer September 3, 2019 Thank you Tyndale House and Net Galley for the free advanced reader copy of Memories of Glass. The opinions expressed here are my own.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Nora St Laurent

    This author skillfully brings historical events and people to life in this compelling, time split story tugged at my heart strings in current time and in the back flashes in WWII (1940’s) The Kingston family has secrets they are hiding. Secrets that could destroy their family and its reputation. Ava Drake wants to find out about her great-grandfather William Kingston and what he did in WWII. His family says he’s a hero, she finds clues that lead to something dark. The family wants it buried. Ava This author skillfully brings historical events and people to life in this compelling, time split story tugged at my heart strings in current time and in the back flashes in WWII (1940’s) The Kingston family has secrets they are hiding. Secrets that could destroy their family and its reputation. Ava Drake wants to find out about her great-grandfather William Kingston and what he did in WWII. His family says he’s a hero, she finds clues that lead to something dark. The family wants it buried. Ava hopes that the truth will set this family free and they can rebuild their relationships. I was surprised to hear in author notes that this novel was based on the true accounts of unsung heroes who saved children from death camps. The author says, “A network of heroic men and women risked everything to rescue more than 600 Jewish children from the Dutch theater, Hollandsche Schouwburg”. ….” This novel was written to commemorate the many Dutch men and women who chose to use the gifts God gave them … – to battle for good. To remember the bravery of many people….and the many resistance members and caregivers whose names we will never know…I also wrote this story to celebrate those who continue rescuing children today.” I enjoyed seeing these characters grow like Ava when she discovers this about herself, “The people pleaser in me is weary. I wish I could be more like Landon and not care so much about what people think, but I still care deeply.”…..“I’ve spent a lifetime trying to make others like me, trying to be good, but I have never felt good enough. Perhaps, in hindsight, I’ve spent a lifetime trying to be God.” The author includes ten discussion questions to help at your book club meeting. Once again, this author writes a novel that touches your heart, has you walk in the characters shoes, get blown away by their courage and bravery and leaves you with a message you won’t soon forget. It’s a story of forgiveness, family, hope and love that will stay with you long after you close the book. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, Netgalley. 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” Nora St. Laurent TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com Book Fun Catalogue front page www.bookfun.org

  20. 5 out of 5

    Terri Wangard

    War brings out the best in people and the worst. They’re both here in Memories of Glass, but it’s not easy to determine everyone’s true nature right away. Saving Holland’s Jewish children from the Nazis is possible, and Eliese Linden uses her position on the Jewish Council to omit their names from the Germans’ fastidious records. She still feels like a collaborator for serving as a registrar. Her father naively believes cooperation will save them. Eliese dreams of surviving the war with her War brings out the best in people and the worst. They’re both here in Memories of Glass, but it’s not easy to determine everyone’s true nature right away. Saving Holland’s Jewish children from the Nazis is possible, and Eliese Linden uses her position on the Jewish Council to omit their names from the Germans’ fastidious records. She still feels like a collaborator for serving as a registrar. Her father naively believes cooperation will save them. Eliese dreams of surviving the war with her young son Hein and joining Hein’s father, William Kingston, in America. Ava Drake’s uncles hate her, not wanting to share the inheritance William Kingston amassed during the war. The more she learns of William, the more she’s determined to learn what he really did. The large cast of characters can be confusing, but this story is riveting. Life in WWII Holland was harrowing, beautifully portrayed here.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Chelsie

    Another very well written historical fiction novel based on true people and events that happened in Amsterdam during WWII. I also love that the author used the two POV's with present day character that was connected to a character from WWII. Josie, Samuel, Klaas, and Eliese have become close friends and all too soon the war has come to Amsterdam and all four of their lives are changed. Each one is questioning where the others beliefs lie and who is on which side. Ava, present day has felt like t Another very well written historical fiction novel based on true people and events that happened in Amsterdam during WWII. I also love that the author used the two POV's with present day character that was connected to a character from WWII. Josie, Samuel, Klaas, and Eliese have become close friends and all too soon the war has come to Amsterdam and all four of their lives are changed. Each one is questioning where the others beliefs lie and who is on which side. Ava, present day has felt like the black sheep in her family, as her mother was adopted and most of the members have made it very clear she is not blood like them. However an unexpected tidbit of information has Ava searching for more answers about her family tree and soon she finds out the truth of the her family as well as how the four childhood friends are still all connected unbeknownst to most family members and the family members of these four.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sheri Melnick

    Dobson (Catching the Wind) enthralls with her latest, a historically-accurate novel laced with the narrative of Dutch resistance to the Nazi occupation. Twenty-seven-year-old Ava Drake is the director of her family’s Kingston Foundation. After a recent trip to the opening of the foundation’s library in Amsterdam, Ava starts to suspect that there may be some Kingston family secrets from World War II. After leaving Amsterdam, Ava travels to Uganda. In Uganda, she meets Landon Dobson (Catching the Wind) enthralls with her latest, a historically-accurate novel laced with the narrative of Dutch resistance to the Nazi occupation. Twenty-seven-year-old Ava Drake is the director of her family’s Kingston Foundation. After a recent trip to the opening of the foundation’s library in Amsterdam, Ava starts to suspect that there may be some Kingston family secrets from World War II. After leaving Amsterdam, Ava travels to Uganda. In Uganda, she meets Landon West, whose sister has applied to the Kingston Foundation for grant funding for Landon’s coffee company based in Portland, Oregon. Ava and Landon share a special connection as together they care for Faith, a Ugandan child who has become ill with malaria. When Ava returns to the US, she questions her grandmother Marcella about William’s past, but her grandmother refuses to answer her questions. In an alternate story-line, Josie van Rees is working for the resistance in 1942 Holland. She assists her brother Samuel in whatever tasks are necessary to help combat the Nazi roundup of Jewish people. Josie also works in a children’s creche. At the creche, she cares for Jewish children separated from their families by the German soldiers. Josie’s friend, Eliese Linden, is Jewish but has been able to avoid being transported by the Germans thus far. She assists the German soldiers by registering the Jewish families they have rounded up. She begins fearing for the welfare of her young son Hein and considers sending him away to safety. Eliese also tries to hide as many children she can without risking detection from the occupying soldiers. Dobson’s plotline builds and moves swiftly forwards as she cleverly intertwines the present and the past in this fascinating book filled with faith, sacrifice, love, and suspense. Fans of historical fiction will likely devour this novel in one sitting as they search for other books by this engaging author. https://sherimelnick.wordpress.com/20...

  23. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Larimer

    "Memories of Glass " by Melanie Dobson is an historical fiction book that takes place during World War II in Amsterdam,Holland. This book unfolds the difficult memories of World War II . The people in Holland are in shock when the Germans enter their cities. There is a theatre in Amsterdam that the Jews are transported to before they are taken to the labor camps. Josie van Rees and Eliese Linden are friends and work together to get the Jewish children out of the path of being transported to the "Memories of Glass " by Melanie Dobson is an historical fiction book that takes place during World War II in Amsterdam,Holland. This book unfolds the difficult memories of World War II . The people in Holland are in shock when the Germans enter their cities. There is a theatre in Amsterdam that the Jews are transported to before they are taken to the labor camps. Josie van Rees and Eliese Linden are friends and work together to get the Jewish children out of the path of being transported to the labor camps. They hide the children but is a risky and dangerous work. They do everything possible to prevent these children from entering the labor camps. It is so difficult to hide the children because the Germans are fighting for their cause to kill the Jewish people. Their work is considered a resistance movement against what the Nazis are trying to accomplish. When the Jewish people are checked into the theatre Eliese hides cards and then sneaks the children out to safety. The story goes back and forth with Ava Drake's story with the Kingston Family Foundation. 75 years later.The Kingston Foundation is a prestigious organization. She is the director. She wonders if William Kingston, who is her great grandfather , really played a positive role during World War II. While she is working she runs into Landon West and his work with orphans in Uganda . He has a coffee plantation as well. The story keeps the reader wondering what will happen at the next turn with the resistance force to safe the Jewish children. The history has been carefully researched . The reader will get a good picture of what life was like during World War II. It is an excellent book and highly recommended! I thank the publisher, author and netgalley for allowing me to read and review this wonderful book. I am not obligated to give a positive review. I will be posting my review on Goodreads, Amazon, facebook and my blog.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    This is the first time I've read a book by Melanie Dobson, and it won't be my last. Memories of Glass is a keeper and will stay with you long after you finish it. I will admit, at first, I was a little confused as the chapters jumped around to different characters with different storylines. But after I got everyone sorted out, I read on wondering how they were all going to come together. Dobson surprised me more than once with little mysteries I thought I had figured out (only to be w This is the first time I've read a book by Melanie Dobson, and it won't be my last. Memories of Glass is a keeper and will stay with you long after you finish it. I will admit, at first, I was a little confused as the chapters jumped around to different characters with different storylines. But after I got everyone sorted out, I read on wondering how they were all going to come together. Dobson surprised me more than once with little mysteries I thought I had figured out (only to be wrong). I loved that about this book! It kept me on my toes. Each character was well-developed and grew in not only their inner strength but their faith as well. The ending was very moving, and I'm surprised this hasn't been made into a movie yet. The author also captured the period well, and she was very good at making my anxiety levels creep up when the characters were in danger. I loved this book and can't say enough good things about it. Do yourself a favour and add it to your reading list! I received a copy courtesy of Tyndale House Publishers through NetGalley.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Marilyn

    Memories of Glass by Melanie Dobson pulled me in right from the start. I loved the format of this book switching back and forth from Holland during the Nazi occupation to seventy-five years later in the present day. In the present time Memories of Glass transported us to New York, Amsterdam, Uganda, Africa and Oregon. The characters were complex, intriguing and believable. I listened to this book on audio CD read by Nancy Peterson. I never wanted to turn it off. The story captured my heart right Memories of Glass by Melanie Dobson pulled me in right from the start. I loved the format of this book switching back and forth from Holland during the Nazi occupation to seventy-five years later in the present day. In the present time Memories of Glass transported us to New York, Amsterdam, Uganda, Africa and Oregon. The characters were complex, intriguing and believable. I listened to this book on audio CD read by Nancy Peterson. I never wanted to turn it off. The story captured my heart right from the start to the very last sentence. It instilled feelings of hope, love, bravery, desperation, greed and deception, loss, strength and friendship. Memories of Glass by Melanie Dobson explored how childhood friends Josie van Rees and Eliese Linden found themselves linked through the act of saving Holland's children from the Nazis. Growing up Josie and Eliese became best friends. They often played on Holland's waterways with Josie's brother and another friend. Josie's brother fell instantly in love with Eliese and never forgot her even when Eliese fell in love with an American man, William Kingston. Eliese and William had a son but William never knew. He left Eliese to go back to America before she discovered she was pregnant. Eliese held on to the hope of reuniting with William and marrying him someday but she received no communication from him ever again. When Josie discovered Eliese's secret about William she was so devastated for her brother who worshiped Eliese and still loved her. Josie felt that Eliese betrayed her brother's love for her. At the same time, around 1942, when the girls rediscovered each other, the Nazis began to deport hundreds of Jewish children from Amsterdam. Eliese, who had moved to Holland from Germany as a young girl with her father, was Jewish, making her son Jewish. She knew that she had to get her son out of Amsterdam any way she could. Eliese begged for Josie's help with this endeavor. Josie, with her brother who was active in the resistance, was able to find a hiding place for Eliese's son. Eliese at this time was being forced to work in the converted theater in Amsterdam where all Jewish people left in Amsterdam awaited deportation. Her job was processing each person by typing their names and addresses. Since the theater was becoming so overcrowded, the Germans gave permission to house the children across the way in a children's home where Josie was helping to care for the children. It was there that the two friends rediscovered each other and formed a partnership that would end up saving hundreds of Jewish children from deportation. The two girls risked their lives everyday but they tirelessly tried to help save as many children as they could. Seventy-five years later Ava Drake was working for her grandmother as the director of the prestigious Kingston Family Foundation. Years before, Ava's mother and almost two-year old brother were killed when their house was consumed in flames. Ava still had a hard time forgiving herself for not being able to save her brother, Andrew. She continued to have nightmares about that night and they lasted for many years. Finally, after being placed in foster care, Ava was reunited with her mother's family. Ava felt a sense of belonging. Her mother had cut all ties with her family a long time ago but never shared her reasons with Ava. Ava didn't know a lot about her new family but she was grateful to her grandmother for providing a safe and somewhat loving environment. Her two uncles and her cousins, though, seemed to dislike her and she felt that they wanted her gone from their family. At about this time, Ava began to become curious about the Kingston's and their past. The more she dug and discovered the more she began to question what secrets her new family, the Kingston's, were trying to hide from her. One afternoon, Ava's grandmother told her to go to Uganda, Africa to check on the validity of a grant Ava had proposed for Landon West's Uganda's coffee plantation. That trip and meeting Landon was about to change Ava's life. Ava also visited their facilities in Oregon and met Landon's sister and elderly great-grandmother. Ava soon discovered after many conversations, tears, and smiles, the connection between Landon's family and her own as Landon's great- grandmother revealed her story about Holland, World War II and its children. This was one of the best books I have read in a while. It kept me guessing and hoping. Melanie Dobson's writing and character creations were brilliant. I so admired the strength of the women in Memories of Glass. It was disappointing when I was actually finished listening to this story. I wanted it to go on and on. I loved how the past and the present collided and yet found their way to inspire happiness. Please read this book. I highly recommend it.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Maggie Boyd

    In 1997, the Seinfeld episode called The Yada Yada aired. While this installment is best known for coining the term “anti-dentite” and the use of yada, yada to skip details in conversation, it also takes an intriguing look at religious conversion and the confused feelings such an event creates in the people around the convert. For many this subject is still problematic, which is why I am opening this review with a warning: Memories of Glass, a dual timeline novel taking place in both WWII and th In 1997, the Seinfeld episode called The Yada Yada aired. While this installment is best known for coining the term “anti-dentite” and the use of yada, yada to skip details in conversation, it also takes an intriguing look at religious conversion and the confused feelings such an event creates in the people around the convert. For many this subject is still problematic, which is why I am opening this review with a warning: Memories of Glass, a dual timeline novel taking place in both WWII and the present day, talks a lot about evangelism and conversion. Josie van Rees and Eliese Linden first meet in 1933. The girls become fast friends, enjoying carefree days playing in Holland’s countryside. Less than ten years later, their days are far less untroubled. Eliese has an illegitimate son by an American businessman whom she believes will soon be reunited with her and young Hein. Until that day she must worry and plan, for the Nazis are in Holland and have begun deporting Jewish families like her own to concentration camps. She understands herself to be protected from deportation by being listed on Puttkammer’s list, an elite account of rich Jews who have paid for a special stamp on their identity card, but at the urging of her father, she agrees to work with Walter Suskind at Hollandsche Schouwburg assisting with the registration of families being sent to the camps since working there provides another layer of protection. Her first night on the job finds Eliese in a nightmarish situation. A young toddler begins crying, causing the other children to begin crying as well. An angry Nazi soldier shoots a bullet into the wall behind him, silencing the other children and warning that the next bullet will be for Eliese if she can’t silence the child. She is able to hustle the boy away to a nursery school across the street, where he spends that night and the following morning. When Eliese is sent to retrieve him the next day, she encounters a friend she hasn’t seen in years. Josie is part of the Dutch resistance. Her cover is her daily life routine as a student and part-time worker at the local nursery school across from Hollandsche Schouwburg. She is at the school the morning Eliese comes in to pick up the young boy and is surprised to see her. Their friendship was broken by an event in their past but when Eliese pleads with Josie to help her rescue some of the children, including Hein, she agrees. It’s an alliance that will put both women in very grave danger. It’s been seventy five years since WWII but Ava Drake’s family, now living in America, still has ties to Holland thanks to the charitable work of their Kingston Family Foundation. She has just finished opening the Kingston Bibliotheek, a research library in Amsterdam, and would have enjoyed spending more time in Holland, but her job as the foundation’s director means that immediately after the opening she must go Landon West’s Ugandan coffee plantation, a charity which provides a sustainable income for the people of the community as well as an orphanage and school for the local children. When she arrives, Landon doesn’t realize she is there about a grant but instead believes she is a volunteer and puts her to work in the nursery. Ava doesn’t mind, as it gives her the opportunity to learn whether the organization is worthy of a donation – as well as allowing her to spend the day with the most fascinating man she has ever met. See the rest of my review at https://allaboutromance.com/book-revi...

  27. 5 out of 5

    Shirley

    Save the Children This is a heartbreaking story of the Holland Jewish people during the Nazi occupation of Holland. It is the story of resistance and the saving of the lives of many Jewish children by hiding them. Samuel, Jose, Eliese, and Klaas were friend playing together as children. The war changed everything. Samuel worked at the bank managed by Eliese's father. During the war he took the money the bank had received from the Jewish customers and distributed it to the Save the Children This is a heartbreaking story of the Holland Jewish people during the Nazi occupation of Holland. It is the story of resistance and the saving of the lives of many Jewish children by hiding them. Samuel, Jose, Eliese, and Klaas were friend playing together as children. The war changed everything. Samuel worked at the bank managed by Eliese's father. During the war he took the money the bank had received from the Jewish customers and distributed it to the resistance to help hide Jewish families. Jose helped him deliver the money. Eliese left Amsterdam and went to England with William Kingston and they had a son Hein. Later when he left them and returned to New York Eliese returned to Amsterdam. She had to put her son in hiding and later at the last minute Jose saved him from the death camps, but Eliese never found out and always thought he had perished at the hands of the Nazi's. Klaas took the route of working for whomever paid the most. In the end he did the right thing and helped Jose save Hein. Their stories are told within the book. It was sad and moving. The story is also one of the Kingston family after the war, and the secrets they hid. Crimes that were committed and how ruthless some members of the Kingston family were in order to keep the secrets hidden. Eloise works for the Kingston foundation but knows nothing of her past. Her mother and brother perish in a fire and she is sent to live with her mother's adopted family. She digs into the past and finds the family secrets dating back to WWII. Someone in the Kingston family does not want her to find the truth. As events unfold so does the story of William Kingston and the WWII era for this family. Told in both modern time and the WWII occupation of Holland both stories are merged together in a way that was easy to follow. The book was definitely a story to remember. I would highly recommend it. My thanks to Tyndale House Publishing, Melanie Dobson and NetGalley for allowing me to read an advance copy of the book.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kristen Gwen Johnson

    Melanie Dobson books always give me at least one shiver when something surprising is revealed, and I more often than not cry somewhere near the end. Her stories always capture me as she introduces her readers to heroes and heroines of history and modern day. You know when you pick up a Melanie Dobson book you are in for a treat. All of this was true of her latest book, Memories of Glass. Josie, Ava, and Eliese are fantastically three-dimensional characters that leap off the page and i Melanie Dobson books always give me at least one shiver when something surprising is revealed, and I more often than not cry somewhere near the end. Her stories always capture me as she introduces her readers to heroes and heroines of history and modern day. You know when you pick up a Melanie Dobson book you are in for a treat. All of this was true of her latest book, Memories of Glass. Josie, Ava, and Eliese are fantastically three-dimensional characters that leap off the page and into your heart. Josie and Eliese live in Amsterdam during the Nazi occupation. They make it their mission to save Jewish children who are bound for the camps, even at the cost of their own lives. Eliese must also protect the child she had with an American banker. When it becomes clear that her working for the Nazi’s and the money her father paid to purchase a stamp of protection simply won’t protect her, she makes difficult choices that could end in disaster. Ava lives in the modern day and works for her grandmother’s foundation, trying to do some good in the world. But her life is darkened by the secrets surrounding the Kingston Foundation. Secrets that she is determined to uncover as she searches for family, truth, and love. Then she meets Landon West, a man who runs a coffee plantation in Uganda and coffee roasting and shops in Portland. He and his sister have a mission to provide jobs for families on both sides of the ocean, as well as a children’s home and clinic in Uganda. But when Ava’s grandmother falls ill, the truth about both the Kingston and West families comes out, threatening the Foundation, and perhaps even Ava’s life. In both of the timelines, lives are at stake, and doing the right thing could come at a high cost. I cannot recommend this book, or any of Melanie Dobson’s books, any more highly. If you enjoy timeslip novels, run to get this book today. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Sometimes, very important things are left out of family history and history that children are taught and elders do not speak of. Ada Drake knew that her mother had many things that they did not speak of. She worked for the Kingston Family Foundation and her work took her to Uganda where she met Landon West. Thrown into a situation where she had to care for a very sick little girl, she undergoes a change for the better. With a step back in time and place, the author takes to a small group of chil Sometimes, very important things are left out of family history and history that children are taught and elders do not speak of. Ada Drake knew that her mother had many things that they did not speak of. She worked for the Kingston Family Foundation and her work took her to Uganda where she met Landon West. Thrown into a situation where she had to care for a very sick little girl, she undergoes a change for the better. With a step back in time and place, the author takes to a small group of children who were playing together in Giethoorne, Holland in June 1933 . Samuel, Josie, Klaus and the new girl Eleise had no way of know how some them would be risking their lives to save Jewish children and that there would one they could not trust. This book is based on true events and is told through a Christian perspective rather than a Jewish one. I have some qualms with this book. It was easy for me to follow the story in the past but when it went to the present day, I felt lost. Transition was lacking and at times, the author referred to she and I had to go back to my notes to find that she was referring to Ada Drake. Later on, the transitions improved. Parts of the story were not in the book, what did the Jewish people in Amsterdam think and feel during the Nazi occupation. How much did they know before they boarded the trains for the camps, what happened to the characters while they were in the camps. It reminded me of "To Kill A Mockingbird". Everything is told from the white perspective and ones who the most effective by the events are not given a real part to speak. In this book, a Jewish banker did something that would forever cost him shame and self hate, a woman who cared deeply for children but was not Jewish accompanied the children to camp. I think we need to know more about those two. In all, I learned from this book but wanted to know much more.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jeanne Alfveby Crea

    With timeless truths, and page-turning suspense, I was unable to put this book down. In this magnificent work of fiction, Author Melanie Dobson quotes Corrie Ten Boom "Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives is the perfect preparation for a future that only he can see" from her book The Hiding Place. Memories of Glass takes place during and after World War II in Amsterdam, with a related story in the present day is exactly the type of book I love to read. The With timeless truths, and page-turning suspense, I was unable to put this book down. In this magnificent work of fiction, Author Melanie Dobson quotes Corrie Ten Boom "Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives is the perfect preparation for a future that only he can see" from her book The Hiding Place. Memories of Glass takes place during and after World War II in Amsterdam, with a related story in the present day is exactly the type of book I love to read. The actions of some have consequences for their families in future generations. With timeless truths, and page-turning suspense, I was unable to put this book down. Melanie Dobson has a way of creating fantastic story lines with a great cast of characters, that keep me guessing. In every generation, people search for the truth, and in every generation some work hard to hide the truth of their evil actions. In 1942, Josie is "Watching and praying. Waiting for someone to stand for all that was right and true and good. She felt like a girl again, hidden under the wooden quay, waiting until her brother had hung the flag." So many things good and bad are repeated in every generation. What side are we on? Do we stand for what is right and true and good? "Hatred stops at nothing to destroy, but love can break through the root of evil. Grow something good instead." And "The men sang about their brotherhood, about unity and rights and freedom for all, but Germany didn't protect the rights of all its citizens. Only those deemed worthy." These quotes were in the 1942 section of the book, but they certainly apply to today. I have to say how much I loved Eloise's birthday party when all sorts of truth comes to light. I won't soon forget Josie and Eliese, William, Marcella, Ava & Landon. I hope you will read this book and enjoy it as much as I have. I highly recommend Memories of Glass.

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