I’ve always been interested in stories about World War II, and I thank Sherri for being here today to tell us about her new book.
Goedemorgen. That’s Dutch for good morning. I’m Sherri Stewart. I’m not from the Netherlands but my newest book takes place there, so I’ve been immersing myself in the country and the language. I love writing clean novels, sprinkled with romance and a strong message that hopefully challenges your faith. I spend my working hours with books—either editing others’ manuscripts or writing my own. My passion is traveling to the settings of my books, sampling the food and visiting the sites. My trip to the Netherlands to research this book was everything and more than I could have dreamed of. I’m a recent widow and live in the Orlando area with my lazy dog, Lily, and my son, Joshua, who can fix anything. I share recipes, tidbits of my books’ locations, and pix in my monthly newsletters. Subscribe at http://eepurl.com/gZ-mv9
A Song for Her Enemies is my first attempt at a World War II romance. My faith hero has always been Corrie ten Boom, so when my publisher asked us to pick a female hero and write a fictional account of the person from another’s point of view, I jumped at the chance. Little did I know that the book would consume me for two years. It took on a life of its own. Corrie passed away in the 80s, and many of the survivors of the holocaust have left us, but I don’t want them to be forgotten. I want people to know what happened over there—to learn from it, or we’ll make the same mistakes again.
For those of you unfamiliar with Corrie, I’ll tell you a bit about her. She was a middle-aged watchmaker who lived with her father and her older sister, Betsie. Her family had a heart for the Jewish people in her Haarlem neighborhood, so when families started disappearing and Nazis looted shops and houses, Corrie opened her home to Jewish refugees. My story is told from the point of view of a young Jewish singer named Tamar, who sought refuge in her house. I couldn’t get permission from the ten Boom estate to write a fictional account about Corrie, so I wrote about violinist Neelie Visser instead. Since she’s made up, I don’t need to get permission from her estate.
Here’s a bit about the book. After Nazi soldiers close the opera and destroy Tamar Kaplan’s dream of becoming a professional singer, she joins the Dutch Resistance, her fair coloring concealing her Jewish heritage. Tamar partners with Dr. Daniel Feldman, and they risk their lives to help escaping refugees. When they are forced to flee themselves, violinist Neelie Visser takes them into hiding.
Tamar’s love for Daniel flowers in hardship, but she struggles with the paradox that a loving God would allow the atrocities around her. When Tamar resists the advances of a Third Reich officer, he exacts his revenge by betraying the secrets hidden behind the walls of Neelie’s house. From a prison hospital to a Nazi celebration to a concentration camp, will the three of them survive to tell the world the secrets behind barbed wire?
A Song for Her Enemies is the story of a talented young opera singer and the bittersweet love that grows amid the tyranny and fear of World War II. Set against the backdrop of neighbors willing to risk their lives in the German-occupied, war-torn Netherlands, A Song for Her Enemies is an inspiring and beautiful novel celebrating the resilience of the human spirit and the determination of Christians in the face of persecution. It is a novel for everyone seeking to understand the pain of the past and be inspired to embrace hope for the future.
Although atrocities occurred during this shameful period of history, I believe it is possible to tell the story without being graphic or maudlin. God promised Jews and Christians a crown of beauty instead of ashes, festive oil instead of mourning, and splendid clothes instead of despair. (Isaiah 61:3) https://amzn.to/2PoCxMV