Brittany at the Books and Biscuits Blog
In the spirit of Cara Putmanâ€™s Shadowed by Grace and Kristy Cambronâ€™s The Butterfly and the Violin, Johnnie Alexander debuts her historical fiction novel, Where Treasure Hides. Alison Schuylerâ€™s family has spent the last three hundred years building an international reputation of their art gallery in the Netherlands. Her father moved to Chicago years before, disrupting that legacy, while trying to distance himself from a tragic history that devastates every generation of the family. On a journey through London, Alison meets British Army officer Ian Devlin, a man with his own tragic past and an undeniable quality that captures Alisonâ€™s attention and heart. With the outbreak of World War II, Alison and Ian find themselves separated by their battles for freedom and oppression under the Nazi regime, Ianâ€™s on the battlefield and Alisonâ€™s through her work with the Dutch Underground. Faced with the choice between saving the lives of the people they love and preserving the worldâ€™s greatest art, Alison discovers an indescribable hope in God amongst the destruction of a world at war.
Overall, I was rather impressed with Ms. Alexanderâ€™s novel. I found the story to be quite interesting and the characters well planned and developed. In comparison to many other Christian fiction works related to World War II, Where Treasure Hides also holds the distinction of delving firmly into the topic of art preservation, while remaining relatively believable. Some other works rely heavily on external sources (particularly the recent publications on the Monuments Men), which results in them having generally diluted storylines. In comparison, Ms. Alexander utilizes the strong art background of the main character and her ancestral family to unify the art-inspired elements of the work, creating a natural connection between the overarching storyline and the charactersâ€™ interaction with world-renowned artwork. The greatest weakness of the novel comes as a result of its generally slower pacing and denser style. Some readers who may enjoy the general storyline concept and the characters, but may be challenged to move through it or even finish it, again depending on their reading pace.
Special thanks to Tyndale House Publishers for an advanced copy of Where Treasure Hides!
Brittany at BooksandBiscuits.com