Shadowed by Grace is a dramatic story inspired by the Monuments Men of World War II by acclaimed author Cara C. Putman. Desperate to save her dying mother, Rachel accepts her newspaper’s assignment to travel to Italy to capture images dangerously close to the front lines of WWII. Her real motive – to find the father she never knew -- an artist she hopes can offer the comfort and support both she and her mother need to survive. It’s an unlikely situation for love and faith to flourish, but soon Rachel not only finds herself, but also her long-lost earthly father, and ultimately, the man her Heavenly father created to cherish and provide for her.
Here are my thoughts:
A promising synopsis (as well as a nice cover!) bringing forward the harrowing recovery of art treasures by Allied Forces during the withdrawing of Hitler's henchmen. This sums up the total story in a nutshell of Shadowed by Grace for readers fond of historical facts and there are plenty in Cara C. Putman's novel!
Alas there has to be also a bit of romance in the script along with a touch of mystery for those readers who favour more than just the plain facts however dramatic these are by themselves!
This part of the script however did not flow as well as I hoped and felt fragmented, so much so I was glad to see the end.
As a woman I appreciate a good WW2 story, when presented from the women's point of view but wartime photographer Rachel shows little common sense when the slightest mistake might well be your last one! Reading of her developing her photos in her helmet made her real but this hardly makes for an interesting protagonist.
Lt. Scott Lindstrom portrays what I imagine a Monument Man to be: an idealist, who remembers a magnificent pre-war Italy and is determined to pursue his orders however unrealistic these might be. The fact that he is inclined to a touch of romance whilst pursuing the recovery of rare artifacts even in skirmishes is to be thought of also as one of those life moments sure to be appreciated by a few dreaming souls. I also appreciated a solid faith in this soldier!
To be noted also is the care the author brought to the story as she described the enormity of the ravages Italians underwent following their shift in alliance in 1943. The unrelenting German SS and their Italian counterpart as they continuously preyed on the civilians is sincere. The callous damages to unique works of art was very real as was the armies pilfering in search of a little war souvenir.
But despite the author's efforts, the story did not clinch as it bounced a lot, a little like a ride in those military jeeps!
Discussions questions for book clubs are also included.
Meet the author:
Cara C. Putman graduated high school at 16, college at 20, and completed her law degree at 27. The best-selling author of more than a dozen books, Cara is active in women's ministry at her church, teaches graduate courses at Purdue University, practices law, and is a homeschooling mom.
Visit her website (HERE)
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