Until We Find Home / by Cathy Gohlke. 3.22.2019

Tyndale ISBN 9781496410962

Adult Rating: 5

Claire Stewart has no intention of shepherding Jewish-French refugee children to England in order to escape the ravages of WWII in Until We Find Home. She plans instead to rendezvous with her French boyfriend and continue their resistance and rescue work in France. However, when he doesn’t arrive at their meeting place on time, no choice remains but to accompany the children. Since her boyfriend is the one with the contact in England, Claire must come up with a plan for the children. The only person that comes to mind is Claire’s estranged aunt. When Claire meets her aunt for the first time, she finds her grieving her son. What do two, grieving American women have to give to children displaced from home and everyone they know and love? And what are they to do with the men who are complicating their emotions?

Cathy Gohlke brilliantly paints entire scenes with a few well-placed words. Her characterization pulses with authenticity, especially that of Claire. Claire seems completely human as she struggles through her faults and starts allowing God’s grace to work in her heart. A somber tone carries through the book as characters deal with the ugliness born of grief, war, separation, rejection and prejudice. However, the story is far from dark, because David Campbell and Dr. MacDonald share light, bringing both the love of God and love of their own to a place that desperately needs it. The children bring humor in the midst of their struggles. Tension in the tale comes mostly in the form of relational struggles as the plot gently unfolds, but moments of physical danger add momentum. Though rife with important, though non-preachy, lessons, the most important theme driving the characters and plot is discovered by Claire:

The great thing to remember is that, though our feelings come and go, His love for us does not. It is not wearied by our sins, or our indifference. God loves us because we are a self, because He is love and that love pours out onto us. (p. 388, in a letter from C. S. Lewis to Claire – may or may not be all C. S. Lewis’s words as per note on p. 411)

Kristina Wolcott, CLJ