Discovering letters from a mystery address among her late mother’s belongings, Hannah Sterling is propelled on a journey of discovery that begins in a small, North Carolina mountain town and ends in the streets of Berlin, still haunted by memories of the war. Longing for connection and understanding that she never knew, Hannah determines to unlock the mysteries of her mother’s past – and the wartime secrets of her estranged German grandfather.
Thirty years earlier, Lieselotte’s father is quickly ascending the ranks of the Nazi party, and an auspicious marriage for his daughter could help advance his career – but her beloved Lukas is far from an ideal match as he secretly works against the Reich. How far will a father go to ensure his daughter’s cooperation?
Struggling with questions of forgiveness and shaken by all she uncovers, Hannah must decide if she can atone for her family’s tragic past and how their legacy will shape her future.
What people are saying
“Cathy Gohlke’s Secrets She Kept is a page-turner with great pacing and style. She’s a terrific writer.”Francine RiversNew York Times bestselling author
“Cathy Gohlke never fails to deliver wonderfully-woven novels of hope, resilience and tenderness. A master storyteller, her prose is evocative and beautiful from first page to last.”Susan MeissnerBestselling author, The Last Year of the War
“A sweeping story! The deep characterization, striking settings and twisting story draw you in and raise poignant questions. If you lived in the claustrophobic terror of Nazi Germany, would you have risked your life – or compromised your values? And if you lived in post-war Germany, how would you deal with your past sin and shame? A lyrical tale of hope and light, even in the darkest places. Don't miss this book!”Sarah SundinBestselling and award-winning author, The Sea Before Us and The Sky Above Us
“Secrets She Kept is a riveting tale of secrets and forgiveness, this historical story will engage readers of all ages. Secrets She Kept will be of particular interest to those of us who call North Carolina home.”Alice J. WislerAward-winning author, Rain Song
“Open the cover of Secrets She Kept and be swept into one young woman’s attempt to do something that matters... and her daughter’s search to understand a mother who was filled with secrets. You’ll be guessing and hungering to know how each heroine’s story will end. I highly recommend this for lovers of historical fiction.”Cara PutmanAward-winning author, Shadowed by Grace
“Cathy Gohlke beautifully weaves together truth and heroism against a stark backdrop of the unbelievable evil of the Holocaust. Readers can expect mystery, drama, intrigue and romance in this unforgettable story of love and sacrifice. A must-read!”Carrie TuranskyAward-winning author, The Edwardian Brides Series
“Why do parents keep secrets from their children? This compelling question launches Cathy Gohlke’s latest novel as her equally compelling characters wrestle to understand the past. I was immediately swept into this profound story about an evil so intense that it devastated generations. And a love so powerful that it transcends time.”Melanie DobsonAward-winning author, Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor
“A riveting story that seeps into your soul, Secrets She Kept elegantly gives insights into the little-known world of Holocaust survivors and the next generation of children who must live with the results of their family’s painful secrets. A must-read.”Terri GillespieRetired Director of Operations, The Messianic Jewish Alliance of America; Author, Hair Mavens Series
“A powerful and stirring tale, written with sensitivity and honesty. Cathy Gohlke is a master storyteller and Secrets She Kept is my top pick for inspirational WWII novels.”Elizabeth Byler YountsAuthor, The Promise of Sunrise Series
“In Secrets She Kept, Cathy Gohlke masterfully weaves a story of injustice and pain from the Holocaust with a story of forgiveness and truth from the generation that followed. Engagingly researched. Powerfully written. A tapestry of intrigue.”Jane Hampton CookAuthor, American Phoenix
This well-researched epic depicts life under the Nazi regime with passionate attention. While the Sterling family story serves as a warning about digging into the past, it is also a touching example of the healing power of forgiveness and the rejuvenating power of faith.
Gohlke takes the reader on a compelling journey, complete with mystery and drama. She weaves in real stories from Ravensbrück, making this drama one that will be difficult to forget. It is well researched, and the multilayered characters demonstrate the power of love and sacrifice.
TOP PICK REVIEW. Gripping … emotional … masterfully told, this is an unforgettable tale of finding family, faith and love.