Saturday, August 22, 2020

The Medallion By Cathy Gohlke

The Medallion
by Cathy Gohlke
Publisher: Tyndale
ISBN: 9781496429674

This is the first book I've ever read by Cathy Gohlke. I read it on my way back from Minnesota in July. I tell you what, the RBDigital app has been a fantastic find! You can get it if your library participates.


Seemingly overnight, the German blitzkrieg of Warsaw in 1939 turns its streets to a war zone and shatters the life of each citizen—Polish, Jewish, or otherwise. Sophie Kumiega, a British bride working in the city’s library, awaits news of her husband, Janek, recently deployed with the Polish Air Force. Though Sophie is determined that she and the baby in her womb will stay safe, the days ahead will draw her into the plight of those around her, compelling her to help, whatever the danger.

Rosa and Itzhak Dunovich never imagined they would welcome their longed-for first child in the Jewish ghetto, or that they would let anything tear their family apart. But as daily atrocities intensify, Rosa soon faces a terrifying reality: to save their daughter’s life, she must send her into hiding. Her only hope of finding her after the war—if any of them survive—is a medallion she cuts in half and places around her neck.

Inspired by true events of Poland’s darkest days and brightest heroes, The Medallion paints a stunning portrait of war and its aftermath, daring us to believe that when all seems lost, God can make a way forward.

My Review:

I haven't read such a deep book from WWII. I couldn't believe how profoundly I was impacted while reading this story. I think we all have an idea of the atrocities that happened under the Nazi regime. The lengths in which people went to survive. Sophie, Rosa, and Itzhak are 3 such people.

The Medallion starts off with an explosion that sets the story in motion. Sophie's home, in Warsaw, is destroyed in a bombing and she immediately goes into hiding in the library she was working at. Unfortunately, that doesn't last long.

Rosa and Itzhak go back to her mother's home and find her mother barely holding on to life. Rosa goes into a deep depression after she loses a baby, but in time learns that she's pregnant again! Her mother has rebounded and things seem to be moving along as well as possible in a time of great risk.

Sophie spends her time trying to find ways to help people that she comes into contact with who are trying to stay alive and avoid being found by the Nazis. She even becomes involved in the underground movement. Her plight to help others, while waiting for her husband to return is a very hard one. Some days she's barely able to stay alive.

Rosa, Itzhak, and Sophie's lives converge at one point and keeps them connected for years to come. In a way that is unexpected and life altering. This is where the medallion plays a huge part. As readers we go through emotional upheavals as the stark reality of death comes to those in the story. There's absolutely no way you can remain blasé to the horrors that happened during WWII.

And yes, this can be a very depressing story and it SHOULD be! Hopefully by reading a story like this we'll remember that we never want to go back there. Because of how powerful this story was, I immediately read her book Secrets She Kept. THAT was an exceptional read as well! Same time period and same grip on my heart.

About the Author:

Three-time Christy and two-time Carol and INSPY Award–winning and bestselling author Cathy Gohlke writes novels steeped with inspirational lessons, speaking of world and life events through the lens of history. She champions the battle against oppression, celebrating the freedom found only in Christ. Cathy has worked as a school librarian, drama director, and director of children's and education ministries. When not traveling to historic sites for research, she, her husband, and their dog, Reilly, divide their time between northern Virginia and the Jersey Shore, enjoying time with their grown children and grandchildren. Visit her website at and find her on Facebook at CathyGohlkeBooks.


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