A 1930's Fairytale
October 1939—What happens when you run from danger… and into a trap?
After the Anschluss, Austria becomes a place its citizens don’t recognize—especially its Jewish citizens. Whispers ripple through Jewish communities—whispers about a chalet where a woman protects Jewish children from discovery. She’ll keep them safe, fed, and far away from Nazis.
Parents are forced to make horrific decisions. Send their children away to safety, possibly never seeing them again, or keep their families together and risk their children’s lives?
Hans Hartmann arrives at the chalet with a chip on his shoulder and a little girl in tow. He found Grete waiting at the train station. Alone. But life at Chalet Versteck feels more ominous than the streets of Vienna. Children sometimes vanish, and before Hans can figure out what’s happening, a high-ranking officer appears—and is killed.
It’s a race to find out who killed the man and get himself (and probably that pesky Grete) out!
A Ransomed Grete is the bridge book between the 1920s and 1940s Ever After Mysteries, combining fairy tales with mysteries.
Once again, Chautona Havig turns an impossibly difficult topic-Jewish parents in 1939 Austria, sending their children away in an attempt to keep them safe from Nazis- into a story of hope and redemption. A Ransomed Grete centers on two children, Hans and Grete, who are sent to Chalet Versteck by their mothers, who heard about a woman who would keep them safe. If the whispers from locals are to be believed, however, Hans and Grete’s adventure will be a perilous one.
On a personal note, this was a difficult book to review. Jewish families, frantic to keep their children safe from Nazis. Citizens forced into situations on threat of death. Deception and murder. Not easy to read, let alone write a review about! But here I am, trying, and knowing I’m not doing justice to Chautona Havig’s excellent work. Why? Because through the darkness, there’s a flicker of hope. Little acts of kindness where you’d not expect them. Bravery from some perceived as weak. And lessons taught by mothers that come back to their children in times of need. It’s that flicker of hope that runs through this book that’ll keep you reading, too. I absolutely recommend this book.