This spellbinding book is the best WWII novel I have read in some time. Olivia Hawker tells the unlikely story of Anton Starzmann, a former friar stripped of his order by the Nazis, who marries a widow, Elisabeth Herter, following her advertisement for a husband to help her and her three children survive the war. Anton hopes to atone for what he sees as an act of cowardice on his part when he was still in holy orders.
They hope that living in a tiny hamlet will protect them from the worst of the war, but it catches up to them, and they agonize over Anton's decision to help a resistance group, despite the danger to the entire family.
Hawker's beautiful writing, replete with images of light and darkness, and the struggle of the main characters to deal with doing what is right, while still saving their children, made me unable to put it down. Her dialogue and characters, including minor characters, spring to life on the page.
I strongly recommend this book and look forward to Olivia Hawker's next one.