cover image The Curator’s Daughter

The Curator’s Daughter

Melanie Dobson. Tyndale, $15.99 trade paper (416p) ISBN 978-1-4964-4417-2

A young girl kidnapped by Nazis piques the interest of a present-day researcher in this propulsive time-swapping tale from Dobson (Catching the Wind). During WWII, Lilly Strauss Kiehl is taken from her parents in Poland at age 8, receives Aryan indoctrination in an orphanage, and is adopted by an SS agent and his wife, Hanna Tillich. But an American serviceman who had an affair with Hanna before the war comes to find his former lover as the war is ending, believes Lilly to be his biological child, rescues her, and brings her back to the U.S. In 1999, Lilly, now a retired teacher, reconnects with Ember Ellis, a former student. Ember, a history doctoral student, suffers nightmares from trauma endured in a religious cult that idolized the Nazis. Lilly’s wartime recollections and other stories Ember finds of those who risked their lives to protect victims of Nazi persecution become the core of Ember’s dissertation. As Ember works to piece together Lilly’s spotty memories, Hanna’s story emerges: she was a Nazi researcher tasked with finding historical proof of Aryan superiority. Ember makes for a believable, complicated heroine whose research into of Hanna’s competing desires to help the Nazi war effort and be a loving caretaker to Lilly allow her to overcome anger over her own upbringing. Though faith elements are secondary, fans of WWII inspirationals will love this. (Mar.)