An Address in Amsterdam by Mary Dingee Fillmore
ISBN: 9781631521331 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781631521348 (ebook)
ASIN: B01LYJWNH6 (Kindle edition)
Publication date: October 4, 2016
Publisher: She Writes Press
Rachel Klein hopes she can ignore the Nazis when they roll into Amsterdam in May 1940. She’s falling in love, and her city has been the safest place in the world for Jewish people since the Spanish Inquisition. But when Rachel’s Gentile boyfriend is forced to disappear rather than face arrest, she realizes that everything is changing, and so must she so, although she is often tired and scared, she delivers papers for the underground under the Nazis noses. But after eighteen months of ever increasing danger, she pushes her parents to go into hiding with her. The dank basement where they take refuge seems like the last place where Rachel would meet a new man but she does. An Address in Amsterdam shows that, even in the most hopeless situation, an ordinary young woman can make the choice to act with courage and even love.
Spring 1940 and Rachel Klein’s thoughts are on the Nazi occupation and the plight of the Jews in the Netherlands, her family in Germany, and love. Rachel sees how Amsterdam is quickly changing and is willing to do whatever she can to protect as many people as possible in An Address in Amsterdam by Mary Dingee Fillmore.
For eighteen years, Rachel has been an ideal and dutiful daughter, never causing her parents any worry. Now that Rachel is growing older, she’s forming her own opinions and is very concerned about what she sees happening to her Jewish friends and neighbors. She’s also very worried about what might happen to her own family in Amsterdam. Rachel’s mother Rose wanted the family to leave and go to London and stay with an elderly aunt, but Rachel’s father, Jacob a dedicated physician, feels that the Dutch will never allow the Nazis’ to more than a physical presence. As Rachel sees more and more hatred aimed at the Jewish population, and her lover Michiel is forced to leave or face arrest or worse, she joins the underground movement as a courier delivering messages, newspapers, and even forged documents. Rachel learns that not all of the Dutch are willing to blindly follow the Nazis and put their lives not to mention the lives of their loved ones on the line by helping to hide and protect Jewish families and other members of the underground movement. When things begin to get really bad in Amsterdam, Rachel talks her parents into hiding, but will it be enough to protect them from the Nazis?
I found An Address in Amsterdam to be an engrossing read. The beginning of the story read a bit slow, but after the first 40-50 pages, the story picked up steam and I kept turning page after page just to see what would happen next. Ms. Fillmore provides a dramatic story of acts of heroism, courage, and love in the face of adversity. Rachel comes across as a typical teen at times filled with teen angst and drama, and then she is seen as the unbelievably courageous and heroic woman willing to do what she can in the face of fear and unknown horrors. This is not just the story of one girl and the underground movement, but rather the story of one girl, one family, one love, and the Dutch gentiles working to help and protect Dutch Jews in a time of unspeakable acts of bigotry, hatred, and horrors. It was impossible to read An Address in Amsterdam and not be touched by the ugliness directed towards the Jewish population. However, Ms. Fillmore has taken a story about a group of people that we know doesn’t end well at all and imbued it with a sense of hope that things will get better and that love will help these people make it through. Do things end well for Rachel and her family? You’ll have to read the story to find out. If you enjoy reading historical fiction then I recommend you grab a copy of An Address in Amsterdam to read.
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