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Book Jacket

Trade Paperback
320 pages
Aug 2010
Summerside Press

The Gathering Storm (Zion Chronicles)

by Bodie & Brock Thoene

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt


A desperate escape, unimaginable emotional pain, and an ancient secret brought to light are all situations the heroine must deal with in Brock and Bodie Thoene’s World War II novel, The Gathering Storm. Lora Bittick is desperately trying to survive during the Nazi invasions of Belgium. She is also battling a lost love and the death of her mother, as she attempts to flee to England with her pregnant sister. Love is the driving emotion behind this poignant story. Pain and despair come close to taking hold of Lora, but love can overcome even the deepest pain.

Lora Bittick is forced away from her home when the Nazi regime takes control of Belgium. Once homeless, she is on the run with Jessica (her very pregnant sister), her aging father, a niece, and two girls entrusted into her care. It is a race against time to get to safety before Jessica delivers her baby. Finally, they make it to England where Lora must face another bitter choice. Does she go to the countryside with her sister or stay in London with the family as Nazi bombs rain down? Her decision will have an impact on rest of her life.

This book is extremely well written and organized. Events take place in chronological order which makes it easy to follow. The characters are real and relatable. Lora struggles with accepting her circumstances and the fact that the Lord is in control of everything. The story is written in first-person from the main character’s point of view. The relationships between the characters mirror relationships all Christians experience on a daily basis. One of the most memorable and heart wrenching scenes is when Lora and her sister Jessica must leave Belgium. Unable to take along their mother’s china, the two sisters proceed to throw it at the wall, for they would rather have it smashed to pieces than allow the Nazis to use it.

Lora is a heroine with an exceptionally strong faith and a clear purpose. She fervently trusts that the Lord is in control, even when things seem bleak. She is a light to the hurting souls around her. A few times she questions her faith, but circumstances or strong Christian friends put her back on the right track. The supporting characters do just that: they support Lora throughout her journey. The relationships between Lora and her friends are strong. They all encourage each other in the Lord.

This novel by Brock and Bodie Thoene does not disappoint. The plot had me gasping at its twists and turns. Scenes of rewarded sweet love and faith brought tears to my eyes. This book encompasses the verses from Psalm 3:5-6, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Lora must lean on God and trust in Him.

This book is for an older audience as it deals with difficult issues, such as the Nazi annihilation of the Jews during the war. Overall, it is a spectacular novel that pulls the reader in and clearly shows that when one trusts that God is in control, all things work out for those who love Him. – Elizabeth de Graaf,

Book Jacket:

As Nazi forces tighten the noose, Loralei Kepler, daughter of a German resistance leader, must flee her beloved Germany. But is any place safe from Adolf Hitler's evil grasp? Loralei's harrowing flight leads her into the arms of needy child refugees, who have sacrificed everything in exchange for their lives, and toward a mysterious figure, who closely guards an age-old secret.

Explore the romance, the passion, and the danger of the most anticipated series of the last twenty years.

Born from the highly acclaimed and best-loved novels of three generations of readers -- The Zion Covenant series and The Zion Chronicles series -- Zion Diaries ventures into the lives of the inspiring and intriguing characters who loved intensely, stood up for what was right, and fought boldly during Hitler's rise to power and the dark days of World War II.