In war, one can see both the greatest despair and the brightest of light. Such is the case with Winter Sky by Chris Stewart published by Shadow Mountain Publishing. In this story, a young man remembers who he is and regains faith in God amid the darkness and horrors of World War 2.
“Evil men have brought pain and rage into this world. They have a vision of the future that is very dark indeed. But we have seen this thing before, and the world seems to find a way through it, depending on the souls of men.”
The year is 1944. The war is almost over and Poland is trapped between the German Nazis and the Russian Bolsheviks. A young soldier named Lucas is dropped off at the city of Gorndask with no memory of who he is and if his family still lives. He sees the suffering around him and questions how God could let this happen. But what Lucas doesn’t know is that he was one of the Devil’s Rebels who fought for Poland, and a Nazi officer wants him dead. Lucas flees for Brzeg to catch a train that will take him to safety, but before he leaves, a mysterious woman gives him two children to save.
“God never promised us an easy road. But that doesn’t mean He doesn’t love us.”
I received a copy of Winter Sky from Shadow Mountain Publishing in exchange for my honest review.
Winter Sky is an excellent work of historical fiction with intense action as well as themes of hope amid the darkness and evils of war. Though I felt the beginning was a little awkward in places, the middle and end were excellent and left me wanting to read more. Stewart did an excellent job at creating the atmosphere of desperation, and I loved the religious elements and the reveal at the end.
“Sometimes I think God wants to see what we will do when we don’t get an answer. Sometimes God will ask us: In the absence of any evidence, what will you choose to believe? Which path will you follow when I don’t show you the way? When the night is the darkest, are we still willing to fight? Will we keep on going when the only thing we have is hope?”
Stewart had a lot of excellent historical facts and information in this book, a little too much in some areas, but it was very well done overall. I really felt as if I was in 1944 Poland. Lucas’s memory loss and the appearance of Melina also kept my interest and had me asking questions throughout the story. I loved that even though there was sadness and despair in this book, hope fought its way through and triumphed in the end.