I've been a fan of the Thoene's since the 6th grade. A church friend turned my family on to the Zion Chronicles series. All of us took turns staying up half the night to finish reading each book so we could pass it on to the next family member anxiously waiting their turn. We spent weeks discussing the books, the history, the real emotions and connections of the stories. We all fell in love with the authors. My dad and I especially.
I'd always had a strong interest in the WWII era, but it didn't feel REAL until I read the Thoene's books. That's when it came to life for me. When I saw that they had a new series releasing, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it.
The Gathering Storm was like finding a long lost friend that you hadn't realized you were even missing. Even though I know how talented the writers are, it wasn't until I picked it up and sunk into the story that I remembered their voices and how they drew me in. It's not just the era, as powerful a time in history as it is, it's the people. The characters come alive. Full fleshed, complete with passion and flaws and fears. I feel the connection as if I could step into their shoes, and yet wonder if in their shoes I'd face their world with the same grace and strength. Ordinary people in un-ordinary times living life extraordinarily.
That's just the historical layer, just one part of the compelling whole. The picture within the bigger frame becomes the love story and the mystery and the timeless nature of Jesus and His gift of eternal love. The Thoene's have found a unique twist in their mystery. The legend of the Lamed Vav was unknown to me, but the mystery behind the Hebrew story of the 36 righteous ones hooked me instantly. The number 36 is interwoven through the whole story so effortlessly and in so many unique ways. Maybe it's because I have a fascination of sorts with numbers, but I find it amazing how well it was connected. Especially in the romance and poetry. To create such romance, passion and beauty in multiple poems using only 36 words - amazing. It's not hard to imagine that anyone that can write passion and true love that well, writes it from experience as soul mates.
In the end, I set the book down and felt a little wistful. Not just because the story was over and now I have to wait for the next book, but because of my dad. It's been nearly 10 months since my father died. This isn't the first time, and I'm sure it won't be the last, that I've wished I could sit down and discuss something with Dad that I know he would have loved or been fascinated by. But today, I set the book down and had the strongest desire to share the intricacies of the story and discuss it all with Dad. He would have loved it just as much as I did. That alone adds a little something special to the book. Maybe in some way I shared it with him in spirit, if not in person.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
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.
If you would like to read the first chapter of The Gathering Storm, go HERE
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
Bodie and Brock Thoene (pronounced Tay-nee) have written over 50 works of historical fiction. Over twenty million of these best-selling novels are in print. Eight ECPA Gold Medallion Awards affirms what millions of readers have already discovered—the Thoenes are not only master stylists but experts at capturing readers’ minds and hearts.
Bodie began her writing career as a teen journalist for her local newspaper. Eventually her byline appeared in prestigious periodicals such as U.S. News and World Report, The American West, and The Saturday Evening Post. She also worked for John Wayne’s Batjac Productions (she’s best known as author of The Fall Guy) and ABC Circle Films as a writer and researcher. John Wayne described her as “a writer with talent that captures the people and the times!” She has degrees in journalism and communications.
Brock has often been described by Bodie as “an essential half of this writing team.” With degrees in both history and education, Brock has, in his role as researcher and story-line consultant, added the vital dimension of historical accuracy. Due to such careful research, The Zion Covenant and The Zion Chronicles series are recognized by the American Library Association, as well as Zionist libraries around the world, as classic historical novels and are used to teach history in college classrooms.
Bodie and Brock have four grown children—Rachel, Jake, Luke, and Ellie—and seven grandchildren. Their sons, Jake and Luke, are carrying on the Thoene family talent as the next generation of writers, and Luke produces the Thoene audiobooks.
Bodie and Brock divide their time between London and Nevada.