Historical Fiction Book Review: Wings Like a Dove
About the Book
Title: Wings Like a Dove
Author: Camille Eide
Publisher: Ashberry Lane
Release Date: December 1, 2019
"Can the invisible walls that separate people ever come down?
In 1933, Anna Leibowicz is convinced that the American dream that brought her Jewish family here from Poland is nothing but an illusion. Her father has vanished. Her dreams of college can't make it past the sweat-shop door. And when she discovers to her shame and horror that she's with child, her mother gives her little choice but to leave. Deciding her best course of action is to try to find her father, she strikes out...hoping against hope to somehow redeem them both.
When Anna stumbles upon a house full of orphan boys in rural Indiana who are in desperate need of a tutor and a cook, she agrees to postpone her journey. But she knows from the moment she meets their contemplative, deep-hearted caretaker, Thomas Chandler, that she doesn't dare risk staying too long. She can't afford to open her heart to them, to him. She can't risk letting her secrets out.
All too soon, the townspeople realize she's not like them and begin treating her with the same disdain they give the Sisters of Mercy--the nuns who try to help Thomas and the boys--and Samuel, the quiet colored boy Thomas has taken in. With the Klan presence in the town growing ever stronger and danger to this family increasing the longer she stays, Anna is torn between fleeing to keep them safe...and staying to fight beside them.
Oh, that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest..."
Wings Like a Dove, by Camille Eide, is one of the most moving novels I have ever read. The history it explores and the themes it pursues are powerfully intense, necessary, and timely. This well-written novel is gut-wrenchingly raw and honest, yet it is not without hope. It is tender, beautiful, emotionally-stirring, and thought-provoking.
This novel bravely and boldly explores very difficult and sensitive topics such as prejudice, racism, gossip, hatred, and hypocrisy. Even still, I couldn’t turn away. I found the stories and perspectives contained within this novel to be incredibly compelling, because Ms. Eide has skillfully crafted believable characters who are vulnerable, flawed, and achingly real.
At times, this novel broke my heart. I wept and I grieved for those who actually lived this story beyond the world of ink on paper. As revealed throughout history, and as depicted in the pages of this book, the human capacity for evil is beyond my fathoming. Yet, the human capacity for compassion and self-sacrifice is equally striking. This book also reveals that where there is unwarranted hatred and oppression, there will always be those who purposefully risk much to oppose such injustice and cruelty.
When fiction can make us explore our own hearts, our own motivations, our own insecurities, and our own fears, it is an incredibly marvelous thing. When fiction can nurture positive change, then written words become something profound and meaningful. This book and its many poignant themes reminds us all that assumptions can be dangerous, empathy is life-changing, and grace and forgiveness can lead to healing and reconciliation.
Throughout this novel, Ms. Eide also illustrates the capacity of God’s love to heal wounded hearts and broken lives. This story never fails to affirm the promise that God is near to everyone at all times. It is He who makes a way when no way can be found. Even in moments of regret, even in situations that seem desperately bleak, and even in the midst of significant shame, fear, and danger there can be found an unshakeable hope when trust is placed securely in the promises of an eternal God.
Wings Like a Dove is truly an outstanding novel from beginning to end. Ms. Eide’s talent for storytelling is remarkable. Her writing is well-researched, descriptive, and very immersive. Within every paragraph and page there is deep meaning, real truth, and thoughtful purpose. This story is relevant, fascinating, and unforgettable. I recommend it wholeheartedly.
*I was given a copy of this book by the author/publisher. A review was not required. The review I have written is voluntary and contains opinions that are entirely my own.
This novel will linger in my thoughts and on my heart for a very long time to come. It resonated with me on a deeply personal level. It is refreshingly important when a work of fiction draws attention to painful realities that must be addressed with humble hearts and Biblical truth. Throughout this novel, the harm and destruction that is wrought as a result of ignorance, fear, and prejudice touches on the ongoing battle with hate that still rages throughout our country today. As demonstrated in this novel it is a message worthy of repeatedly sharing that only through faith in the inclusive message of the Gospel can we truly be one in Christ Jesus. Like the characters in this novel, we must all find the courage to pursue forgiveness in our own hearts, to seek justice where injustice prevails, and to offer mercy where it has been withheld. We must not be afraid to ask hard questions or to listen to tough answers. We must endeavor to ensure that our own thoughts and actions overflow with the unconditional love that Jesus commands us to share with everyone at all times.
About the Author
"Camille Eide writes more than a romance with her tender tales of love, faith, and family for those who enjoy inspirational romance and women's fiction. Her novel, The Memoir of Johnny Devine, was awarded 5 Gold Stars/Top Pick, Best Inspirational Romance, & the December Seal of Excellence from RT Book Reviews, and Oregon Christian Writers' Best Historical Fiction." --Biography from Camille Eide's author page on Amazon.com.