Catching the Wind by Melanie Dobson

Catching the Wind

What happened to Brigitte Berthold?That question has haunted Daniel Knight since he was thirteen, when he and ten-year-old Brigitte escaped the Gestapo agents who arrested both their parents. They survived a harrowing journey from Germany to England, only to be separated upon their arrival. Daniel vowed to find Brigitte after the war, a promise he has fought to fulfill for...

Title:Catching the Wind
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:1496424786
Format Type:Hardcover

Catching the Wind Reviews

  • Beth
    May 15, 2017

    I always begin a Melanie Dobson novel with a sense of eager anticipation. While I haven’t read all of her novels, I have read her more recent ones, which includes a couple of dual-time novels In Catching the Wind, past and present meet in a most compelling, beautiful way. I’ve read my fair share of dual-time novels, but Dobson brings a freshness to it that kept me equally invested in both times.

    Typically, in a novel that has both contemporary and

    I always begin a Melanie Dobson novel with a sense of eager anticipation. While I haven’t read all of her novels, I have read her more recent ones, which includes a couple of dual-time novels In Catching the Wind, past and present meet in a most compelling, beautiful way. I’ve read my fair share of dual-time novels, but Dobson brings a freshness to it that kept me equally invested in both times.

    Typically, in a novel that has both contemporary and historical components, I find the contemporary lacking in some way. Whether it’s the lack of high stakes in the present day in comparison to the past, or the fact that I just like find the past more interesting than the present, it’s not every book that I like both sets of characters and both storylines equally. Though the stakes were more life-and-death in the historical narrative, they were just as poignant and intriguing in the present day, albeit in a much different way.

    In the present-day, Quenby is an easy character to like. She finds her purpose in her career, but despite her success as an investigative journalist, she always feels like that big break story is just out of reach. When Daniel Knight requests her help specifically to look for a person he lost contact with years ago during World War II, she accepts the challenge, though she doesn’t fully believe that she will be successful. Adding to her insecurity is the instant clash with Lucas Hough, Mr. Knight’s prickly lawyer, as well as her own emotional baggage as the search for Brigitte Berthold becomes more and more personal and precious to her.

    In the past, Dietmar and his friend Brigitte are literally running for their lives. In order to do the right thing, Dietmar purposely separates himself from Brigitte, hoping that separated she will be safe, but not expecting that she would disappear from his reach for good. I didn’t expect to follow the story from both Dietmar and Brigitte’s perspective, but I was pleasantly surprised to follow both of them for a short time. While part of that was a device in order to promote the mystery, it also works to propel the plot, each piece overlapping one another in both past and present to keep readers intrigued from one time period to the next. With the past being filled with harrowing and tragic circumstances, the present day sections provide the reader with a moment to catch their breath, but they are no less compelling.

    The themes touched on in this novel include dealing with feelings of abandonment, letting go of bitterness and forgiving yourself for past choices. Quenby, Daniel, and even Brigitte, all must deal with the consequences of choices they made, as well as choices made by others that affected them profoundly. I was moved by the forgiveness and reconciliation that these characters experienced throughout the story. Though it’s not the primary focus at all, there is a sweet romantic thread, and I was glad that it stayed more in the periphery, rather than central to the plot.

    With powerful emotion and lyrical writing, this story satisfied me completely. While some instances may have felt a bit spectacular, strange things do happen in life, especially during dangerous and tumultuous times, to those who matter the least to those around them, like a little German girl at the mercy of pro-Nazi conspirators in England. Catching the Wind is now my favorite Dobson novel to date and one of my favorite novels of 2017.

  • Olivia
    Apr 11, 2017

    Two timelines meet in an intriguing tale of love and searching.

    This was such a sweet story! I've seen this author's name around, but this is the first book I've read by her. I'm impresed with how she connected the two storylines and brought to life each character. Quenby's name made me smile. I love unique names! And then there's Lucas and Daniel Knight. *sigh* This was such a wonderful journey!

    I felt the last fourth of the book had a lot more telling than showing, and it took me a few minutes t

    Two timelines meet in an intriguing tale of love and searching.

    This was such a sweet story! I've seen this author's name around, but this is the first book I've read by her. I'm impresed with how she connected the two storylines and brought to life each character. Quenby's name made me smile. I love unique names! And then there's Lucas and Daniel Knight. *sigh* This was such a wonderful journey!

    I felt the last fourth of the book had a lot more telling than showing, and it took me a few minutes to figure out the connections of everyone. So many names and double names :) But the ending was satisfying and everything came together well.

    What I didn't like:

    -There are a few casual drinking scenes. I don't agree with Christians drinking, so this was a disappointment, but thankfully it was only brief mentions.

    -One married character was having an affair with a woman. There was two scenes that were a little awkward with them (nothing more than kissing and not detailed).

    Besides the above mention, the romance was great! There are a couple brief kisses at the end, but I felt in general the story was not focused on the couple getting together so much as the characters learning and understanding through their journey.

    Definitely a book to look out for when it's published! I'm interested in possibly reading more by this author :)

    *I received this from Netgalley and Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review*

  • Jamie
    May 25, 2017

    “Better that one heart be broken a thousand times in the retelling…if it means that a thousand other hearts need not be broken at all.”

    Robert McAfee Brown in the Preface to Night by Elie Wiesel

    I’ll start by saying I really enjoyed a majority of this novel. I was completely intrigued by the history. From the two children, to the people they encountered during the war years. While the story wasn’t based specifically on people who really lived, it was based on people like them. I enjoyed the journa

    “Better that one heart be broken a thousand times in the retelling…if it means that a thousand other hearts need not be broken at all.”

    Robert McAfee Brown in the Preface to Night by Elie Wiesel

    I’ll start by saying I really enjoyed a majority of this novel. I was completely intrigued by the history. From the two children, to the people they encountered during the war years. While the story wasn’t based specifically on people who really lived, it was based on people like them. I enjoyed the journalist angle as well, like this quote:

    “In her mind, journalism was a science that educated society about both past and present in hopes of bettering it, keeping people accountable for their actions and informing them about the past so they wouldn’t repeat mistakes.”

    It was the last quarter-ish of the novel that wasn’t my favorite. While Dobson did an excellent job being honest about the messy (people’s choices, betrayals, etc), it was toward the end that the story lost some of its authenticity. Without revealing any of the plot, there were some pieces I didn’t think fit with the previous tone of the story and some bits felt rushed.

    While it didn’t finish as strong as I was hoping, I still enjoyed all the bits of history and if you enjoy interesting WWII history, this might be one for you.

    What’s the last WWII novel you read?

    (Thank you to Tyndale for a copy of the book. All views expressed are my own.)

    Originally posted at

  • Amy
    Mar 07, 2017

    Catching the Wind may my favorite book written by Melanie Dobson yet. It starts off during World War II Germany with Brigitte Berthold and Daniel Knight escaping the Gestapo, who had already their parents. Their journey takes them to England where they are separated. These two go to a place in history they never thought possible.

    I love this story! Melanie Dobson has weaved quite a tale. To be honest, I was not sure what I thought of Quenby in the beginning. I quickly began to like her more and m

    Catching the Wind may my favorite book written by Melanie Dobson yet. It starts off during World War II Germany with Brigitte Berthold and Daniel Knight escaping the Gestapo, who had already their parents. Their journey takes them to England where they are separated. These two go to a place in history they never thought possible.

    I love this story! Melanie Dobson has weaved quite a tale. To be honest, I was not sure what I thought of Quenby in the beginning. I quickly began to like her more and more as I continued to read. The mystery of what happened to Brigitte kept me guessing where she was. Is she alive? Did she die during the war? Where was she? I could not have predicted how it all unfolded. One of the best books I have read in a very long time. This book is a keeper!

    An excellent novel that I highly recommend. I would most definitely give this story 100 stars if I could.

    I received this book from the author, but was not required to write a review. This review is of my own honest opinion.

  • Carrie Schmidt (Reading is My SuperPower)
    Mar 21, 2017

    4 1/2 stars TOP PICK

  • Karen
    Apr 28, 2017

    An investigative journalist is hired by a reclusive millionaire to find a dear friend he was separated from during World War Two. While digging deeply for clues, she may just solve a personal mystery of her own.

    Wow, what a fabulous read, one that kept me up late just to see how it ended! A perfect illustration of how we are not abandoned by God, how the Good Shepherd searches for His lost sheep, and even in the darkest places, His hope shines through.

    It was a tragic story in many ways, yet fille

    An investigative journalist is hired by a reclusive millionaire to find a dear friend he was separated from during World War Two. While digging deeply for clues, she may just solve a personal mystery of her own.

    Wow, what a fabulous read, one that kept me up late just to see how it ended! A perfect illustration of how we are not abandoned by God, how the Good Shepherd searches for His lost sheep, and even in the darkest places, His hope shines through.

    It was a tragic story in many ways, yet filled with hope. I like how the author parallels Quenby's personal struggles with the mystery she is trying to solve, adding a lot of spiritual and emotional insight to her own story. An expertly woven tale with interesting little known true history of intrigue in England during WW2.

    Highly recommend for readers who enjoy WW2 stories with faith elements. (Some mature subject matter included.)

    (An e-book was provided by NetGalley and the publisher. all opinions are my own.)

  • Susan Snodgrass
    Apr 20, 2017

    That question has haunted Daniel Knight since he was thirteen, when he and ten-year-old Brigitte escaped the Gestapo agents who arrested both their parents. Where is Brigitte Bertholde? They survived a harrowing journey from Germany to England, only to be separated upon their arrival. Daniel vowed to find Brigitte after the war, a promise he has fought to fulfill for more than seventy years.

    Now a wealthy old man, Daniel's final hope in finding Brigitte rests with Quenby Vaughn, an American journ

    That question has haunted Daniel Knight since he was thirteen, when he and ten-year-old Brigitte escaped the Gestapo agents who arrested both their parents. Where is Brigitte Bertholde? They survived a harrowing journey from Germany to England, only to be separated upon their arrival. Daniel vowed to find Brigitte after the war, a promise he has fought to fulfill for more than seventy years.

    Now a wealthy old man, Daniel's final hope in finding Brigitte rests with Quenby Vaughn, an American journalist working in London. He believes Quenby's tenacity to find missing people and her personal investment in a related WWII espionage story will help her succeed where previous investigators have failed. Though Quenby is wrestling her own demons--and wary at the idea of teaming up with Daniel's lawyer, Lucas Hough--the lure of Brigitte's story is too much to resist. Together, Quenby and Lucas delve deep into the past, following a trail of deception, sacrifice, and healing that could change all of their futures.

    This book was absolutely exquisite! In every way. Simply outstanding. Dobson engages the readers right away with her writing which is so full of depth and emotion. I could barely put this book down to do life. I read it in one day! Quenby Vaughn is a young woman struggling with her past, and has shielded herself from much in life, living in fear of one event in her past. The reader connects with her right away, as they do Lucas and even the secondary characters in this book. I was mesmerized the entire time.

    I love history and the author has done her homework with accuracy. This is one of the best books I've read this year. I completely did nothing one day but read. I loved every moment. There was so much to take in and then the author throws a curve ball near the end that had me gasping in surprise. God cares about His children and sometimes it takes a while, but His purposes will be revealed in time. I thoroughly enjoyed every sentence in this book and I highly recommend it!

    *I was given a preview copy of this book by the publisher via Net Galley. I was not pressured to leave a positive review and all opinions are my own.

  • Nora St Laurent
    Apr 24, 2017

    Readers are transported back to July 1940 Moselkern, Germany and introduced to a young boy named Dietmar Roth; a young warrior in charge of knights sworn to protect ten-year-old “pretend” princess named Brigitte Berthold. Their kingdom was a treehouse that had an amazing view of the forest and the back sides of their homes. From the treehouse, they could clearly see the outside world banging down the doors of their homes. They watched in horror as their parents were interrogated. Dietmar Roth gr

    Readers are transported back to July 1940 Moselkern, Germany and introduced to a young boy named Dietmar Roth; a young warrior in charge of knights sworn to protect ten-year-old “pretend” princess named Brigitte Berthold. Their kingdom was a treehouse that had an amazing view of the forest and the back sides of their homes. From the treehouse, they could clearly see the outside world banging down the doors of their homes. They watched in horror as their parents were interrogated. Dietmar Roth grabbed Brigitte by the hand and ran. He’d seen enough to know they were in danger. With only the clothes on their backs, they ran for their lives, just as Dietmar's parents had trained him to do.

    Just when readers are emotionally invested in the flight of these two little ones; the author seamlessly switches to the current time, where they meet Quenby Vaughn. She’s an American journalist working in London who has a particular way of finding missing people. She has a private and emotional investment in a related WWII espionage story. This is why Mr. Knight wants to hire her. It’s the reason the reader cares for her.

    Daniel (aka Dietmar) will do what ever it takes to find Brigitte. He would make good on his childhood promise. He believed Quenby would succeed when others had failed. He’d studied her, followed her career and knew her well.

    This author masterfully weaves current time with past events. I liked the fact that in current time when they discovered something related to the past she would switch to the past and have that event play out first hand; so that the reader and Quenby Vaughn would find out about that situation at the same time. I liked the author's use of humor and thought-provoking ideas to defuse some intense situations. Here’s an example.

    Mr. Knight says this about life, “…Our lives are like the jigsaw puzzles you like to put together Quenby. All the pieces are out there, but we have to frame it before we complete the inside.”

    Quenby was driven to dig for the truth.…”working on someone else’s story kept her from having to reflect on her own.” Quincy’s mission – it was about a girl lost long ago. A girl who’d never seemed to find her way home.” “Quenby knew what it was like to be left alone.” Be that girl.

    This novel would work well for book clubs as there are 13 discussion questions and in author notes, there is valuable information that would also help create lively conversations in your group.

    The author says in her notes, “the power of story has transformed my own life, and I’m incredibly grateful to Jesus Christ, the author, and finisher of faith, for enduring pain and humiliation and ultimately conquering the evil in this world, redeeming and healing because of his boundless love for his kids.”

    This author masterfully connects past and present events to create a powerful, heart-rending story. It was a fascinating and beautifully written novel of two unspeakable tragedies, of love and loss and learning to love again. As I read, I kept thinking about the characters, their situation and all the other WWII stories out there. This moving novel told through the eyes of children; stayed on my mind and close to my heart long after I shut the book.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale Publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

    Nora St. Laurent

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