I’m so excited to introduce my Romancing History readers to the amazingly talented author, Amanda Barratt. Amanda and I met online when I heard the buzz about her previous novel, My Dearest Dietrich: A Novel of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Lost Love. And if you’ve been following my blog or on social media, you know I gushed over this book. You can see my full review here.
Amanda’s most recent novel, The White Rose Resists: A Novel of the German Students Who Defied Hitler, released last month from Kregel Publications. I was honored to be part of the launch team for this book.
The White Rose Resists follows the story of university Hans and Sophie Scholl who dared to keep silent and urged their fellow Germans to speak out against the Nazi regime. The novel is told from Sophie’s point of view as well as two fictional characters, Annalise Brandt and Kirk Hoffman.
I first learned about Hans and Sophie Scholl when my husband and I traveled to Germany in 2007. We had the opportunity to see the memorial dedicated to their sacrifice at the Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich. It captures the moment that Hans and Sophie scattered leaflets in the university’s main atrium moments before they were apprehended. When I learned that Amanda was writing a novel to tell Sophie’s story, I couldn’t wait to read it.
Amanda did an astounding amount of research and weaves actual quotes from letters and diaries of those inside the White Rose into this book making for a spectacular, heart wrenching story! Themes of faith and truth run through The White Rose Resists, reminding the reader of the eternal fight of good versus evil and will leave you questioning what price you would pay for freedom. Please, folks, do yourself a favor and read this book! See my full review here.
Amanda is generously offering a $5 Amazon gift card to one Romancing History visitor. See the details at the bottom of this post.
Amanda Barratt is the ECPA best-selling author of over a dozen novels and novellas, including My Dearest Dietrich: A Novel of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Lost Love. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a two-time FHL Reader’s Choice Award finalist. She and her family live in northern Michigan. Connect with her on Facebook, or visit her website.
About the Book
Inspired by the incredible true story of a group of ordinary men and women who dared to stand against evil
The ideal of a new Germany swept up Sophie Scholl in a maelstrom of patriotic fervor–that is, until she realized the truth behind Hitler’s machinations for the fatherland. Now she and other students in Munich, the cradle of the Nazi government, have banded together to form a group to fight for the truth: the White Rose. Risking everything to print and distribute leaflets calling for Germans to rise up against the evil permeating their country, the White Rose treads a knife’s edge of discovery by the Gestapo.
Annalise Brandt came to the University of Munich to study art, not get involved with conspiracy. The daughter of an SS officer, she’s been brought up to believe in the Führer’s divinely appointed leadership. But the more she comes to know Sophie and her friends, the more she questions the Nazi propaganda.
Soon Annalise joins their double life–students by day, resisters by night. And as the stakes increase, they’re all forced to confront the deadly consequences meted out to any who dare to oppose the Reich.
A gripping testament to courage, The White Rose Resists illuminates the sacrifice and conviction of an unlikely group of revolutionaries who refused to remain silent-no matter the cost.
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Coffee or Tea? Tea!I drink coffee as a treat at coffee shops (love mocha lattes) but I enjoy a cup of tea on an almost-daily basis.
Colin Firth or Matthew Macfadyen as Mr. Darcy? Colin Firth forever.
Bookmark or Dog Ear Pages? Which for me is usually a random piece of paper, rather than an actual bookmark.
Mexican or Chinese Food? Tacos are a weekly staple at our house. I love them topped with fresh salsa and homemade guacamole.
I Love Lucy or Get Smart? I Love Lucy. I’ve seen the episodes so many times I practically have them memorized. I love the comedy and Lucy’s fabulous 50’s fashion.
RH: To get the ball rolling, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself.
AB: I’ve been writing for about eight years. During the years before I was published, I completed 7 full-length manuscripts, all of which are safely nestled away in files on my computer, where most of them will remain. 🙂 I signed my first contract in 2014, and in 2015, two of my novellas released in anthologies published by Barbour. This year will see the release of my 3rd novel and my 12th novella. While my novellas are historical romance, my last two novels are historical fiction based on true stories. Every book I write reflects my love for history, whether the story is based around historical events, delves into the lives of little-known historical figures, or illustrates how circumstances we face today—falling in love, dealing with loss, or entering a new season of life—were not so very different in days gone by.
RH: Twelve novellas? Wow! I didn’t realize that you had so many published works. Congratulations! What do you like to do when you’re not reading or writing?
AB: I love baking, spending time with family and friends, traveling, and watching costume dramas.
RH: Ahh, costume dramas. My hubby and I have been known to binge-watch those as well. Some of our recent favorites include Downton Abbey, Poldark, and Victoria. Describe the most unusual place you’ve had your fictional characters kiss.
AB: In My Dearest Dietrich, my characters shared several kisses in a prison visitation room. I loved exploring the juxtaposition between the innocence of new love and the harsh reality of confinement under the Nazi regime.
RH: Since I read and reviewed My Dearest Dietrich, I should’ve seen the answer to that one coming! What is your favorite place/time of day to write and why?
AB: Mid-morning. Though I admire authors who get up at 5 a.m. to write, alas I am not one of them. I don’t think I could write “See Spot Run” at that hour, much less a coherent chapter of a novel! I usually get up, spend a half hour reading the Bible and another non-fiction book (I’ve been enjoying lots of C.S. Lewis lately), have breakfast, and after checking email and social media, dive into my current WIP. Sometimes I’ve met my set word count before lunch, other times I work into the afternoon.
RH: I’m one of those early writers you mentioned above. I usually have the alarm set for 4:30 or 5:00 a.m. What was the inspiration behind your recent novel?
AB: While writing My Dearest Dietrich, I came across the story of Sophie Scholl in a book on youth in Nazi Germany. As I read about how a twenty-one-year-old woman formed an underground resistance group along with her brother and fellow students at the University of Munich, I was captivated. I wanted to discover her and answer the question: What made these men and women risk their lives to undertake resistance while their countrymen remained silent? The more I researched, the more Sophie’s story grabbed hold of my heart and begged me to share it.
RH: Their bravery astounds me. I’d like to think I’d stand up for truth, justice, and freedom at any cost like Hans and Sophie, but I think that is something we will never truly know about ourselves unless we are tested. There were so many wonderful secondary characters in your The White Roses Resists, one do you think will resonate with readers? Why?
AB: Anyone familiar with the story of the White Rose knows the names of Hans and Sophie Scholl. Yet they were far from the only ones involved in the student resistance. I was captivated by the stories of the other men and women I encountered during my research, particularly Alex Schmorell, who worked closely with the Scholls from the beginning of their resistance. Alex was charming and handsome, and had a deep affinity with his Russian heritage, as his mother was from Russia. His love for the Russian people and culture was unique at a time when German propaganda termed the Russians as “subhuman.” Like many of those in the White Rose, he was a committed Christian, and the letters he wrote to his family in the weeks before his execution are incredibly moving. You might say I fell a little bit in love with Alex while writing the novel.
RH: I enjoyed Alex’s story as well, especially the scenes during their summer stationed on the Russian front. Do you have a favorite quote from your recent release you’d like to share?
AB: “Each of us has been given one life. It’s ours to spend as we will. Every voice matters. If they arise as one, change can happen. But first, one has to rise. There has to be a beginning.”
RH: Amanda, that just gave me the chills all over again. Thank you so much for visiting with my readers today.
This giveaway is now CLOSED. Congratulations to Kiki Stanton, the winner of the $5 Amazon gift card.
Amanda is giving away a $5 Amazon gift card to one lucky Romancing History reader. To enter, please tell us if you’d heard of Hans & Sophie Scholl or The White Rose Resistance, or any other groups that defied Hitler during WWII (Bonehoeffer, The Confessing Church, etc). What price would you be willing to pay for truth, justice and/or freedom?
I havent heard of them before n i would hold my freedom n my strength n judgement in Gods hands.
Hi Staci, Amen! I can be really hard to do the right thing, and I think we would definitely need God’s courage too do it.
i have never heard of this group of people. I would like to think that I would pay any price foe justice but I have learned self preservation prevails most time. It is only because of God that I choice to fight for justice despite my fear.
Hi Sonnetta, That is so true, it is hard to overcome our natural God-given instinct for self-preservation. Its much easier when its someone we know and love. It is way to easy to look the other way. I hope we all have the courage to speak out against injustice when we see it. Thanks for visiting today.
Hi Kelly & Amanda!
I’ve not heard of the White Rose Resistance, but it definitely sounds intriguing! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity! I would hope I would have the courage to do whatever it took to keep my freedom and my faith!
Hi Cynthia, I often think about how the Bible describes the end times. I hope that as the persecution of the church begins, that I will have the courage to stand up for my faith. Risking your own life is hard enough, but when your words/actions could cost the lives of those you love, its much harder. Thanks for visiting.
Hi Amanda and Kelly! Thank you for the fun interview! I have heard of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, but not the other resistance groups. It is scary to think about having to possibly pay a price for truth, justice and/or freedom, but I pray I would stand strong by God’s grace and even lay down my life for it.
Hi Alison, I know what you mean. Reading about Bonhoeffer and the Confessing Church really makes you wonder what you do in their shoes. To risk not only your life, but of those you love if you’re discovered.Thanks for visiting and good luck in the drawing!
Hey Kelly! I’m not familiar with these resistance groups. I would lay down my life for freedom.
Hi Caryl, If you ever have the chance, read a bit about Sophie Scholl and The White Rose — very inspiring young woman. Thanks for visiting.
I have never heard of any of these groups but I think the price for freedom is quite high. I’m not quite sure what lengths I’d go for freedom but I see the US freedoms ebbing away and socialism knocking at our doors.
Hi Perrianne, None of us probably know what lengths we’ll go to until tested, but I’m with you, and hope that I will have the courage to fight for my freedoms and what I think is right. Sometimes its hard enough just to have a conversation these days with someone who holds a different POV than yourself. Thanks for visiting Romancing History.
Historical fiction is my favorite and I would love to read this.
Hi Janis, I think you would really enjoy it. It is so well-written.
I had heard of them, yes!!! I would give my life, I think! Without freedom there is no true living.
Hi Kiki, Agreed.