Chasing Shadows alternates narratives between several women throughout the duration of WWII. What makes this such a unique story is that Austin focuses on the personal experiences, changes, and fallout the war brings upon each of their lives, in the less-written-about Netherlands. She does not shy away from the horror, but she also weaves themes of family and faith that overshadow the sadness and terror of war.
Lena, housewife and farmer, must bravely face facts: her husband is away defending the border; her daughter, Ans, has joined the Resistance; and her son might get taken away from her. Lena always lives by her faith, no easy task when her country gets overrun by Nazis and her family is torn apart. Bravely, she begins to take in Jewish refugees, hiding them in all sorts of places at the farm, including inside her precious piano. Miriam, a young Jewish violinist, manages to escape Germany to the Netherlands only to find that even there, she and her family are not safe. Miriam must give her daughter away for safe keeping as she and her husband go into hiding, separately. The anguish, terror, and reality of this resonates.
Ans, Lena, and Miriam all face tragedy, heartache, and horror, but each finds solace in their faith and hope for a better future. As always, Austin has penned a moving, intricate, and lovely work of Christian fiction that is excellently researched with an underlying message of hope. Highly recommended.