Faith, War and Relationships
In the 1930’s Heidi’s family had lived in Milwaukee for several years before returning to Germany. In Milwaukee she met Rachel and Paul who later married. By a sheer quirk of fate both Paul and Heidi ended up losing their partners.
The reader sees war through the eyes of American Paul and German Heidi. Terri Wangard shows the sheer futility of war. The servicemen suffer. The civilians suffer. Everyone is a loser in war.
Heidi is not a Nazi sympathiser. She is at risk from both the Allied bombs and the Nazis. Heidi has to watch her tongue. Any negativity could see her imprisoned. Heidi moves from the city to the countryside but she is still in danger. Heidi recognises her dependency on God as she says “clinging to God was the only way she could survive in Nazi Germany. To turn her back on God would be to lose all hope.” War serves to strengthen Heidi’s faith. God is the only thing she can count on.
Paul in contrast struggles with his faith. He receives wise words from his chaplain “choose now to keep talking to God, even if you feel He is not listening.” So often in life we can feel that God does not hear us, but He does and we can be sure He is always there even when He is silent.
Terri Wangard is an excellent writer. She reveals the hardships of war for the civilian and the serviceman alike. As a historian I was fascinated by all the details that she included.
Friends And Enemies is an extensive study of war, relationships and God. In war there are no winners. Clinging to God is the best course of action. I thoroughly enjoyed the novel. So sit back on the sofa and travel to the 1940’s and experience faith in war from the safety of your own home.
I was given a free copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.