Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Catholic Book Club: Church of Spies, chapters 6 - Epilogue
I've been doing a LOT of reading lately. Well, I'm still not exactly moving at the speed of sound, but I am trying. This is a summer for reading, to be sure! I finished Church of Spies last week, and am working on the Late Summer Book Club now, as well as a few other books that I'll talk about soon (dystopian YA with a Catholic twist, oooooo).
I like how we've been breaking up and staggering the book club this spring/summer. I suggest we do this again in the fall, yay! More on that to come.
So, the last we spoke about Church of Spies, we had embarked on the first five chapters. Up to that point, I was having a bit of difficulty following along with names, and feeling like some of the content was quite shocking in such a way that it almost felt unreal (though of course I know that it isn't!). Then, on I dove into chapter 6 and beyond.
The book moved MUCH faster for me at this point, and I started to at least be able to associate which side, if you will, each of the names were a part of. That really helped me to be able to follow along with the action. Eventually, we got to events leading up to the 1944 plot to assassinate Hitler, and then the story became somewhat more familiar to me, since I had heard about that when the movie Valkyrie came out eight years ago. So much of what happened in WWII has that sense of surrealness to it, because it was so incredibly disturbing. Having that tie-in to the events of 1944, along with some previous knowledge, helped to really drive home for me what the Pope (and so many others) were involved in back then with the German Resistance.
Evil was so very manifest at that time, and one person was spearheading so much of it. Eliminating him would alleviate the suffering and death of so many.
And goodness, the poignancy of some of the stories. The mother who lost her two children for propagating anti-Nazi materials. The torture and death of many of the men involved in the plots to oust Hitler. The knowledge of what was happening in concentration camps nearby this whole time. It was hard to read. It is the reason I have never seen Schindler's List, though truly, I I need to toughen up. It is SO IMPORTANT to remember and keep at the forefront the suffering of our fellow human beings during this time period. The pain that I feel in seeing that suffering relayed inspires a passion in me to do whatever I can to help others, no matter how small an act it may be.
When I finished, I thought to myself how glad I was that I read this book. I found the beginning a bit difficult to follow, but that improved, and in the end the story is so incredibly important. I was on pins and needles to see what happened to all of the players in the plot from the Pope's circle.
What did you think? I would LOVE to hear your thoughts in the comments! Let's definitely do this again, yes? I'll put up a poll sometime in August, and we'll vote on something to read during the fall. What are you in the mood for, in terms of options? More non-fiction? A jump over to fiction? If so, what sub-genre? Romance, historical, contemporary, suspense? Please chime in with your thoughts!