Book: What I Would Tell You
Author: Liz Tolsma
Genre: Christian Fiction / Romance / Historical Fiction
Release date: January 1, 2023
DNA Test Unlocks a Family Mystery
Sephardic Jew Mathilda Nissim watches in horror as the Germans invade her beloved city of Salonika, Greece. What angers her most is the lack of resistance her people put up to their captors. In secret and at great risk to her life, she continues to publish her newspaper, calling her people to action. She doesn’t trust God to help them. When she and her husband find out they are expecting a child, Mathilda may have to resort to desperate measures to ensure her daughter’s survival.
Three generations later, college student Riley Payson and her cousin take a popular DNA test only to discover they don’t share any common ancestors. In fact, the test shows Riley is a Sephardic Jew from Greece. This revelation shakes Riley’s tenuous faith and sends her on a journey to discover what happened to her great-grandmother and how all this relates to her faith and her life today.
This is the day I dreaded, the day I feared might come, the day I prayed never would. Greece will never be the same. Will the Nazis treat the Jews here the same way they are treating them in Poland and in Czechoslovakia? We’ve heard the whispers about the camps.
We must do whatever we can to stay out of them.
—From the diary of Mathilda Nissim
The words from the polished brown radio set in front of Mathilda echoed in her ears, but she couldn’t believe them. The man droned on in Greek, but she shut out what he said. His words made what was happening to her country all too real. If she didn’t
listen, maybe they wouldn’t be true.
But her heart said differently. Told her that this was no night- mare from which they would awaken. This awful dream was their life.
German boots now soiled the land of her beloved Greece. Her blood chilled.
Not much time had passed since they had defeated the Italians and sent them back across the Ionian Sea. Now the Germans took their place. At the synagogue yesterday, this had been all the talk. Would Hitler come and usurp the Italians? Would he fill the void? Many had argued he wouldn’t do such a thing. Though the thought bordered on the preposterous, deep down, Mathilda had no doubt he would. He was insane enough to make the move.
Now it had come to pass.
More Excerpt from What I Would Tell You
About Liz Tolsma
Liz Tolsma is the author of several WWII novels, romantic suspense novels, prairie romance novellas, and an Amish romance. She is a popular speaker and an editor and resides next to a Wisconsin farm field with her husband and their youngest daughter. Her son is a US Marine, and her oldest daughter is a college student. Liz enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping. Please visit her website at www.liztolsma.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter (@LizTolsma), Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. She is also the host of the Christian Historical Fiction Talk podcast.