Far From the Storm, book number four in Robert Elmer’s The Young Underground book series, is a fictional story of two children living in Denmark during the wake of World War II. Main characters Peter and Elise Anderson, having been through many terrors during the war, are hoping that everything will be perfect again now that the war is over. They soon find out that the anger and hurt from the war did not just disappear, especially after defeated enemies almost kill Peter’s cat and burn their Uncle Morton’s fishing ship. This heartwarming tale draws you into the story and makes you feel as though you are running through the cobblestone streets of Helsingor, Denmark, with Peter and Elise, and you feel a friendship with them. Elmer writes through the eyes of Peter and you can feel the cry of his heart as he yearns to fly away far from the storm of anger and unforgiveness (Psalm 55:6-8). Far From the Storm is full of excitement, intrigue, and lessons of forgiveness that can captivate any reader.
Excitement is what draws people to books, and this story abounds with exciting elements. Such things as enemies wanting revenge, fires, and mysteries are not uncommon. From the whole city of Helsingor celebrating the war’s end to Peter bursting through the door in the middle of his uncle’s wedding, this book does not lack excitement for one single moment. Even though so much excitement probably would not happened all at the same time, the story is historically accurate. Without the element of excitement, this story would be bland and lifeless.
Intrigue is another prominent element in this book. You are never sure of what will happen next as the children, along with Peter’s best friend Henrik, attempt to find out who started the fire on Uncle Morton’s ship, the Anna Marie. Surprises await on every page and the intrigue pulls you in and makes this book very hard to set down.
Lastly and most importantly, Elmer uses this story to teach us about forgiveness. Peter finds it very hard to forgive the Nazis for all they have done to him, his family, and his country. He tries hard to battle the anger that just will not stop. The Nazis are also angry: angry that they did not win the war and angry at the things that happened to them because of the war. Both parties have to learn forgiveness, the Axis and the Allies. Peter’s anger finally disappears when he saves the life of an enemy who is drowning. He finally learns how to let go of the hurt and forgive those who hurt him.
Elmer’s masterful blend of excitement, intrigue, and lessons of forgiveness makes this book a must-read. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants good, exciting, and uplifting fiction. Far From the Storm has the ability to catch the enjoyment and interest of many children in the future.
~A book report by Faith Williams, July 2018