I just finished reading Obsessed by Ted Dekker. I could not believe this book could exude such hope and promise with such a horrible backdrop and premise. I’m not sure how Ted Dekker accomplished this, but it definitely speaks to his storytelling.
Stephen Friedman is a Jewish man who sees no reason for continuing to call attention to or remembering the Holocaust. Then a letter and a newspaper article point him to an inheritance left to him by his birth mother. It becomes an obsession for him to find this inheritance. However, he is continually blocked in obtaining it by Roth Braun, a German Nazi, who has been searching to find Stephen for 30 years.
Dually, the book follows two pregnant Jewish women, Ruth and Martha, who met on a train headed for a labor camp in Poland, through their time there in 1944-5. Gerhard Braun, Roth’s father, is the commandant of the camp where Roth occasionally visits during the war. Gerhard has a sick ritual he enjoys involving the women of the camp that Roth witnesses and becomes a part of at an early age.
The individual stories are good in their own right, but when the players in the book meet, it is a constant play of cat and mouse where you’re not completely sure where it will end until it finally does.
This is a fascinating story. I took eight years of German from fifth to twelfth grade. In high school, we learned about the atrocities the Nazi’s inflicted on those they deemed sub-or inhuman. The Jews were considered to be the lowest on their scale of purity. It is appalling to consider, yet alone, read about and see, the horrific way humans can treat other humans because of hatred and bias. “Obsessed” doesn’t mince words about what the Nazi’s did. This is why I didn’t think I would like the story at all.
However, the author builds the story around hope and promise as well as the strength of the human spirit. It is a beautiful craftsmanship of words. Obsessed by Ted Dekker is filled with action where evil fills the entire story, but hope is the guiding principle. I strongly recommend this book.
~ Joanna Lynn