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When Twilight Breaks
by Sundin

Published: 2021-02-02T00:0
Paperback : 384 pages
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Two Americans meet in 1938 in the heart of Nazi Germany. Their efforts to expose oppression attract unwanted attention, pulling them deeper into danger as the world marches toward ...
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Introduction

Two Americans meet in 1938 in the heart of Nazi Germany. Their efforts to expose oppression attract unwanted attention, pulling them deeper into danger as the world marches toward war.

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Excerpt

ONE
Berlin, Germany
Tuesday, March 15, 1938
Evelyn Brand had done a crack bit of journalism, and she hadn’t even had to dress like a man to do so.
She perched her hip on the desk in the American News Service office in Berlin, while Hamilton Chase III, the European bureau chief visiting from London, reviewed her article.
George Norwood, the Berlin bureau chief, paced the office, glaring at Evelyn with each turn. If he’d arrived in Vienna on time, the story of the year would have been his, not hers. But he hadn’t, so it wasn’t. ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

1. The year of 1938 was momentous in Germany. Which
events in the story did you already know about and which
were new for you?

2. Evelyn Brand prefers freedom, while Peter Lang prefers order. How does Evelyn change during the story—and why? How does Peter change in the story—and why? Do you lean more toward freedom or order? Has this changed
during your life?

3. Peter is impressed with the order, safety, and prosperity in Germany, especially given the condition of the rest of the world—a position shared by thousands of American and British visitors in the prewar years. What would you have thought in the same circumstances? How does the loss of his father color Peter’s views?

4. As a female foreign correspondent, Evelyn “was held to loftier standards, paid higher dues, and took stiffer punishments.” How do you see this in her story? How does she work to overcome these obstacles? Have you ever faced problems due to gender, race, or other factors outside your control?

5. Coming from an influential family, Peter has a strong
desire to have an influence in the world. How does this
shift during the story? What did you think when Evelyn
contrasts her broad influence with Peter’s deep influence?
Which would you prefer?

6. Evelyn and Libby have been longtime friends, as have Peter
and George. How have these friendships shaped them?
How do these friendships affect the decisions they make?

7. Evelyn dislikes depending on other people, but events
force her to do so. What does she learn in the process?
How does this affect her relationship with the Lord? Are
you more like Evelyn or like Libby when it comes to independence?

8. Early in the story, Professor Schreiber tells Peter, “When
the storm comes, the reed bends but the stick breaks.”
What do you think he means by that? Which characters
act like “reeds” in the story, which like “sticks,” and which
like “rods”? If you lived in Nazi Germany, which do you
think you’d be?

9. Herr Gold represents the many German Jews who slowly
lost their freedoms and livelihoods, and who had great
difficulty leaving their homeland. What struck you about
his experience? What would you have done in his circumstances?

10. Evelyn sees men as hunters determined to cage her. Then
Peter challenges her not to put all men in the same box,
comparing her dismissive attitude to how men treat her as
a female reporter. How does this change her views?

11. An important Bible verse for Peter is Micah 6:8: “He hath
shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the
Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with thy God?” How does this verse
change him? What does it say to you?

12. Although Evelyn and Peter have widely differing views,
they’re willing to listen to each other and they learn from
each other. Is this something that is easy or difficult for
you?

13. Evelyn is frustrated that the German people have sacrificed
liberties to have jobs and security and national strength,
and Peter comes to realize that they “drew the line in the
wrong place.” Where would you draw the line?

14. Peter felt powerless to save his father. How does he compensate
for this? How does he grow in this respect?

15. Peter and Evelyn share many interests, such as classical
music and hiking. How do these build their friendship?
What interests do you share with your friends?

16. At the end of the story, Peter tells Evelyn, “Even in the
darkest night, the stars always shine.” How do you think
that will affect them going forward? What does it mean to
you?

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