Hi Friends, today I am excited to tell you about Cathy Gohlke’s latest novel, Until We Find Home!  This moving WW2 story will capture your attention from the first page and keep you up until the wee hours to see what will happen to her characters. Cathy and I traveled together to England’s Lake District on a research trip, including a visit to Beatrix Potter’s Hill Top Farm, which is featured in Until We Find Home. I know you’ll enjoy reading her thoughtful answers to the questions below. For more info and for links to purchase your copy, visit Cathy’s website or click on the cover.

Welcome Cathy! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts about Until We Find Home with us!

1. What inspired you to write Until We Find Home?

Cathy: Alarmed by the plight of young refugees fleeing gangs in Mexico to cross United States borders, and heart heavy for victims and refugees worldwide who’ve suffered and continue to suffer under oppressive regimes, I looked for a moment in history to tell their tale as I wish it could play out. I didn’t have to look far.

The Kindertransport of 1938-1940, brought 10,000 predominantly Jewish children to Great Britain for refuge from Nazi oppression. Accounts abound of men and women who rescued children through resistance, often at great cost to themselves—even life itself. But what happened next? What happened when those children entered countries of refuge? I wondered about the average person and what role they might have played once the children were out of immediate danger. . . and what role we might play in the world’s need today.

World News reported that in 2015, 51% of the world’s refugees were children. Scripture tells us to care for widows and orphans. How do we do that from where we live, and as Christians, how do we reconcile this directive with the world’s reality and our need for safe borders?

Characters’ personalities were in inspired, in part, by people I know (the youngest character, Aimee, was inspired by my young granddaughter). Some of the children’s antics (embarrassed to say), and some of the older characters’ struggles were inspired by my own life stories—including Miranda’s journey with cancer. Bluebell Wood’s secret garden and many of the books and poems Claire loves in the story are based on books and poems I grew up knowing and loving—thanks especially to my dear grandmother, who read to me.

This novel embodies a great many things important to me. It is, in some ways, my victory book through battling cancer.

Carrie: I loved the personal touches you added to the book, especially your love for classic children’s stories, C. S. Lewis, and Beatrix Potter!

Cathy at Beatrix Potter’s Hill Top Farm.

2. Can you tell us about the historical research that went into writing this novel? Did you learn anything new that surprised you?

Cathy: Knowing I would set this story during WWII in England’s Lake District, in 2014 Carrie and I traveled to England and Scotland where we both did research for our book projects.

For me, we travelled to Windermere and the Lake District to research Beatrix Potter and her renown Hill Top Farm, the poetry and world of Wordsworth, and to learn just what happened to refugees and evacuees in the District during WWII.

As a result I learned more about the Sunderland Flying Boat Factory and its village of Calgarth, camps for German prisoners of war, including Grizedale Hall, wartime homes for British evacuees and foreign refugees, the Keswick Pencil Museum and the famous spy pencil, the after-war arrival of the Boys of Windermere (children deeply in need of rehabilitation who’d survived Europe’s concentration camps), and so much more.

I ran my fingers over the desk where Wordsworth had carved his name as a boy, visited his burial ground, and fell in love with that poet’s fields of golden daffodils, the heady perfume of lilacs, the glory of woodlands spread in sapphire carpets of bluebells, and newborn lambs tottering across the fells, butting tiny heads against their mother’s sides in search of lunch. We ferried across Lake Windermere, ate Grassmere’s famous gingerbread, and took tea with jam and bread. Nowhere is the grass greener or the air purer than in the Lake District in springtime.

Beatrix Potter Heelis’s Hill Top Farm, with its rooms and their contents reminiscent of her books was a real treat. During WWII, Hill Top Farm housed British evacuees.

Our research trip culminated when we joined a ten-day tour of Scotland’s “Highlands, Islands and Gardens,” guided by Liz Curtis Higgs. Forty ladies followed in Liz’s wake as she inspired us through Bible study each morning, then guided us through magnificent Scotland by day. As a result of that trip, I could not help but include in my story a good Scottish doctor, as well as memories of the terrible feud between the MacDonalds and Campbells. In regard to that feud, we visited Glencoe and the site of that terrible massacre.

That was the travel portion of my research. Internet investigations and the reading of books, old and new, continued for months. Included in those books were wartime diaries, especially those compiled from Britain’s Mass Observation Project, day by day histories of the war waged against Britain, journals and letters from Beatrix Potter Heelis, journals, letters and biographies of C. S. Lewis, the books and notes of C. S. Lewis, the history of Glencoe, biographies and history of Sylvia Beach and details of Shakespeare and Company, the American bookstore in Paris, studies of Europe’s child refugees housed in Britain, and so much more. Perhaps the most fun was found in rereading childhood classics.

Carrie: That was such a wonderful trip to England! What a treat to travel together and share those experiences! 

Cathy and Carrie at Tyntesfield.

3. A number of classic authors are mentioned in Until We Find Home, Beatrix Potter and C. S. Lewis, particularly. How have these authors and others inspired you in your life and writing?

Cathy: Beatrix Potter, her stories and illustrations, have been dearly loved since childhood. To me, it was as if she spoke the language of children and animals. I seemed to me that if she could learn their language, I could learn the language of my characters, too, and tell their stories in ways readers would understand. I loved learning that the stories and illustrations of Beatrix Potter influenced C. S. Lewis and his brother as children and inspired them to write the story of and illustrate an entire kingdom. It felt as if they—and I—rode the current of a continuing stream, a stream that brought readers and writers together.

C. S. Lewis is a voice of reason. He came to faith not through Scripture or through an appreciation of divine design in nature. He was not born with an innate faith. In fact, he was an atheist that struggled against faith. But he came to belief in God—to Theism—through reason. Coming to belief in Jesus as Lord and Redeemer was a separate journey. I’ve known many people who seemed to have been born without faith. It is something I observe, but don’t fully understand. I wanted to highlight Lewis’s writings in the hope that those who believe will be encouraged, and in the hope that those who do not believe will be encouraged to consider his reasoning. Lewis’s book, Mere Christianity, describes some of his journey through reason, and was taken from his WWII radio broadcasts that began at the time Until We Find Home takes place. I was able to include some from his earlier book, The Problem of Pain, in this story, and those things help in Claire’s journey, as they did in mine.

It’s important to me to highlight the writings of classic Christian writers for a new generation, to share with others the blessing those books have been in my own life.

Carrie: Introducing a new generation to these believers and their writing is such an important aspect of all your books. I love that so much! 

Cathy and Carrie in a field of bluebells in Scotland.

Thank you, Cathy! What a treat it is for me to share in the creative journey of this novel. I’m sure readers will be delighted with the story and it will give them much to consider. It’s the kind of book to savor and enjoy in a cozy spot this winter. 

You can connect with Cathy through her beautiful website where you’ll find links to purchase her books, photos from her travels, and interesting information about her writing journey. It’s well worth your time, so pour yourself a cup of tea and enjoy a visit! You’ll also find Cathy on Facebook where she shares interesting and encouraging posts.

Leave a comment and answers one or more of the following questions and your name will be entered in a drawing to win a copy of Until We Find Home. (US mailing addresses only.) Which of Cathy’s books have you read and enjoyed? If you could travel to England what would you like to see? What’s your favorite classic children’s story? Giveaway runs 1/16 – 1/19. I’ll email the winner.

Until next time, Happy Reading!


56 replies
  1. Terri Gillespie
    Terri Gillespie says:

    Wonderful interview, my friends! Love the historical insights with a peek into what you’re both passionate about.

    LOVE this new book, Cathy! I know a little of what it took for you to write it.

    • Cathy Gohlke
      Cathy Gohlke says:

      So good to see you here, dear Terri! Yes, you DO know this journey.

      I’m looking forward to sharing travel adventures with you on our Saving Amelie Tour: A Unique Journey Through Israel to Oberammergau’s Passion Play. There’s nothing like traveling and researching with friends! Carrie and I can attest to that! : )

  2. Kailey Bechtel
    Kailey Bechtel says:

    Thanks for the great interview and giveaway! If I could go to England, I don’t know if I could pick just one place to see. I actually just finished reading the Chronicles of Narnia series over the weekend.

    • Cathy Gohlke
      Cathy Gohlke says:

      Wow, Kailey! I’m so happy you’ve read the entire Chronicles of Narnia series! C. S. Lewis’s writing is something that just becomes a part of us, doesn’t it? I hope you’ll enjoy Until We Find Home. Being familiar with Lewis and his writing will make it all the more enjoyable. God bless!

  3. Lucy Reynolds
    Lucy Reynolds says:

    If I traveled to England I would like to explore my ancestors. I enjoyed the interview and have this book on my wish list. Have a blessed day.

    • Cathy Gohlke
      Cathy Gohlke says:

      Lucy, I hope you make that trip to England to explore your ancestors. What an interesting journey that will be! Years ago I did a little of that when I looked up my grandmother’s cousin. The cousin I was staying with and I walked up to her door, knocked, and when she opened the door I said, “Hi, I’m Cathy Lounsbury (maiden name) from America, and I think I’m related to you through my grandmother, Olive Dubock.”
      She looked so surprised, then pleased, and invited us in. We enjoyed a lovely tea and conversation together. I was 15 at the time.

  4. Cathy Gohlke
    Cathy Gohlke says:

    Carrie, thank you so much for having me here today. These are wonderful memories of research and travel together that I cherish.
    I’m so looking forward to your new book and to spotting the special places in England you write about!
    God bless you, my friend!

    • Carrie Turansky
      Carrie Turansky says:

      It’s always a pleasure to share a bit about you and your books with reading friends! I know they are in for a treat whenever they read one of your novels. I love Until We Find Home, and I’m very happy to recommend it to everyone.

  5. Jennifer Hibdon
    Jennifer Hibdon says:

    I would love to travel through England’s Lake Districk. I love Beatrice Pottere’s books. They are a delight to children and adults alike.

    • Cathy Gohlke
      Cathy Gohlke says:

      Jennifer, you will LOVE the Lake District! And, yes, I so agree–Beatrix Potter’s books are sheer delight. We never grow too old for Jemima Puddle Duck or Benjamin Bunny or Peter Rabbit. : )

  6. Jeanne Bishop
    Jeanne Bishop says:

    If I could visit England, I would like to see each and every one of the places you two visited. The description of spring in England – daffodils, lilacs, bluebells and lambs – was just the best!

    • Cathy Gohlke
      Cathy Gohlke says:

      Jeanne, you would love it! The Lake District in springtime is unlike any place I’ve ever been. Never have I seen such vibrant colors in a landscape–the greens and blues and yellows . . . oh, my! I’d love to go there again! : )

  7. Jackie Smith
    Jackie Smith says:

    I do my traveling now through books! lol I have a few health issues so stay close to home. I love to read and just finished Band of Sisters….wow, fantastic. I also read The Secrets She Kept, Promise Me This, and I have Saving Amelie on my Kindle ready to read. So you can imagine that I am ANXIOUS to read your new book.
    Thanks for the giveaway, Carrie.
    Keep up the great writing, Cathy!

    • Cathy Gohlke
      Cathy Gohlke says:

      Jackie, your enthusiasm thrills my heart! I’m so glad you’re enjoying my books. Until We Find Home is a very different viewpoint of the war from my earlier WWII books. England was not occupied, but feared German invasion. I so enjoyed learning (as much as I could) what it was like for them during those turbulent years. I hope you enjoy this read, too!

    • Carrie Turansky
      Carrie Turansky says:

      Hi Breezy, Thank you for stopping by! I visited Highclere in 2012 with my husband Scott on my first research trip to England as I was writing the Highland Hall Novels. You might enjoy visiting my Research page on my website for photos of Highclere and others we took on that trip. I hope you do get to see Highclere one day. It’s amazing!

    • Carrie Turansky
      Carrie Turansky says:

      Hi Linda, I remember reading Mary Poppins aloud to my children when they were younger. That’s a fun story! I think you’ll enjoy Cathy’s references to several wonderful children’s books in Until We Find Home.

  8. Anya May
    Anya May says:

    I am hoping to travel to England in a few years and I’d love to see London and all it’s historical architecture. I spent a few weeks years ago studying architecture in Italy and I’m addicted!

    • Carrie Turansky
      Carrie Turansky says:

      Hi Anya, Wow, that sounds like a wonderful trip to Italy to study architecture! My husband and I traveled to Italy last May. We especially enjoyed staying in the Tuscany area. Siena was our favorite town. I hope you have a chance to read Until We Find Home!

      • Anya May
        Anya May says:

        I’m sure I will enjoy it! And Siena was one of my favorite places too! Though we stayed mostly in Rome, we did spend a day in Siena.

  9. Michelle Van Patten
    Michelle Van Patten says:

    Our book club has read “Saving Amelie” and “Secrets She Kept”. I especially loved the audio book version of “Secrets She Kept” and have recommended it to many friends and family. The two narrators for it were amazing and brought Cathy’s story to life in my mind! I’m so happy to discover a new Cathy Gohlke book was just released and I’ve added it to my wish list! 🙂

    • Cathy Gohlke
      Cathy Gohlke says:

      Michelle, I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed my books. I was delighted with the audio versions, too. The readers did such a great job. It’s always interesting to hear other people read what I’ve written. It brings things out–even to me–in a new light sometimes. I hope you’ll enjoy Until We Find Home!

  10. Patrice Doten
    Patrice Doten says:

    Your book sounds so interesting! I will definitely look for it. So many things I’d want to see in England. Guernsey is one of my top places, but also Bath, Highclere Castle, Derbyshire, Renishaw Hall where Pemberly was set in the 1980 BBC P&P, Jane Austen’s home, Westminster Abbey, Windsor Castle, Hadrian’s Wall, Brighton, Devon, Yorkshire. Too many! I need to go for at least a month.

    • Cathy Gohlke
      Cathy Gohlke says:

      Wow, Patrice! That sounds like a wonderful tour of England! I would love to visit the home of Jane Austen, too, and so many other places. Yes, I think a month should do it. ; ). Since you’re interested in Guernsey, I wonder if you’ve read “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society?” It’s a wonderful book.

      • Patrice Doten
        Patrice Doten says:

        Yes, I have read it, and loved it! That’s what inspired my desire to go. I went to school with a girl whose mom is from Guernsey, but until I read the book, I always just thought of cows there. ?

  11. Gabrielle
    Gabrielle says:

    I’ve read Saving Amelie. I’d love to visit Oxford and C.S. Lewis’ house as well as Churchill’s War Rooms. My favorite children’s classic is Winnie the Pooh.

    • Cathy Gohlke
      Cathy Gohlke says:

      Gabrielle, I would love to visit C. S. Lewis’s house, too.
      I’m delighted you’ve read Saving Amelie. Based partly on that book, author and friend Terri Gillespie and I are leading a tour in 2020 called The Saving Amelie Tour: A Unique Journey Through Israel to Oberammergau’s Passion Play.” The Passion Play returns to the stage in 2020.
      During some of my research for WWII stories I visited the War Rooms in London near St. James Park, and the very interesting military tunnels by Dover Castle, in the White Cliffs of Dover. It was like stepping back in time. I really felt the tension of those who worked in the war rooms–waiting, guessing, strategizing. If you’re able to go–and I hope you can– you will love it!

  12. Faith Creech
    Faith Creech says:

    This author is new to me but I would love to read her books. If I could travel to England there are so many things I want to see it would take at least a month of traveling around the country. My favorite childhood books were written by Rumor Golden.

    • Cathy Gohlke
      Cathy Gohlke says:

      Faith, I think a month or more in England sounds perfect! You’re right–there are so many wonderful places to visit.
      I’m not familiar with books written by Rumor Golden–a new author to me. I’m always interested to learn of the books readers love most and especially those they remember most fondly from childhood. Thank you for sharing that!

  13. Patty
    Patty says:

    I don’t think I have read any of Cathy’s books, but would love to!
    The Scottish tour with Liz sounds wonderful. I’ve never had the opportuinty to visit the British Isles but would love the chance to at some point.

    • Carrie Turansky
      Carrie Turansky says:

      Hi Patty, I hope you have a chance to read Cathy’s books! She has won many national awards and I’ve loved all her books. The Scottish tour with Liz was amazing. We saw so many wonderful castles and gardens. I loved Scotland!

  14. Cathy
    Cathy says:

    Such an enjoyable and educational interview with beautiful pictures. I like both Carrie’s and Cathy’s books. I have read Cathy’s Band of Sisters and Promise Me This. One of my hobbies is genealogy research, and I have traced a number of lines to Great Britain, so it would be wonderful to visit. I would especially enjoy seeing areas in relation to WWII, as my parents told many stories of the War, with one family member stationed in England, serving as a B-26 pilot.

    • Carrie Turansky
      Carrie Turansky says:

      Hi Cathy, I’m glad you’ve been introduced to Cathy’s books! With your interest in England and genealogy, I think you will really enjoy Until We Find Home. Happy Reading!

  15. Susan Cornwell
    Susan Cornwell says:

    My favorite book by Cathy is Secrets She Kept. I would love to visit Cornwall. My favorite children’s book is The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. It is still a book I revisit often.

    • Carrie Turansky
      Carrie Turansky says:

      Hi Susan, I’d love to visit Cornwall too, especially after watching Poldark. I hope you have a chance to read Until We Find Home!

  16. Arletta
    Arletta says:

    I’ve read all of Cathy’s books thus far and this one is on my tbr list.

    I’d love to visit ALL of England. My husband has cousins that live in Cornwall so that would top the list. I’d love to take in another “football” game. Pemberley would also make the list as would Bath. I’d love to go up to Scotland also. What’s not to love about castles, cliffs, and sheepy countrysides?

    • Carrie Turansky
      Carrie Turansky says:

      Hi Arletta, I’m so happy to hear you are a fan of Cathy’s books. Me too! I hope you are able to take that trip to England and see Cornwall, Bath, and Scotland.

  17. Renee Schultz
    Renee Schultz says:

    So far I have read Saving Amelie, Secrets She Kept, William Henry is a Fine Name, and I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires. But I also have purchased Band of Sisters and Promise Me This so I have more good reading ahead. Looking forward to your new one as well, sounds really interesting!

    • Carrie Turansky
      Carrie Turansky says:

      Hi Renee, so fun to see your name pop up on my blog. We have many wonderful memories of our trip to Scotland and the friends we met there. I hope you’ll enjoy Until We Find Home!

  18. Caryl Kane
    Caryl Kane says:

    Wonderful interview with Cathy! I loved Saving Amelie!

    Cathy, What did you MOST enjoy about writing this book?

    • Carrie Turansky
      Carrie Turansky says:

      Hi Caryl, that’s wonderful to hear you’ve enjoyed some of Cathy’s books. She is one of my favorite authors. Her stories always cause me to think deeply and tug at my heart. I hope you enjoy reading Until We Find Home!

  19. Jennifer K
    Jennifer K says:

    Sounds like a interesting book. I love historical fiction and enjoyed hearing about the research trips. One of my favorite books as a child was a biography of Abraham Lincoln.

    • Carrie Turansky
      Carrie Turansky says:

      Hi Jennifer, thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you have a chance to read Until We Find Home. Since you love historical fiction, it’s right up your alley!

  20. Perrianne Askew
    Perrianne Askew says:

    I have not had the pleasure of reading one of her books. But the meticulous research and fun travel experiences makes me really want to read this book. I really enjoyed Winnie the Pooh books as a child.

  21. Maryann
    Maryann says:

    My favorite classic childhood book is Winnie the Pooh. If I visited England I would love to visit the Cotswold area as well as the Chelsea Physic Garden in London.

  22. Beverly Duell-Moore
    Beverly Duell-Moore says:

    My classic children’s story is a Little Golden Book, “The Pokey Little Puppy”. I know if that is allowed but it is a classic. I buy a copy for every new baby because I think they all need a copy of the book.

  23. KayM
    KayM says:

    Although, I was an avid reader as a child, I don’t know that any of the books I read are considered to be classics. I particularly enjoyed all the books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. She was still living, when I was reading her books. We wrote her letters in my class and she answered. We were thrilled.

  24. Sabrina Templin
    Sabrina Templin says:

    I’d like to visit a castle if i were to go to England. And I’d love to just see some countryside. London would be a stop I’d like also.

  25. Laurel
    Laurel says:

    I would love to visit Hever Castle, Buckingham Palace, Hampton Court, the tower, Westminster Abbey, Jane Austen’s Home… and then I would love to visit Scotland, Ireland and Wales. My favorite children’s books from childhood included Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit series and the Little House books

  26. Paula S.
    Paula S. says:

    I love that you both could visit those historic places to do the research! What a treat! The interview makes me want to read the book and in turn read these authors that inspired you! Thanks for the chance to win this book!

  27. Bonnie
    Bonnie says:

    I would love to visit the castles of England, and I have always loved C.S. Lewis, and Jane Austen.I enjoyed the books of Laura Ingalls Wilder as a child.
    My father served in the military during WWII, and enjoy reading stories from that time. I love historical fiction.

Comments are closed.