Reviewed by Peggy on Amazon.com September 7, 2016
A little Jewish girl rose up when so many lives were cut short.
One would think that even as a child, fear and mistrust would be engraved in your life as a Jew during the beginning of the Gestapo rule. Ruth’s birth mother was able to get her out of the German town of Kitzigen just minutes before she was fatally shot.
At the age of three Ruth was sent to England during the “Kinder transport” movement. This was set up to rescue Jewish children from the Gestapo and concentration camps. Ruth was sent to live with a minister of the Church of England and his wife. John and Madeline Bromfield started the adoption procedure as soon as the waiting period expired.
John Bromfield promised Ruth’s mother, he would be sure that she would be schooled in her Jewish heritage. This brought the different leader of various faiths together to ensure she was educated in their beliefs. Because of Ruth, that brought a community together during a difficult time in the world and prepared her for a future of bonding people of different beliefs for a greater good.
Gordon Smith did a great job shedding light on one Jewish girl when history reveals how many lives were cut short.
Review By Grady Harp Hall of fame, top 100 reviewer, Vine Voice on September 13, 2016
Australian author Gordon Smith has spent most of his life in sales, public transport and Traffic Management, managing traffic movements through and around major road work sites throughout Queensland, his last project was as Traffic Project Manager for the construction of the Gold Coast Light Rail throughout the City of Gold Coast. Gordon retired to Queensland's Sunshine Coast in 2014 and started to take interest in researching his family. He discovered links back to the 1400's and even a distant link to the Royal Family of United Kingdom. During his research, he discovered that he had 6 relatives who fought in the Great War. He knew about his relatives in the 2nd World War, but knew nothing about the men in his family who had fought in the Great War. As he has stated, my Grandparents had 4 brothers and 2 cousins in the Great War. The more I found out about them while researching my family tree it became obvious that a book MUST be written to honour them in particularly for my children, grandchildren as well as all my cousins and their children. It is also an honour to share their story with the world.' That book was Gordon’s first – a brief memoir he titled FROM THE FAMILY THAT WENT TO WAR. That was the nexus for his subsequent book – AN AUSTRALIAN STORY – a volume that reflects his profound research, a rather magnum opus of Australian history over two centuries worthy of careful study. Now Gordon focuses on one heroic lady in redefining the aspects of World War II on victims of Nazi persecution
As with his first book, Gordon sets both a mood and a respectful homage in his Preface: ‘It was late winter in 1935, when the young Jewish girl gave birth to her baby girl, in the German town of Kitzigen. The child’s father, a soldier who decided that being the father of a Jewish child would not help his progression through the ranks of Hitler’s army, deserted her. Her family was not critical of her; instead, they showed understanding and supported her through the pregnancy. She named the child, Ruth. Ruth’s grandfather ran a successful civil engineering company that dealt with the British manufacturer, Sir William Bromfield. Sir William spent most of his time visiting German enterprises that dealt with his engineering supply companies. Their business relationship had developed into a genuine friendship. For Jews, life became unbearable in Germany as it became the practice for any senior German Officer to just take whatever Jewish belongings they wanted.’ And from this beginning Gordon accompanies us on a tour f the downfall of the Jews and the kinder transport and young Ruth’s entering into the Bromfield family.
Or as the fine synopsis distils it, ‘She escaped Nazi persecution as a child, then grew to become an inspirational leader. In 1935, Ruth, was born to an unmarried Jewish mother in Germany. Fearing the Nazi persecution Ruth was sent to England on the "kinder transport“ and raised by a Church of England priest. Ruth was raised as a Christian Jew and her faith guided her life and enabled her to build bridges between different groups even at an early age. She grew to become a giant in the largest construction company in the world, where she implemented a unique social interaction system that united people from different backgrounds and beliefs. Her story will raise your hopes and show how to overcome the differences we all share. An inspirational look at overcoming religious and ethnic intolerance.’
At book’s end, as is typical of Gordon’s writing, the touching personal aspects enter and the plaque that was erected in Germany: ‘This plaque and statue serve as a symbol of the thousands of Jewish children who were put on the ‘Kinder Transport’ in 1938 by their parents so they could escape the persecution The statue depicts Jewish Mother Martha Czlowiek handing her child to an English priest aboard the train. The man standing beside her is Sir William 7th Baronet Bloomfield’. Martha and Sir William were shot before the train departed’.
As with each of Gordon’s Smith’s books, this is a factual, historically accurate and deeply moving salute to humanity and the value of the human soul.
Grady Harp, September 16
Wow, what an emotional and inspiring story!
Wow, what an emotional and inspiring story! I actually choked up at a few places, and really grew to admire Ruth’s spirit and strength… she is a true heroine. The way that Gordon Smith writes it is like we are really there in her head experiencing her amazing life with her. The writing is very descriptive, emotional, engaging and atmospheric. The attention to detail, both personal and historical is amazing, and I actually feel like I learned something about this era and thought it had a great blend of fiction and reality … the author has clearly done his research and it shows. The pacing is steady and it pulls you in right from the start. Overall an impressive and uplifting read, one that I recommend for almost everyone. (5 stars).
Reviewed by Kaylee Stevens on Nook Books March 2017
By H.Taylor on Amazon wrote September 22, 2016
Lady Ruth Bromfield by Gordon Smith has been written in a way that makes it seem like a fictional story, but in fact it's based on a real life true story.
We first meet Ruth when she was born to a unmarried mother in Germany in 1935 during the Nazi reign. Ruth's mother fears for her 3 year old daughter's life and manages to get her daughter on a 'Kinder Transport' train in the UK where she was promised by the priest, she handed Ruth to that he would make sure she was raised knowing her Jewish faith and heritage. Sadly, shortly after placing her daughter on the train with her mother was shot.
Due to John Bromfields promise the little girl helped bring different leaders of faith together and a community as well during a difficult uncertain time throughout the world. This helped her become prepared for her future bonding with people of other faiths and beliefs for a greater good.
I have to be honest, some of the things Ruth did from a young age were a little hard to believe making that seem more like fiction than truth, but other than that, this was an enjoyable read for anyone whether interested in that era or just someone looking for something new to read based on a true story.
Reviewed by Yvonne Lieblein from Underground book reviews
A truly fascinating story to inspire all readers
Could there be a more poignant time to read a story about acceptance, understanding and cooperation than during these divisive pre-election days? Lady Ruth Bromfield is ripe with resilience and brimming with examples of triumph over tyranny, adversity, stereotypes and discrimination. There are times when Gordon Smith’s detail-rich novel reads like a biography and others when it seems textbook-like. Its telling versus showing quality makes the story veer toward the didactic, and there are pacing issues exacerbated by repetition and cliché. However, history lovers will find plenty to revel in, and Ruth’s journey can surely provide a lift if your faith in humanity is in need of restoration.
Review by Yvonne Lieblein
Reviewed by Chantelle Atkins from Underground book reviewsThe Rundown
Lady Ruth Bromfield is a story of tolerance and resilience that begins in 1935 Germany. Realizing that her homeland is no longer her home, a young, unwed mother takes drastic measures to protect her daughter Ruth from the Nazis. Moments before meeting a tragic end, she saves her three-year-old by sending her to live with a minister and his wife in the England countryside via Kindertransport, the organized effort launched to transport German children to safe havens in the months preceding World War II.
Ruth’s guardians, John and Madeline, adopt her as soon as they’re able to and honor the promise made to her mother by allowing her to learn about the Jewish faith and stay connected to her heritage.
As Ruth settles into her new home; the world becomes increasingly unsettled. Her parents, kind people and progressive thinkers, truly teach Ruth by example, helping friends and strangers alike feel connected and safe during the war-torn years that follow.
Ruth is a voracious learner who excels both academically and socially. Her affinity for tolerance coupled with her curiosity and keen mind propel her into leading one of the largest construction companies in the world. Always quick to bridge differences, Ruth uses her role there to foster understanding and cooperation, even implementing a system that encourages people with different beliefs to interact with each other.
by Chantelle Atkins
Lady Ruth Bromfield” by Gordon Smith packs a real punch, mentally
“Lady Ruth Bromfield” by Gordon Smith packs a real punch, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. From the intriguing opening to the gut-wrenching opening chapters, we are transported back in time to another place and become a living part of history through Ruth’s eyes as she is born in the wrong place at the wrong time, at the onset of Hitler’s Third Reich. But while this is a tumultuous time in history, we get a renewed sense of hope and inspiration in these pages… how a young girl can lift herself from dire circumstances and become something really powerful and inspiring. Along the way we really feel her strength and determination to survive and succeed, and I feel like I somehow learned something while reading this, like Ruth (and others- Madeline, John, Clive, etc) characters really gave some humanity and hope to such an inhumane period of history. While this is certainly a spiritual-based novel with elements of Christianity and Judaism, it will also appeal to a secular audience across genres, in my opinion. A riveting read that you won’t want to put down. Would love to read more form Gordon Smith in the future! (5stars).
Reviewed by Stacy Decker on Nook Books March 2017
A touching book.
It is a book that allows us to understand perfectly the meaning of words such as' sacrifice' 'tolerance' and 'goodness'. Lady Ruth Bromfield will become an example of love, kindness and hope among its thousands of experiences, connecting you to cry, smile and hope.
Reviewed by Vanessa on February 20, 2017
The Hungry Monster Book Review
As the Nazis begin to take over Germany, a young, Jewish mother strives to protect her daughter from the persecution that her people face on a daily basis. After meeting a secret agent from England, the young mother ships her daughter to the English countryside to live with a minister and his wife with the promise that they will raise her in the Jewish faith. A look into the life of a girl raised to be a Christian Jew, Lady Ruth Broomfield showcases the drive and amazing work ethic that its titular character posses which helped her become a powerful player in a world that once persecuted her people.
Gordon Smith’s Lady Ruth Bromfield proves to be an interesting read in the sense that it reads like fiction, but also reads like a true story. While the story keeps the reader on the edge of their seat near the beginning of the novel, there are obvious dips in the interest levels and movement of the story.
The book is very well written in the sense that the author definitely knows how to pace the story when it comes to facts. However, one of the major issues with the storytelling comes through the depiction of Ruth. While it is understood that Ruth is the story’s hero, she is far too perfect in her depiction. Overly smart, ambitious, and predominantly successful from an early age, the writing of ten-year-old Ruth makes her appear to be unusually self-aware. Certainly, the children of World War II grew up faster than most, but her mentality seems to be a mix of a spoiled five year old and a wise twenty year old.
Similarly, her depiction as a three-year-old is unrealistic. Had some of the conversations happened when the child was five instead of three, it would’ve been more believable than the conversation presented. However, when the reader keeps in mind that the main character is a little bit above and beyond the normal person as the story continues, it makes the unnatural maturity seem more plausible, if only by a little bit. While the writing is mostly well done, the repetitive descriptions and retelling of information slows the flow of the book greatly and dampers the overall mood when reading the story.
It’s really the ending of the story that makes up for the roller-coaster of writing and descriptions throughout the book. The promise of hope and the example of overcoming as a woman in a predominately male field is quite the impressive story. Similarly, overcoming her initial adversity at the beginning of the story as a Jewish orphan to becoming a massive player in the world of construction does offer hope to anyone who believes that their small beginnings do not allow them to go on and achieve greater things. Overall, this story provides hope
By Hungry Monster on September 13, 2016
Review by J. A. Armstrong on Amazon September 18, 2016
I truly enjoyed reading this book
As the synopsis says, this is an inspirational tale. I was interested mainly since I am from Germany and all European history is interesting to me. I truly enjoyed reading this book. Chock full of history, personal trauma and hardships as well as courage and the will to overcome even the smallest of issues life presents. Lady Ruth is an inspiring character who through determination and insights from her childhood immersed in a dual faith environment strives to become a beacon of hope in a world full of religious persecution and intolerance. The story is not an action story, or even a thriller, but the steady pace that it uses to walk through her life lulls you into the belief that you are right alongside her, walking through life. There were no editing or grammar errors that I found, and the story flowed well throughout the book. For anyone who likes history, especially set amidst the WW2 area, this is a must read.
oh my gosh… that was incredible! I need some time to process all
Oh my gosh… that was incredible! I need some time to process all that. This book was loaded with tension and drama and action… honestly even by the 15% mark I felt like I’d already been through the emotional wringer! And we were just getting started! In addition to the powerful storyline, the way the author Gordon Smith writes is simply mesmerizing. Literary prose that is clear and straightforward, yet unexpectedly beautiful, even in the bleakest of scenes. Like a light in the darkness. But it makes you just want to keep on reading. Really enjoyed the blend of reality/fiction and that we feel transported to another time and place to really experience it all firsthand… like an intimate, personalized history lesson, if you will. There were some very minor editing errors nothing too major that hindered my overall enjoyment. I recommend this for fans of historical fiction, or anyone who wants to read a riveting, moving and well written novel of love, perseverance, hope, faith and inspiration. (4 stars).
Reviewed by Nicole Hastings on Nook Books March 2017
Reviewed By Katelyn Hensel for Readers’ Favorite
Lady Ruth Bromfield by Gordon Smith was an interesting read, to say the least. This is not your typical historical fiction about World War II and the Nazis. This has a lot less sadness, and more of a hopeful quality about how a life can be forever altered, but still grow strong in a new and fertile home.
This book is written with exceedingly realistic clarity so that at times I was not sure if I was reading fictionalized history, a biography, or a complete work of fiction. It was intriguing and fun to feel like that with Lady Ruth Bromfield! There was a lot of meat packed into this book, and themes of family, finding yourself, moving on, and living a full life. I particularly enjoyed the aspects about Ruth becoming an engineer...Girl Power!
Gordon Smith has done a good job in trying to condense a lifetime down into a novel length story, though a bit more detail or characterization would have been helpful. Lady Bromfield/Ruth is determinedly her own character. The story meanders a bit as she travels to England and then Australia, but I do think that the focus is kept rightfully on this strong and interesting woman as she makes a life for herself, and overcomes differences to find a place where all humans can live in harmony with one another.
This was unlike anything I’ve read before
“Lady Ruth Bromfield” by Gordon Smith was the first book I’d read from this author but I hope it won’t be the last! (happy to see he has a few others already published). This was unlike anything I’ve read before, and it surprised me how much I liked it, especially considering the somber backdrop. But instead of focusing on the horrors and the negatives, Smith lifts the story and its readers up high with the in-depth look if its remarkable heroine in Lady Ruth Bromfield. She is so easy to connect with that it doesn’t matter if her life and experiences (even faiths) are different from yours – you relate to her and can’t help but be incredibly impressed. Love that this is inspired by a true story but still reads and an entertaining novel. The way that Smith describes things makes it feel very realistic and lifelike and I was pleased with how it all wrapped up at the end. Recommend for fans of spiritual literary fiction, bios, drama. (4 stars).
Reviewed by Gillian Hancock on Indie Book Reviewers March 2017.
Excellently written and well crafted
This book by Gordon Smith does an incredible job of transporting us to the past where we meet our heroine Ruth. We already know that we are in for an inspiring and moving ride from the description (and the other great reviews), but I was genuinely impressed (and surprised!) with just how much this book touched me. All too often it seems we focus on the negative side of humanity, and I love that Lady Ruth’s rise is contrasted with the Nazi regime… good against evil, if you will. For even in the toughest and bleakest circumstances a star can shine that will light the way for others, providing both inspiration and hope. This book delivers in spades and I think it has a wonderful message that many will relate to, despite religious backgrounds. Tolerance and compassion is a strong theme here and it is contagious to the readers. Excellently written and well crafted. Highly recommend. (5 stars).
Reviewed by Karen Matthews on Indie Book Reviewers March 2017.
Powerfully written novel
First off, this was one of the more powerfully written novels I’ve read in a while, and I couldn’t help but notice how that played off against the subject matter. Minor occasional slow pacing aside, the narrative prose and character development is some of the best I’ve read in a long while. We really transform along with the young Ruth as she grows into a special woman, and feel her influence on the others around her. And the story arc… You just absolutely cannot stop reading after the introduction (at least I couldn’t), and the shocking events and continual building of tension and high stakes makes it almost impossible to put down at times. While this is definitely more character driven than action based, it is not the least bit boring! The thing that struck me the most was just how well Gordon Smith nailed the human experience during this time and gave a different angle to both religion and the wartime era (and after) than we normally see in books… it felt as close as if being there! (4-5 stars).
Reviewed by Layla Messing on Indie Book Reviewers March 2017.