(Literary Essentials: Christian Fiction and Nonfiction)

Out of the Red Shadow, winner of the Christy Award 2000 for international historical fiction, is the third and concluding novel of Anne de Graaf’s The Hidden Harvest. Set in Cold War Poland, the political turmoil of the country is echoed in the emotional upheaval in the lives of Jacek Duch and his daughter’s family and illustrated through a perspective that shifts from Jacek to Tomek (later Tomasz) Piekarz, his sister anetka, and Piotr Piekarz, their uncle.

Jacek’s perspective provides the frame for the narrative, starting from his unexpected meeting with the daughter he has for years believed dead. Long an undercover agent for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Jacek feels his position in the Suba Bezpieczestwa (SB) has become imperiled. In an effort to deflect attention from himself, he has initiated a surveillance campaign spying on the minority Protestant population to jeopardize the growing Solidarno movement. Amy is now an adult and married to Jan Piekarz, son of Tadeusz Piekarz, a Protestant minister who discovered Jacek’s identity during World War II but kept it secret all these years. Because of their religious affiliation, the family has been caught in the SB’s surveillance, and Jacek must destroy the tapes of their conversations that reveal his own identity in a conversation with the “outlaw” Jacek discovers is Piotr Piekarz, Amy’s brother-in-law and former lover. As part of his plan to protect Amy and her family, Jacek decides Piotr, a Solidarno leader and the only person who knows of Jacek’s relationship to Amy once his father, Tadeusz, dies, must be eliminated. As a result of Jacek’s tip to the SB, Piotr is arrested.

After Jacek is nearly arrested by the Americans for an attempted assassination on the life of President Jimmy Carter, he goes into hiding from both the SB and the CIA. He sets himself up in an apartment near Amy and her family in Gdask, so he can begin getting to know them, if only from a distance. A chance encounter with her son, Tomek, cements his need to feel close to them.

Tomek and anetka reveal the internal life of a...

(The entire section is 869 words.)


(Literary Essentials: Christian Fiction and Nonfiction)

Source for Further Study

De Graaf, Anne. The author’s Web site contains biographical information, a list of publications, excerpts, reviews, and a blog.