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Saturday, February 14, 2015

Remember the Lilies by Liz Tolsma

In case it's not obvious I've been on quite a World War II reading kick lately! Remember the Lilies by Liz Tolsma takes place in a Japanese internment camp on the grounds of a university in the Philippines. Unfortunately I'm not familiar with that part of the world and without much description written into the story I felt as though I was reading a story and seeing the characters clearly but the surroundings blurred. Let me start by saying that I liked the story itself but there are a few things that irked me. Those include: lack of description of surroundings, the book cover (her dress was green in the story), lack of attention to detail with regard to Anita's blindness, and the improbability that it took Irene and Rand two years to run into each other in a camp with 3,000 or so people. If her platinum blonde hair stood out as much as it supposedly did when Rand initially met her in the city when he nearly ran her over and then again when he searches for her in the crowds of people in the camp later on in the story then I'm inclined to believe he would have noticed her well before the night she attempts to warn him not to try to escape. These few things really distracted away from what was a good story.

Irene and Rand couldn't come from more different worlds: he ran two successful night clubs in Manila and Irene served as a missionary with her aunt in the jungle. Their paths cross ever so briefly before the war when Rand nearly runs over Irene. It's two years later that they meet again at Santo Tomas Internment Camp when Irene's work censoring letters sends her rushing to Rand Sterling's aid but unfortunately she arrives too late. Rand is taken to Fort Santiago and tortured but by some miracle is brought back to the camp later. Never had anyone been taken prisoner there and lived to tell the tale. His arrival back to camp and into the hospital coincide with Irene's aunt becoming increasingly ill. When they are transported to a hospital outside of the camp Irene obtains a pass to be with her aunt and looks for an opportunity to make it up to Rand for not warning him in time. This is when things take a turn for both Irene and Rand and I'll stop here to avoid giving away anything!

Overall it was an enjoyable story but not my favorite World War II historical fiction. The struggle with forgiveness that both Rand and Irene faced is one that I can appreciate but I'm not certain their actions towards the end match up to what I would have expected from either character. I hate to be vague about this but if I say anything more I'll give away one of the biggest shockers in the story! If you think this is a book you are interested in then I'd encourage you to do a little research first on Santo Tomas so you have a clear visual when you start to read. I believe that would have helped me envision the area much better. I loved her last book (Daisies are Forever) which is also set during World War II haven't read her first book (Snow on the Tulips) so perhaps I'll curl up with that book tomorrow!

Book info

About the book:

Remember the Lilies (Thomas Nelson, February 2015)

Can Irene and Rand stave off starvation until the American troops bring freedom?

Interred by the Japanese, missionary Irene Reynolds comes across a mysterious note while working at the censor's office. She memorizes the parts she must black out and delivers it to wealthy nightclub owner Rand Sterling. Before she knows what's happening, she's drawn into a web of secrets and danger.

Rand Sterling wants nothing more than to reopen his nightclubs once the war ends. But slimy Frank Covey wants his hand in the till---and has news that could threaten Rand's reputation if it became public. More importantly, beautiful and intriguing Irene Reynolds cannot discover this information if he expects to persuade her to become his wife.
When Irene is attacked by a sinister Japanese guard and their secrets are exposed, they must learn the true meaning of forgiveness---if they can stave off starvation until the American troops bring freedom.
Purchase a copy:  

About the author: New York Times best-selling author Liz Tolsma is the author of Daisies are Forever, Snow on the Tulips, and the contributing author of A Log Cabin Christmas. When not busy putting words to paper, Liz enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and children, all adopted internationally.

Find Liz online: website, Facebook, Twitter

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This gripping new tale from Liz Tolsma, Remember the Lilies, is a must-read for fans of WWII-era fiction. When Irene is attacked by a sinister Japanese guard and their secrets are exposed, she and Rand must learn the true meaning of forgiveness—if they can stave off starvation until the American troops bring freedom.

Help Liz celebrate the release of Remember the Lilies with a Kindle Fire giveaway!


One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • One copy of Remember the Lilies
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 2/19. Winner will be announced at Liz's Remember the Lilies Facebook author chat party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Liz and WWII fiction fans, as well as for a chance to win some great prizes!   



RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK, TWITTER, or PINTEREST and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 19th!

I received this book free of charge from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Suz! This post came at a good time: I need resource help!! I have an idea from a family story for a WWI era historical fiction/ romance...but I've never even read in the genre (so this'll be a really, really loooong project for a novel). Do you have any recommendations for anything in that genre for WWI at all? or in early 1900's France? Thanks!!


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