Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Remember the Lilies by Liz Tolsma, © 2015

Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. --Luke 12:27

Santo Tomas Internment Camp in Manila
Summary: "Irene and Rand come from very different walks of life. Will they find common ground in their fight to survive? Irene has grown up in the jungle as a missionary with her Aunt Anita, but now she and countless others are imprisoned by Japanese soldiers at the Santo Tomas Internment Camp in the Philippines. Irene and her aunt are safe there, and she keeps busy with her duty of delivering censored messages to the camp's prisoners, but like everyone else, she prays for the war to end and for her freedom. Rand is a wealthy, womanizing American, whose attempted escape from the internment camp has put himself and others in danger. When Rand and Irene's Aunt Anita meet one another in the hospital, Irene learns more of his story and her heart is determined to save his family. But the danger outside the walls of the hospital worsens every day, and life in this exotic place is anything but luxurious. Can Irene find Rand's family before they disappear forever? And can a humble missionary woman and an arrogant man find common ground in the face of their biggest fears?"-- Provided by publisher.

My review:
After reading the two previous novels by Liz Tolsma, Snow on the Tulips and Daisies Are Forever, I was awaiting this third story, Remember the Lilies. Interesting that flowers are intermingled with seemingly dismal places, showing hope and faith can bloom again in dust and decay of ruins.

The story begins in early December of 1941 in Manila, Philippines. The morning of December 8 began like any other morning with bird song and fair weather ~ picnic outings to be enjoyed. Until the subsequent attack following Pearl Harbor, WWII comes to the Philippines. The research by author Liz Tolsma brings us to the sorrows and future hope of surviving the internment camp as day-to-day is revealed of the atrocities of war.

I was surprised that the internment was at the university and had a hospital with camp doctors. Families and individuals were in captivity more than three years. This story tells of their lives and how they coped while being imprisoned. Regardless of where they had been materially and occupationally before the war, they were now one in their attempt to survive low food rationing and living conditions. Natural disasters occurred, with weather conditions added to by an expected lineup of prisoners twice a day, regardless of what must be endured. Weakened because of diet and lack of exercise, expectations of bowing to their captor became a hardship for many.

An important supporter in the story is by the older missionary, Anita Markham. So uplifting in trials and ill health, she clung to God and biblical truth, sharing with her niece, Irene Reynolds, and a man, Rand Sterling, she meets in an ambulance on their way to the hospital for medical care. Irene has already told her Aunt Anita about him. Irene first met him as she delivered a message she memorized while at her work in the censor office from incoming mail.

As Irene and Rand begin their attraction to each other, I am talking to them, to "tell the truth," while reading the story. Honesty and not holding back will benefit them the most. Both attempt to keep secrets they feel would separate them from the other. There are unexpected surprises in this story, but the best part how their character changes.

This is a strong story weaving history of the past, confirmed by an actual person who was interned with her family during this time.

LiliesHairA (2)
the Philippines WWII
author Liz Tolsma
Liz Tolsma
Photo by Bentfield Photography

***Thank you to Litfuse Publicity Group and Thomas Nelson Publishers for sending me a copy of Liz Tolsma's Remember the Lilies for review. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***

Liz Tolsma’s ‘Remember the Lilies’ Author Chat Party and Kindle Giveaway

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!

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