Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Remember the Lilies by Liz Tolsma

Remember the Lilies Liz Tolsma's two earlier books, SNOW ON THE TULIPS and DAISIES ARE FOREVER, blended war stories told by her family members with just enough fictional details to create stories that captured what life was like for those who lived in the path of Europe's WWII devastation.  When her son encouraged her to write a third novel set in the Pacific arena, Tolsma accepted the challenge.
REMEMBER THE LILIES tells the story of Rand Sterling and Irene Reynolds and their time in the Santo Tomas Internment Camp in the Philippines.  Before the war, Rand, the successful owner of two nightclubs, spent his days womanizing and plotting how to increase his business.  Once confined at the camp, his plots change.  One, how to smuggle stores of food to augment the supplies  which were provided by the Red Cross, but often held back by the Japanese.  Two, how to escape the camp so he can visit his servant Armando who has been more than a father than anyone he's known.

It is that planned (and failed) escape that brings Irene and Rand together.  Two people could hardly seem less alike.  Irene, abandoned by her father and mother, was raised by her aunt, a missionary in the jungles of the Philippines. Irene assumes the responsibility of caring for her aunt, now blind and emaciated from malnutrition, spends hours with the orphaned children within the camp, but still must work assigned hours for the Japanese as a censor of messages sent to the American speaking detainees.  When she reads a message meant for Rand, she censors the last few words, thinking she has not deleted anything of importance.  Later, when she rethinks the message, she is sure he must hear it in its entirety, so she risks her own safety to tell him the blackened words.  

REMEMBER THE LILIES, like Tolsma's first novels, shows that it was not only the soldiers on the battlefields who suffered in World War II.  She also shows that perseverance and courage were not the sole domain of generals or officers. I really enjoyed her realistic portrayal of Rand and Irene. Irene, who professed a strong faith, found she really struggled when asked to forgive others. Rand, who had always put himself and his luxurious lifestyle first, finds within the restrictions and cruelty of the camp, a better way to be.

I received a copy of REMEMBER THE LILIES by Liz Tolsma for review purposes from LITFUSE PUBLICITY.  Thank you.  It is always great to promote the work of a talented writer from Wisconsin.

You can go here for information about winning a Kindle Fire.  

Remember the Lilies


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.
Liz Tolsma


“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 out more about Liz at http://www.liztolsma.com.

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