Saturday, March 21, 2015

Remember The Lilies - Book Review

How will two very different people find love -
and survive the impossible circumstances of war?

In 1941 Rand Sterling was a wealthy, womanizing club owner
and an American of note among ex-pats and locals alike.
Now two years later, Rand is just another civilian prisoner of war -
one whose planned escape from the Santo Tomas Internment Camp
could put him and others in grave danger.

Irene Reynolds grew up as a missionary kid in the Philippine jungle.
Now she works for the paranoid Japanese authorities,
delivering censored messages to the other American prisoners in Santo Tomas.

When Irene's negligence leads to Rand's failed escape attempt,
Rand is sent to the torture chambers of Fort Santiago -
and Irene suffers under the weight of her guilt.
Yet when she crosses paths with Rand again after his unexpected return to the camp,
something more than mere survival draws the unlikely pair together.

As life in Manila becomes more and more desperate,
and another threatening letter finds its way from Irene's hands to Rand's,
the reluctant couple struggles to find a way to stay alive. . .
and to keep their growing feelings for each other from compromising the safety
of everyone around them.


My Thoughts
This was my first novel from the talented Liz Tolsma
and it certainly won't be the last!
The pages of Remember the Lilies 
are filled with history, romance, suspense, and forgiveness. . .
everything you need for an intriguing read.

Rand is selfish. . .
he is a man caught up in himself, his pleasures, and his money.
All he wants in life is to make more money and have more fun.
But then he becomes a prisoner of war and everything changes. . .
He experiences pain, suffering, and loneliness.
When he meets Irene he is charmed and slightly taken back by her purity.
He is in awe of her love and dedication to the Lord.
As he gets to know Irene he begins to question the value of his life and his actions
and wonders if there is more than simply climbing the social ladder-
could there possibly be a higher Being that has a purpose for him. . .

Irene loves Jesus Christ and desires to tell others of His goodness and grace.
She has a heart that is willing to serve and help others, 
but after being a prisoner of war for so long she struggles to not allow 
bitterness and resentment to take root in her heart.
Day after day she begins to face attacks and trials and is ready to give up.
Irene's sweet aunt often reminds her of God's faithfulness. . .

"The sun is shining.
The Lord gave us life today.
We have a shanty where we can spend our afternoons resting.
Irene held up her hands.
"Okay, I see now.
You're right.
I should count my blessings."
{ page 156 }

When Irene meets Rand the two of them connect 
and begin helping one another get through the suffering and ever-present tribulation.
But instead of fully trusting one another they hold back. . .
and their secrets could possibly lead to their destruction.

Liz Tolsma does a magnificent job of sharing true history in a way 
that will leave your mouth hanging open in wonder and horror.
She weaves an incredible tale that feels more real than fiction
and writes in a way that touches the reader deeply and emotionally.
Remember the Lilies is a beautiful story - 
this is a book you will be thinking about long after you have finished the last page.
I will gladly give this book 4.5 stars.

** I was given a complimentary copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers
for an honest review. All thoughts are my own and no other compensation was received. **

9 comments:

CatTales said...

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this book, Stephanie. Wishing you and your family a blessed Sunday.

My Garden Diaries said...

You have me hooked already! It sounds like an amazing read! And the fact that it was set in the 40's makes me want to read it even more! A wonderful Sunday to you and thank you for passing this one along! Nicole xo

NanaDiana said...

That sounds like a wonderful story! I even love the man's name- Rand! Thanks for doing these great reviews. xo Diana

mamasmercantile said...

Have a beautiful Sunday.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

It is difficult to write a novel! And a writer that can keep you on the edge without giving too much away and allowing you to take the end with you to ponder over is well-talented and well-trained! Oh how I love to read...

Stone Cottage Adventures said...

'Sounds like a great book! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

Scrappy quilter said...

This sounds like a book I want to read. Great review.

Miss Val's Creations said...

I love a great historical fiction novel. This would be right up my alley!

Sola Scriptura said...

Thank you for telling us about this book... it sounds wonderful!

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