“Remember the Lilies” By Liz Tolsma
My rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
About the book:
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.
Historical Fiction is one of my favourites, because I enjoy history, but I don’t always enjoy reading history books as so often they drone on and nothing really sinks in – but for me, historical fiction tells a great story, all the while weaving history into the plot. It is so beautiful, and often how I learn the best.
“Remember the Lilies” was just such a book – it shone light on an area in history, during WWII that I wasn’t aware of previously. I hadn’t before read much about the war hitting the Philippines, and all that went along with it, and so it was really interesting to read about it in this book. The history was told authentically, and engaging. It told the truth, and while it is sad and terrible, it is important. Things like that shouldn’t be forgotten.
The characters were all well done, and I enjoyed Irene and Rand’s story. I also really appreciated and enjoyed Anita – her faith was astounding, even in such tough circumstances.
While I would have dearly loved for the book to have delved into the deeper spiritual healing earlier on, I did enjoy how it was at least included towards the end. When the learning and healing began for the characters, that’s when I began to really enjoy it much more.
P.S. The cover is beautiful, isn’t it? I love it. =)
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publishers in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.