Saturday, May 24, 2014

Daisies are Forever by Liz Tolsma

When I had the opportunity to read and review Liz Tolsma's debut novel Snow on the Tulips (read my review here) I took a chance, as we all do, on a debut novelist. I was blown away by her writing so when the opportunity arose where I could read her sophomore novel I jumped at the chance. I have to say she out did herself with her newest release, Daisies are Forever.

The book begins during the final days of Nazi Germany in the year 1945. Gisela Cramer is an American living with her cousin Ella and Ella's two little girls and her grandfather who is not well. They are residing in a town named Heiligenbeil and they receive word that the Russians will be invading soon and they must leave. Gisela's grandfather refuses to go and Ella tells Gisela she must go and asks her to take her daughters with her. Gisela doesn't want to leave them because of situations in her past but she finally agrees to flee.

When Gisela started her journey she was just with her nieces and Ella's neighbor and his senile daughters. As time progresses more and more join her in her quest to reach safety in her home in Berlin. During her journey she overhears an SS officer speaking with a very poor German accent. In fact Gisela soon realizes he is British and she comes to his aid when he is about to be discovered. She tells everyone he is her husband who has been wounded in the war. From that point on, Mitch Edward takes on the persona of Herr Josep Cramer husband to Frau Gisela Cramer.

This period of time covered the Russian's invasion of Germany and the eventual fall of Berlin and the Third Reich. Ms. Tolsma based the first half of this book on the inspiration of one seventeen year old who lived through the atrocities of war and the second half of the book was based on stories her Aunt shared. Her Aunt was born in America but much like Gisela's story, her parents took her to live in Germany in the 1930s and she lived through the terrible war that raged on German soil just like Gisela.

Most everyone knows how Nazi Germany treated the Jewish people during WWII. What I didn't know before reading this book is the terrible atrocities the Russians did to the German people as well. War is ugly no matter where it happens or who is involved.

Ms. Tolsma's definitely has a knack of creating believable characters and placing them into a world torn by the agony of war. At times I heard the air raid sirens, the bombs going off, and I could almost smell the acrid smell after the bombs had exploded. Her book definitely ignites all five senses. It is a must read!

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Daisies are Forever and the meaning behind the title of the book is beautiful. I would highly recommend this book to adults who enjoy reading good Christian historical fiction. Because of some of the terrible atrocities that are exposed within the covers of this book I would not suggest it for young readers.

On a 5-Star scale = 5 HUGE stars!!!!!

I would like to thank Litfuse Publishing and Thomas Nelson Publishers for my copy of Daisies are Forever. I received my copy for free in order to read it and give my honest review, which I have done.

Smiles & Blessings,

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