Thursday, February 12, 2015

Remember the Lilies by Liz Tolsma book review

Remember the Lilies by Liz Tolsma

Having read and loved the author's previous two books, Snow on the Tulips and Daisies are Forever, I was excited when I discovered this new novel of hers!

  Like the author's two other novels, Remember the Lilies features a splendid wartime romance with a strong Christian message. This time, the setting is the occupied Philippines and more specifically, an internment camp! The main characters of this story include Irene Reynolds, a young woman who grew up in the Philippines and former nightclub owner Rand Sterling. They come from opposing backgrounds, but will the hardships of the camp bring them together? And is Irene strong enough to keep her faith in God foremost in her mind and heart? Read this book and discover the story of two unlikely friends who are drawn together over hardships.

Comparing this novel to the author Liz Tolsma's previous works, I found that it didn't compare. Although the book characteristically holds the attention of the reader, the storyline was not as impressive as the author's other books.
 And despite the fact that the faith message was indeed good, I found that it was lost beneath the romance aspect of the story. The characters were not strongly developed either; Irene is a Christian but she is not very vocal about her faith until far into the book. I am not attracted to Rand's personality at any point in the book. There is too much emphasis on the good looks of the characters, as well as too much description of the kisses shared between the lovers.
Lastly, I was surprised at the culmination of the story in regards to the main characters' future. Rand makes a rather lame decision regarding his future which I must not reveal here lest I spoil the entire climax of the book. In short, I didn't think his decision was very Christ-like and manly. Irene surprised me with her conclusion by the end of the book as well. Her thought process seemed more selfish than godly. The subject I am alluding to didn't really need to be in the book; I am still confused as to why the author inserted it. I have read other books which dealt with similar situations in better manners.

Anyhow, I did think this novel was an excellent picture of life in a internment camp in the Philippines. It is a topic I rarely consider and this gave a vivid idea of life in those circumstances.

I received this complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for my review.