Review of "Remember the Lilies"

Review of Remember the Lilies

 by Liz Tolsma


Irene and Rand come from very different walks of life. Will they find common ground in their fight to survive? 

Irene has grown up in the jungle as a missionary with her Aunt Anita, but now she and countless others are imprisoned by Japanese soldiers at the Santo Tomas Internment Camp in the Philippines. Irene and her aunt are safe there, and she keeps busy with her duty of delivering censored messages to the camp’s prisoners, but like everyone else, she prays for the war to end and for her freedom. Rand is a wealthy, womanizing American, whose attempted escape from the internment camp has put himself and others in danger. When Rand and Irene’s Aunt Anita meet one another in the hospital, Irene learns more of his story and her heart is determined to save his family. But the danger outside the walls of the hospital worsens every day, and life in this exotic place is anything but luxurious. Can Irene find Rand’s family before they disappear forever? And can a humble missionary woman and an arrogant man find common ground in the face of their biggest fears?

MY REVIEW:  "No one survived an escape attempt.  No one even tried.  She finger raked strands of damp hair from her eyes.  In the daytime, each shanty had its own personality.  At dark, they blurred together, one indistinguishable from the other.  She straightened to resume the search, not knowing how she would find him.  Her legs protested, but she urged them forward.  She had to make sure Mr. Sterling had the complete message."
       I was not aware that Americans living in the Philippines during World War II were imprisoned in internment camps.  I knew that America forced Japanese living in America to remain in internment camps and that was awful enough as I learned of it.   I'm sure that the Americans living abroad never dreamed their lives would be put on hold for the duration of the war.  While Rand and Irene are from two entirely different worlds, they somehow become connected through Irene's work in the office working with censored mail.  
      Both Irene and Rand conceal their secrets and fear what will happen if the other discovers the pain they hide.   This book was quite riveting and highly emotional for me.   I lost an uncle, my mother's only brother in World War II.   He knew something of the pain and fear he had experienced, but I did not think it touched the lives of so many others.  I definitely knew of the anguish that my grandparents and my mom, and his sisters felt.  My grandmother shared many stories with me.   While this book is deeply moving, it also offers a very real sense of hope.   Read this book and open your heart to the pain and the hope.   
      5 stars for this book and I am delighted to recommend it to readers.
      I received a free kindle version of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.   

About the Author:
Liz Tolsma

Liz Tolsma has lived in Wisconsin most of her life, and she now resides next to a farm field with her husband, their son, and their two daughters. All of their children have been adopted internationally and one has special needs. Her novella, Under His Wings, appeared in the New York Times bestselling collection, A Log Cabin Christmas. Her debut novel, Snow on the Tulips, released in August of 2013. Daisies Are Forever released in May 2014. When not busy putting words to paper, she enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping with her family. Please visit her blog at and follow her on Facebook and Twitter (@LizTolsma). She is also a regular contributor to the Barn Door blog.


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