Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. BookLook Bloggers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)
Life and love are on the line at Santo Tomas Internment Camp in the Philippines during World War II. There’s Rand Sterling, a well-to-do nightclub owner and a ladies’ man, and Irene Reynolds, who’s in the Philippines on account of missionary work, a woman with a heart for orphaned children. As prisoners of war, Rand’s and Irene’s paths cross under dangerous circumstances.
Truth, lies, faith, and survival (and the lack thereof) are running themes in Remember the Lilies, and the aspect I most appreciate is the moment author Liz Tolsma takes to point out that the Japanese captors are just as much human beings as the POWs in the camp are.
The overall war story is what kept me interested in the novel, and I liked the rather simple writing style for the most part, though sometimes it felt wooden and a little too predictable. I was surprised to find Rand’s character to be pretty, well, corny at points, which was actually refreshing, but Irene didn’t make much of an impression on me. I had a hard time seeing her really round out beyond the events happening to her, didn’t get a strong sense of her personality and what she was supposed to be developing into, outside of her new romantic feelings. Also, it seemed that Rand and Irene each were rather quick to believe some momentous, “shocking” pieces of personal news that likely would’ve put the receivers in a state of disbelief, or even denial, for a while before he or she might accept such news as definite fact.
Now, I’ll take a brief second to admit that I sang along with one of my favorite Christmas carols that appeared, and fit quite well, in the story. Yes, I sang along.
I’d recommend this novel to fans of faith-filled WWII fiction and could very well see myself going back to read the first novel in this series sometime.
Remember the Lilies is the third book in the Women of Courage series.