Friday, May 23, 2014

Daisies are Forever by Liz Tolsma

Gisela must hold on to hope and love despite all odds in the midst of a war-torn country.

Gisela Cramer is an American living in eastern Germany with her cousin Ella Reinhardt. When the Red Army invades, they must leave their home to escape to safety in Berlin.

However, Ella is a nurse and refuses to leave, sending her young daughters with Gisela. During their journey, Gisela meets Mitch Edwards, an escaped British POW. She pretends she is his wife in order to preserve his safety among other Germans, especially one wounded German soldier, Kurt, who has suspicions about Mitch's identity. Kurt also has feelings for Gisela and tries to uncover the truth about her "marriage."

Their journey to Gisela's mother in Berlin is riddled with tragedy and hardship, but they strive to keep Ella's daughters safe so they can reunite with their mother. During the journey Gisela and Mitch begin to develop feelings for one another beyond friendship. They reach Berlin, but their struggles are far from over. Gisela and Mitch must learn to live for the day and find hope in the darkest of circumstances.

In this moving, historically accurate portrayal of WWII Germany, the characters learn that, even with destruction all around them, some things last forever.

I'm afraid I didn't like Daisies are Forever as well as Snow on the Tulips. I wasn't able to connect very well with the characters (too many at once to get to know anyone...and I never could figure out exactly why Kurt and Audra continued to hang with the group, even before their ulterior motives were revealed, nor why Mitch seemed to move so effortlessly through Germany without a disguise...and didn't work harder to get back to his unit).

I also felt like some of the story wasn't edited well. For example: Gisela and Mitch enter a house and two blondes hug Gisela's legs (the little girls she is taking care of), but in the next paragraph or so, Mitch asks Audra (who watched the couple come into the house) where the girls are. She replies that they are napping, and Gisela says she will go lie down with them and sleep.

Another: during a confrontation with Mitch and a German soldier, Mitch looks over to see that Kurt is just standing by with his arms crossed. I apologize if I'm being insensitive, but I thought Kurt was missing an arm? Even if just a figure of speech, it didn't make sense.

Strange misses like this caused me to often shake my head or flip back a few pages to see if I'd missed something...or double check to see who was supposed to be speaking.

I was really impressed with Snow on the Tulips, so my reaction to book 2 (which is a complete standalone) surprised me. The writing style seemed totally different and the story more far-fetched (although Liz's note at the end says the inspiration was combined from the actual stories of two different ladies).

Eh, sometimes that happens with a book. Unfortunately, Daises are Forever just wasn't much of a page-turner for me. If you want to read an exciting, couldn't-put-down book of Liz's, pick up Snow on the Tulips.

That's what I thought! Click HERE to see what other reviewers are saying!

Thank you to Liz and Thomas Nelson through Litfuse for sending me a copy to read and review!

Did you find my review helpful? Please rate it on Amazon and Christianbook.

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**DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**
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