Near the end of World War 2, in the far north of Holland, a group of resistance workers is marched through the cold to the edge of the canal where they are shot. One of them, Gerrit, survives, escapes, and becomes a central character in this gripping and realistic story of life under the Nazis.
In her small house near the canal, Cornelia, a war widow, focuses her life on hiding her brother Johan from the Nazis. She wants nothing more to do with the war, but when a wounded man shows up at her doorstep, she does what her husband Hans would have wanted her to do…she leaves the sidelines of the war and gets involved.
Her sister Anki, a nurse, comes to help, after regretfully deceiving her husband Piet who believes that they should all obey the Nazis and that it is wrong to resist.
Day by day these siblings and their unexpected guest live through the last months of the war, struggling to reconcile their duties and their actions, living out their faith from one real-life adventure to the next. Soon Cornelia is also at war with herself and with her memories of Hans.
Snow on the Tulips is dedicated to eleven Dutch Resistance workers who were killed April 11, 1945…and to the one who survived.
This is his story, fictionalized.
Unlike many war novels, Snow on the Tulips does not focus on gruesome details. Nor does it romanticize anything. Instead, it tells the story of everyday lives and grapples with the agonizing issues believers had to deal with in those times:
When is right to obey the government, and when is it wrong?
What is the government?
Good people doing good things still die, and you can too.
How can you risk yourself to get involved? How can you not?
What is courage and where does it come from?
Can life ever begin again?
How can one live with fear, day after day after day?
Can broken hearts ever let go of the past?
This skillfully plotted novel, full of faith and Psalms and based on real events, is one of the most gripping World War 2 books I have ever read. Highly recommended for everyone, and absolutely indispensable for Frisians and others of Dutch descent whose parents and grandparents lived through the war.
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Disclosure: I received a free e-copy of this novel from Litfuse in order to give you my honest opinion.