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Review: Remember the Lilies by Liz Tolsma

Remember the Lilies


It was 1941 in Manila’s Santo Tomas Internment Camp.  Irene Reynolds, living there with Anita the missionary aunt who adopted her when her father disappeared, worked for the Japanese censors.  Usually she passed on censored parts of messages, but this one time it did not seem important.

Rand Sterling, a former wealthy night club owner, was determined to escape from Santo Tomas to aid his ill houseboy, Armando, who had been like a father to him.  Although the final message about the plan seemed cryptic, he was confident that all would go well.

However, when Irene arrived with the censored sentences, she was just in time to see him arrested and taken to the dreaded Fort Santiago.  There prisoners were not killed directly but tortured to death.

Miraculously Rand survived and was returned to Santo Tomas where he got to know both Irene and the Lord, but not without facing intrigue, starvation, misunderstandings, blackmail, snakes, and bullets….

This fast-paced story of life in a prison camp kept me on the edge of my chair, but it did not give me nightmares.  Instead it filled me with hope….

I fell in love with Liz Tolsma’s first book, Snow on the Tulips and have also reviewed Daisies are ForeverRemember the Lilies is her third book and again her characters are memorable and realistic, her plot is exciting, and her settings are difficult to forget.  However, what I value most are the simple but profound Christian themes that run through the books authentically rather than as cliches.

For example, “Ever since her father had deserted her, she had been looking for someone to be there for her.  To watch over her.  To provide for her.  She looked to everyone but God….All the while, when she had been longing for a Father the most, she already had one….How foolish for her to have spent her life thinking otherwise.”

I highly recommend Remember the Lilies and Liz Tolsma’s other novels despite the occasionally uneven writing, and eagerly look forward to her future novels.

Related to one of the themes of this book:  Father Hunger by Douglas Wilson, an important book about one of the main problems facing our society (link is to my summary and review).

This is yet another book in the in the 2015 52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge and is also linked to Saturday Reviews, Booknificent Thursdays, Literacy Musings Monday, and The Book Nook.  For more encouragement, visit Raising Homemakers, Titus 2 Tuesday, Works for Me Wednesday, Mom to Mom Monday, Monday’s Musings, Missional WeekendR&R Wednesdays, From House to Home, Homemaking Mondays, Good Morning Mondays, Make Your Home Sing Mondays, Faith Filled Fridays

Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from LitFuse and have shared my own opinions.


  1. Jenn says:

    Sounds like a great book.

  2. Mary Hill says:

    Sounds like an exciting read. I hope you will consider linking up with Literacy Musing Mondays this week via : http://www.maryanderingcreatively.com/literacy-musing-mondays-week-5/ You can link up through Saturday. 🙂

  3. Kenda says:

    Just read it on Kindle last week and enjoyed it!

  4. Annie Kate says:

    Yes, Jenn, it is a great book. I hope you have a chance to read it.

    Mary, I will link up. Thanks for asking me!

    That’s great, Kenda! She is a good author, isn’t she?

  5. Wow! This is the third glowing review I’ve read of this book today! Definitely adding it to my want-to-read list! Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday! (I figured I’d stop by today since I hope to be very busy with a new baby next week at this time!)

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