Author: Liz Tolsma
Review by Grace Olson
Taken from Publisher Thomas Nelson’s website description of Daisies are Forever:
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.
This book in a word? Intense. The Second World War is winding down, but that doesn’t mean anyone is safe. Liz shows the end of WWII in all its brutality, chaos, and heartache. At times, it was hard to read the next sentence, the next paragraph. So much horror for the characters. What made it harder was the fact that real people lived through these trying times. Daisies are Forever is actually based off of the real life stories of two women.
Daisies are Forever kept me up well into the night. Just like the characters, I needed to know if there was going to be light at the end of this dark tunnel. This book is a darker read than I normally dive in to, but this makes the light all the brighter. I hurt for Gisela and all she was going through, the pressure she and others put on herself, the loved ones she was ripped away from. Throughout it all, Gisela is forced to the realization that she cannot keep her family together without God’s help. Daisies are Forever takes a look at having faith in God when all else is crumbling in the world.
I’ll warn you, though Liz does not go into detail (thankfully), she does write about some of the horrors of the last few months of the war. Russian planes fire on civilians, Allie bombs are dropped on Berlin, and horrific crimes are committed by the advancing Russian army.
If you’re a history lover looking for an engaging, informative, faith-filled read about WWII, then you will want to pick up a copy of Daisies are Forever. You might find, as I did, that you didn’t know as much about WWII as you thought.
About the Author
Biography from Daisies are Forever: Liz Tolsma has lived in Wisconsin most of her life. She and her husband have a son and two daughters, all adopted internationally. When not busy putting words to paper, Liz enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping with her family. ~ To learn more about Liz and her other books, visit her web page: http://www.liztolsma.com/
I was given a review copy of Daisies are Forever from the author in exchange for an honest review. I received no monetary compensation for my review. The opinions expressed are solely my own.