My 2 Cents on Remember the Lilies by Liz Tolsma

Remember the Lilies has scored a rating of 1/5 stars.

Today, after what seems like decades but was actually only a couple of months, I finished reading Remember the Lilies.I feel so accomplished because this book was…

Okay, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me tell you what the story is about before I get into my feelings on it.

Remember the Lilies, written by Liz Tolsma and published by Thomas Nelson, tells the story of a wealthy ladies man (Rand) and a missionary woman (Irene) living in an internment camp during WWII. The Japanese soldiers are merciless and their struggle to survive is a persistent factor in every aspect. Rand, tries to escape and fails, all because Irene didn’t think a coded message was worth delivering.

His punishment? A stay at Fort Santiago, the place where Americans go to be tortured and killed.

By some miracle, he is released from his prison and taken back to the interment camp where he finally comes face to face with the missionary who almost cost him his life.

Will they be able to overcome the obstacles and their vastly different lifestyles to be together? Will they even survive?

This book sounds amazing. Frankly, I adore the premise. I love reading stories set in the 1940s and even read a lot of nonfiction on that era (you should totally check out World War II Love Stories, that book is amazing).

I was even more excited when I received a copy of the book and found out that Liz Tolsma is a New York Times Bestselling Author.

But then I started reading.

At first I wasn’t concerned. It’s common for books like these to have a slow start. Then I realized this was simply the way Tolsma writes. And it was terrible.

I found myself asking, “Can I please get ONE PAGE without the author writing something stupid? JUST ONE!”

This story is so disjointed. One second a person is standing in an office and minding their own business, the next they’re getting punched and kicked by a guard passing by. Irene hear’s a guy singing a song and laughs with tears streaming down her face, but you never know why. Anita, a mother like figure to Irene, warns Irene to stay away from Rand, then suddenly she’s all for them being a couple. These are just a few examples of the problems that made this book an awkward read. I repeatedly had to reread sentences because it just didn’t make sense and I needed to figure out what happened.

More importantly, I didn’t buy into any of the characters. I didn’t buy that Anita, a blind woman, never spoke a negative word, no matter how utterly grim the circumstance. I definitely didn’t buy the romance. Rand and Irene, two totally opposite people, argued a couple of times… Then suddenly they’re falling for each other after like two conversations? Then, after they fell for each other, I didn’t buy the problems they were saying prevented them from being together. AND WHY DID THEY KEEP LYING TO EACH OTHER? Ugh.

I dreaded each time I picked up this book and was so relieved when I got to set it down.

Reading shouldn’t be like that. It just shouldn’t.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.

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