Introducing Snow on the Tulips by Liz Tolsma, her debut novel. Her novella, Under His Wings, was published in the best-selling anthology A Log Cabin Christmas. Two other short stories have been published in Cup of Comfort for Adoptive Families. Married for twenty-three years, Tolsma lives with her husband in Wisconsin with their three adopted children. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading historical romance, gardening, crocheting and camping. You can connect with her online at liztolsma.com.
About this book: The war is drawing to a close, but the Nazis still occupy part of the Netherlands. After the losses she’s endured, war widow Cornelia is only a shadow of the woman she once was. She fights now to protect her younger brother, Johan, who lives in hiding.
When Johan brings Gerrit Laninga, a wounded Dutch Resistance member, to Cornelia’s doorstep, their lives are forever altered. Although scared of the consequences of harboring a wanted man, Cornelia’s faith won’t let her turn him out.
As she nurses Gerrit back to health, she is drawn to his fierce passion and ideals, and notices a shift within herself. Gerrit’s intensity challenges her, making her want to live fully, despite the fear that constrains her. When the opportunity to join him in the Resistance presents itself, Cornelia must summon every ounce of courage imaginable.
She is as terrified of loving Gerrit as she is of losing him. But as the winter landscape thaws, so too does her heart. Will she get a second chance at true love? She fears their story will end before it even begins.
Genre: Fiction/Christian/Historical Romance
Judge this book by its cover? Yes, nicely done.
Reminds me of…Tracie Peterson
Buy or borrow? Either.
Why did I read this book? For Thomas Nelson for review.
Would I read another by this author? While I don’t typically gravitate to her style of historical fiction, I wouldn’t rule it out.
My take: The best part of this novel is its sensitive exploration of the ethical dilemma, What is right? To obey God’s law no matter what, in any and every situation? To tell the truth, for example, no matter to whom and regardless of circumstances–or to bend God’s law when what we perceive as “good” is at risk? And how can we humans of finite wisdom really know the difference?
No easy answers there, which provides fertile ground for this historical romance, set in a less-explored corner of the World War II landscape, Holland. This is Anne Frank territory, which means there’s plenty of scope for high-stakes drama.
As a whole, I didn’t feel the author really got beneath her characters’ skins in a way I most resonate with. Emotionally, the narrative seems to skim the surface, so I felt as if I was watching the story from the outside in rather than living it from the inside out. Which is fine; this is really a matter of style. I would also note that Tolsma does pepper her novel with some pretty prose, such as this line: He was a windmill, helpless against the breeze, unable to refuse her pleading hazel eyes. I also appreciated the complexity of one of the minor characters, whose unbending Christian convictions about God and country rendered him an untrustworthy bad guy.
In summary, Snow on the Tulips contains a strong romantic thread lived out in an era of danger, accompanied by a strong faith message that many readers will find appealing.
Thanks to Thomas Nelson for providing me a free copy to review. All opinions are mine.
Liz Tolsma is celebrating the release of Snow on the Tulips by giving away an Amazon Reading Pack to one lucky winner. Find out what readers are saying about the book here.
One winner will receive:
- A $50 Amazon gift card
- Snow on the Tulips by Liz Tolsma
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 16th. Winner will be announced November 18th at Liz’s blog.