Daisies Are Forever  -     By: Liz Tolsma
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Daisies Are Forever

Thomas Nelson / 2014 / Paperback

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Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 358
Vendor: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2014
Dimensions: 8.11 X 6.11 (inches)
ISBN: 1401689124
ISBN-13: 9781401689124
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

In the final days of Nazi Germany, the strength of one woman’s heart will determine the fate of a family.

Prussia, 1945

The fall of the Third Reich is imminent. As the merciless Red Army advances from the East, the German people of Prussia await the worst.

Among them is twenty-year-old Gisela Cramer, an American living in Heiligenbeil with her cousin Ella and their ailing grandfather. When word arrives that the Russians will invade overnight, Ella urges Gisela to escape to Berlin—and take Ella’s two small daughters with her.

The journey is miserable and relentless. But when Gisela hears the British accent of a phony SS officer, she poses as his wife to keep him safe among the indignant German refugees. In the blink of an eye, Mitch Edwards and Gisela are Herr and Frau Josep Cramer.

Through their tragic and difficult journey, the fabricated couple strives to protect Ella’s daughters, hoping against hope for a reunion. But even as Gisela and Mitch develop feelings beyond the make–believe, the reality of war terrorizes their makeshift family.

With the world at its darkest, and the lives of two children at stake, the counterfeit couple finds in each other a source of faith, hope, and the love they need to survive.

“Tolsma isn't afraid to detail the horrors of war as she depicts how tragedies can be obstacles to one's Christian beliefs.” —Romantic Times, 4-star review

“[Daisies Are Forever] is a compelling and fast-paced tale about the atrocities and tremendous losses endured by those marked forever by World War II. Recommended for fans of ­Rosamunde and Robin Pilcher, Kate Morton, and historical romances.” —Library Journal

“Excellent storytelling, accurate historical reporting and gritty, persevering characters make this WWII-era novel a must-read.” —CBA Retailers + Resources

Includes Reading Group Guide

Product Reviews

4.4 Stars Out Of 5
4.4 out of 5
4.5 out Of 5
(4.5 out of 5)
4.6 out Of 5
(4.6 out of 5)
Meets Expectations:
4.3 out Of 5
(4.3 out of 5)
of customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Displaying items 1-5 of 31
Page 1 of 7 12345 Next |Last
  1. Canada
    Age: Under 18
    Gender: female
    2 Stars Out Of 5
    So much potential...
    July 17, 2014
    The Quiet Eccentric
    Age: Under 18
    Gender: female
    Quality: 2
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 1
    The cover is what drew me in. I stared at the book, and suddenly it was as if I had no choice but to open it's pages.

    I hate being misguided.

    Alright, just to be fair, I have to say that this story had amazing potential. I so badly wanted to immerse myself in the characters and feel their passions and struggles. However, I felt like I was reading a history book. It was a very interesting history book, but that wasn't what I was looking for.

    And so Liz Tolsma, I want to be a fan, but I don't like wooden characters. I want so badly to love your books because they truly are wonderful stories, but they don't make me feel. I learned a lot about WWII, so I guess it's not a big loss...

    I'd only recommend this book to those who love WWII history. It was interesting, but I'll not be reading it again.
  2. Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    July 15, 2014
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Gisela Cramer must leave one cold winter night when the enemy once again comes to close to where she is living. But when her cousin Ella and Grandfather can not go, Ella begs Gisela to take her two young daughters with her.

    But the way to Berlin, where her Mother lives, is harder then she may have ever planned. But along the way she meets Mitch Edwards, an escaped British POW who may be in even more trouble. In order to save him she tells the other German refugees he is her husband.

    But with trying to protect Ella's little girls, and new people joining their group who may find out the truth about Mitch, getting to anywhere that is safer is going to be hard.

    I believe this is the first book I have ever read by Liz Tolsma and I really enjoyed it. The book was really well done and the people and places where they went where very well decribed. And the things the characters learned along the way were really good. But because it did take place during WWII there were some hard things happening that Gisela seen or heard. But Liz Tolsma does a wonderful job writing and if you like books that are around the time of WWII you should definitely check this one out!

    I received this book free from the publisher, Thomas Nelson, through the BookLook Bloggers book review program. The opinions are my own.
  3. New Zealand
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    1 Stars Out Of 5
    Great cover
    July 11, 2014
    New Zealand
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 3
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 1
    It is early 1945, and Gisela Cramer is fleeing East Prussia with her young nieces, to join her mother in Berlin, away from the advancing Russian Army. Mitch Edwards is an escaped POW, trying to find his way back to the British Army. The two meet, and Gisela pretends to be Mitch's wife in order to save him from the Germans.

    Gisela annoyed me right from the beginning, because it felt like I was supposed to know her background, why she kept collecting waifs and strays. She took responsibility for everything and everyone, and had a huge case of what we eventually found out was survivor guilt. Perhaps I would have felt some sympathy for her if this had been disclosed early on, but it wasn't, with the result that I was simply confused. Yes, I could see she was afraid of the invading Russian army (as were most people), but the source of that fear wasn't clear.

    Mitch was a better character, but it was obvious he was written by an American who doesn't know British English, because every time I started to get into the story there was another language glitch to pull me out of it. The English don't have cookie jars. They don't wear sweaters. ‘Pop' is a sound, not a parent. The biggest language glitch was his name. Mitchell didn't ring true as a first name for that time period (I checked, and Mitchell is even less common as a first name than Iola in that time period).

    I found the Kurt and Audra subplot even more annoying. Kurt fancies himself in love with Gisela from their first meeting, and Audra is as misguided as their two senile travel companions. These two sisters were annoying at first, but I soon found them providing welcome comic relief to Kurt's arrogance and Audra's starry-eyed plans. It didn't help that the writing was sometimes difficult to follow. I had to backtrack several times, to work out who was speaking, or who the viewpoint character was. This slowed what could have been an exciting story.

    By the time I got to the end, I'd decided the main problem is simply a lack of plot and structure. Most novels use the traditional three-act formula: Daisies are Forever had two. In the three-act structure, the first half of the novel usually shows the protagonist reacting to events, then being proactive in the second half to change their situation. The characters in Daisies are Forever never made that transition from reactive to proactive. The book was a series of events, and that's not a plot. That's story.

    Daisies are Forever is based on the real-life stories (see? Stories, not plot) of two separate women combined into one. This was both a strength and a weakness. The strength was the historical fact, the way the novel tells the story of the final days of World War II, the brutality of the invading Red Army, and the depredation the German women suffered. It does this well. But telling stories is the domain of biography or memoir, not fiction.

    The weakness was the way the two stories didn't gel. What would have been a gripping biography became a puzzle. Gisela left her home in East Prussia to escape the invading Russians, yet stayed in Berlin and waited for her nightmares to become reality. Why? We find out in the end note from the author—the two halves of the story, the journey and Berlin, happened to different people. It's no wonder Gisela's motivation seemed confused. She was two people, with two sets of goals and motivations, and it came across as confused.

    Daisies are Forever had potential, but as you've probably worked out, I didn't enjoy it. So now the big question is this: do I give the author another chance (and risk having to write another review like this one), or does she go on my ‘don't bother' list?

    Thanks to Litfuse Publicity for providing a free ebook for review.
  4. 4 Stars Out Of 5
    A New Perspective on WWII
    June 23, 2014
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    This is a perspective of World War II I haven't read before. When I read about WWII I usually am reading about what the Nazis did to the Jewish people.

    This story is coming from the perspective of Germans running from the Russians. Of course Mitch gets thrown in the mix and he is fighting against Germany yet helping Gisela and her friends and family who are German. This adds so much tension and you know something bad is going to happen.

    Along the journey lives are lost and new refugees join the group, refugees who seem nice at first but then stir up trouble within the group.

    Liz does a wonderful job of bringing this era to life and making you feel like you are part of the action. You will travel with this ragtag group as bullets whiz by, as they are crowded in the back of trucks and gymnasiums. You will feel the pain of blistered feet and the fear of losing those you hold dear.

    If you enjoy historicals, or stories about WWII with a bit of romance thrown in you will want to pick this book up.

    An ecopy of this book was given to me by the BookLook Bloggers Program in exchange for an honest review.
  5. Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Excellent piece of WWII fiction
    June 20, 2014
    An Avid Reader
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I am a history buff. World War II is one of my favorite periods of history, and because of that I love fiction set during that period. Daisies are Forever by Liz Tolsma is a book that I just couldn't put down. Very historically accurate and bursting with fascinating characters, this book brings World War II era Germany to life.

    The story begins in Heiligenbeil, East Prussia, as the Russians are marching steadily towards the little town where Gisela Cramer lives with her grandfather, her cousin, and her cousin's two little girls. Forced to leave her home, Gisela suddenly becomes the caretaker of the two girls. As she makes her way toward Berlin where she hopes to find her mother, an unlikely little band forms around her: a couple of forgetful elderly ladies, some British prisoners of war recently escaped from the prison camp, a German soldier, and a would-be actress. As alliances form and danger increases for some members of the odd little party, unlikely attractions emerge and Gisela finds herself being fought over by one of the British soldiers and the German officer.
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