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.
About the Author:
"New York Times" best-selling author Liz Tolsma is the author of "Daisies are Forever," "Snow on the Tulips," and the contributing author of "A Log Cabin Christmas." When not busy putting words to paper, Liz enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and children, all adopted internationally.
Daisies are Forever by Liz Tolsma is a historical fiction written during WWII. What drew me to the book in the first place was the beautiful cover art. Then I read the description.... and it drew me in to the story.
I have to admit... this was a hard book for me to read. First, I think it was because I don't know my history as well as I should and so, quite a bit of the information was new to me. Second, it was hard because sometimes the story was just confusing. The main character, Gisela, was the one telling the story, but sometimes... I just could understand what she was trying to say or how what she was saying fit into the story. Also, some of the dialog seemed stale... it had no real emotion or creativity to it. There was also an overall lack of God mentioned. I was surprised by this on the one hand, but because of things I have recently heard from different authors, not at all surprised as it seems that publishing companies want authors to "tone down" the "christianese" and biblical references in their books so they can reach more people. Given that knowledge, the book works... it still has a Christian thread, but not so overwhelming and in-your-face that it would turn most people off.
Overall, the story is beautiful and sad with a somewhat happy ending (it was WW2, of course, there was sadness). Gisela and Mitch are both brave, but circumstances often force them to question the decisions they make in the heat of necessity. They are drawn to each other as their journey continues, but there are stumbling blocks along the way -- fear, Kurt and Audra, and uncertainty about the future. Eventually, they each find the faith they need and with it the hope they need to survive the world at its darkest hour.