Thursday, December 26, 2013

Snow on the Tulips by Liz Tolsma

In a time of unprecedented darkness and fear, Cornelia must decide if saving a stranger's life is worth risking her own.

In the twilight of the Nazi occupation of The Netherlands, the Germans have taken everything Cornelia had to give, even what was most precious to her. Now Gerrit Laninga—a man who puts God and country above all else—arrives at her house, needing help. She is terrified for herself and terrified for her family, but most of all, terrified of the pain she might feel again if she allows herself to love Gerrit. Her hope is to be free from her paralyzing fear.

Gerrit is a known and hunted Dutch Resistance member. When he comes to Cornelia's home for shelter, he's drawn to her strength and kindness. When he asks her to contact the local Resistance on his behalf, she refuses. Gerrit is determined to find a way to continue his underground work without putting Cornelia or her family in harm's way.

When things start to unravel and Gerrit’s life depends on her actions, she must summon her courage and learn to depend on the perfect love that drives out all fear. But will her new love be snatched away before it has a chance to bloom?

Loosely based on a event that occurred in her extended family, Snow on the Tulips by Liz Tolsma tells the story of a man who narrowly escapes death and a woman who helps him despite her paralyzing fear. The plot line is exciting and spell-binding and kept me tied to the pages throughout the entire novel. It contained a perfect combination of romance, mystery, suspenseful danger, and redemption. The themes of this novel were clear and well developed and included topics such as overcoming fear, trusting God and others, and putting one's faith in God even in the midst of pain and grief. The narration of this novel was third person, but the perspective it was told from alternated between Cornelia, Gerrit, Cornelia's sister, Ana, and Cornelia's brother, Johan.

All of the characters in Snow on the Tulips were realistic and well developed, with identifiable struggles and strengths. While Cornelia and Gerrit were obviously the main characters, other characters like Johan, Ana, and Ana's husband still had prominence in the story in order that the reader could identify with their struggles and feelings as well. Cornelia was an interesting character that was afraid of loving and of losing her family to the Germans. Gerrit was a sweet and passionate man that was bent on revenging his sister's hurt at the hand of the Germans. However, as he became closer to Cornelia and her family, his motivations and reasons changed and his relationship with God and Cornelia deepened. Ana was torn between protecting the life of a man, honoring her husband, and helping others as a nurse. In the end her choice was made for her, and she was left to trust God and His plan for the life of her and her family. Johan wanted to have a role in helping free his country from the Germans, but it took him awhile to realize that disobeying what Cornelia and Gerrit told him could potentially cause harm to both his family and to others. I enjoyed seeing how all of these characters interacted with one another and others and how they grew closer to each other and God as they experienced new trials and struggles.

Overall, I enjoyed this novel, and I look forward to reading more of Liz Tolsma's novels. I received this novel for free from in exchange for an honest review.

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