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Daisies Are Forever

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Gisela must hold on to hope and love despite all odds in the midst of a war-torn country. 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, Gisel Gisela must hold on to hope and love despite all odds in the midst of a war-torn country. 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.


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Gisela must hold on to hope and love despite all odds in the midst of a war-torn country. 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, Gisel Gisela must hold on to hope and love despite all odds in the midst of a war-torn country. 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.

30 review for Daisies Are Forever

  1. 5 out of 5

    Belinda

    3,75 stars - Hardcover 🦋🦋🦋 Quote from the book : Her cousin was getting Renate ready but again she didn’t speak as she pulled a wollen sweater over her daughter’s head. As Gisela helped her sister Annelies to sit on the bed next to her and pulled two heavy wollen socks on, the child looked on her with great grey round eyes, “Where are we going?” “ On an adventure, isn’t that fun”. Gisela willed her tremmbing fingers to tie the little shoe faster. 🌹🌹🌹 This read comfirmed for me that on both “sides” 3,75 stars - Hardcover 🦋🦋🦋 Quote from the book : Her cousin was getting Renate ready but again she didn’t speak as she pulled a wollen sweater over her daughter’s head. As Gisela helped her sister Annelies to sit on the bed next to her and pulled two heavy wollen socks on, the child looked on her with great grey round eyes, “Where are we going?” “ On an adventure, isn’t that fun”. Gisela willed her tremmbing fingers to tie the little shoe faster. 🌹🌹🌹 This read comfirmed for me that on both “sides” of World War II a lot of civilian suffering took place. And the believe in God of the main characters comes and goes along with what is happig. That the story is based on the real deal made it for me even more valueble. ☘️☘️☘️

  2. 4 out of 5

    Iola

    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 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.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Cox

    If it weren't for Kurt, this book would be added to my favorites list. His obsessive love disorder was frightening and it came to an unlikely end as well (people with obsessive disorders don't listen to reason as swiftly nor as easily as he did). There was a major inconsistency that bothered me, and I'll try to avoid spoiling it as I explain a bit. Mitch and Gisela discovered a plot set against them, yet they both still fell for its trappings. If they knew about it, why would they not be on their If it weren't for Kurt, this book would be added to my favorites list. His obsessive love disorder was frightening and it came to an unlikely end as well (people with obsessive disorders don't listen to reason as swiftly nor as easily as he did). There was a major inconsistency that bothered me, and I'll try to avoid spoiling it as I explain a bit. Mitch and Gisela discovered a plot set against them, yet they both still fell for its trappings. If they knew about it, why would they not be on their guard about it? That didn't make any sense to me. I loved Bettina and Katya! They reminded me of the elderly sisters on The Waltons, and they were truly delightful and quite good at bringing a bit of humor into the craziness that had become their reality. These ladies were written incredibly well, and I liked that I never knew what was going to pop out of their mouths next. The physical journey in this story is one I haven't seen much in books yet, though I've only recently been on this WWII reading kick. It was a refreshing take on World War Two, but like most other stories set in this era, there were moments and trials that were disturbing and difficult to read. That doesn't make them any less meaningful, only less beautiful than other moments along the way. But then, war isn't a beautiful thing, is it? This book was very good, mostly well written, and carried a lot of deep emotions that tugged me further into the characters' lives and fears. I would recommend it for folks 17 or older who want to see what the realities of war are like. Stories like this one can be perspective-altering. A few notes on grammar (this did not affect my rating): * "askance" was used when "askew" was intended * one double-negative * missing commas on direct address Content: * harsh realities of war, including murder, rape, suicide, etc. * alcohol and drunkeness I was not compensated for my honest review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Alicia

    Lack of character development and too many plot holes prevented me from really enjoying the story, but it was worth the read for the historical detail (i.e. the terrifying final days of war in Germany). 2.5 stars.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    I even liked this book better than the first one. Beautifully written. It was so hard to read of the struggles of ordinary citizens on both sides of the war as it came to an end. The bombings, the brutality, the inhumanity, but it was good to read and realize the horrors of those that died and lived went through.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kellyn Roth

    Review to come. Thoughts for now: the endingggg just needed helpppp it was too fast. So yeah.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kaitlyn Krispense

    This one was a lot better than I was expecting! I loved Mitch and Gisela, and the message was epic. Three stars, however, because the whole Kurt situation seemed super random and didn't make much sense from the beginning, and the ending seemed very...rushed. like the author decided the story needed to be over so she started telling instead of showing. This one was a lot better than I was expecting! I loved Mitch and Gisela, and the message was epic. Three stars, however, because the whole Kurt situation seemed super random and didn't make much sense from the beginning, and the ending seemed very...rushed. like the author decided the story needed to be over so she started telling instead of showing.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Jordan

    Another great book by Liz. Enjoyed this entire series.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Belinda Vlasbaard

    4,25 sterren- English Ebook 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 4,25 sterren- English Ebook 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. I have read Liz Tolsma’s books, “Snow on the Tulips” and “Remember the Lilies”. I enjoyed both very much and this led me to read “Daisies are Forever”, another truly wonderful book set in World War II. For this novel, Ms. Tolsma’s inspiration for the first part of the book comes from a quote by Ruth Savine Hildegard Lippert, seventeen years old in February of 1945. She led a group of ten people on a four week flight from East Prussia to Berlin to avoid the advancing Russian army. The second part of the book draws on the experiences of Ms. Tolsma’s Aunt Lillian. Lillian was born in the United States to parents of German descent. They returned to Germany in the 1930’s where they spent most of the war in Berlin. This book follows Gisela Cramer, her two nieces, three elderly neighbors and eventually a downed British flyer, as they make their way south to Berlin and supposed safety. I could not imagine the trials they went through as they slogged through snow and ice in 20 below temperatures. Fellow Germans were ready to turn in deserters and anyone else opposed to the Reich accosted the frequently, and Russian planes strafed the poor women, children, and elderly as they fled to safety. This novel portrayed the German people at the end of the war as they tried to survive starvation, Allied attacks and the Russian army as it entered Berlin and savaged the survivors. We get a glimpse of the other side of the war. This was an excellent book and I enjoyed reading it as much as I did the other novels by Liz Tolsma. The fact that this book was based on real survivors’ stories made it all the more fascinating.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Joleen

    Germany, WWII Mitch Edwards, a British POW for 5 years, disguised as an SS officer just escaped from a German stalag. Trying to make his way back to Allied troops through Germany, he was confronted and nearly found out because of his British accent. However, Gisela came to his rescue claiming he was her husband. For the next several months they try to escape encroaching Soviet troops and nearby bombings as they make their way from Prussia to Berlin, where Gisela's mother and father were when she Germany, WWII Mitch Edwards, a British POW for 5 years, disguised as an SS officer just escaped from a German stalag. Trying to make his way back to Allied troops through Germany, he was confronted and nearly found out because of his British accent. However, Gisela came to his rescue claiming he was her husband. For the next several months they try to escape encroaching Soviet troops and nearby bombings as they make their way from Prussia to Berlin, where Gisela's mother and father were when she left. Lots of near misses, lots of trying to trust God to get them through it all. (Sorry, but it just didn't feel organic, more like these portions were added later to make it more "Christian Fiction".) Kurt, a fellow traveler, decided Gisela was his muse and that he wants her. He and Audra (another fellow traveler) plot to get between them, to break up what looks like a budding romance. This whole storyline was odd, and not well done. Why Gisela didn't tell him to take a hike was beyond me. And the fact that she accepted comfort from him and found herself in his arms more than a few times was just silly. Some of this book was interesting, but it's execution, character consistencies and depth of explanations left much to be desired. Even the title was a bit hokey when you read what it referred to. I don't believe I'll pick up anymore books from this author in this genre.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    Sometimes we go through life wondering what if ... what if I would have turned left instead of right, what if I would have done 'A' or 'B', what if I hadn't run? Unfortunately it stalls us from understanding the reasons why those choices seemed so right at that time. In between the question mark we go through our daily lives, facing battles that we take for granted because we're so stuck on the 'what if'. Tolsma takes that issue of faith a bit further and places her characters in a real battle - Sometimes we go through life wondering what if ... what if I would have turned left instead of right, what if I would have done 'A' or 'B', what if I hadn't run? Unfortunately it stalls us from understanding the reasons why those choices seemed so right at that time. In between the question mark we go through our daily lives, facing battles that we take for granted because we're so stuck on the 'what if'. Tolsma takes that issue of faith a bit further and places her characters in a real battle - World War II. Gisela is fleeing with her cousin's two children to Berlin to find her mother, hopefully before the Russians find her. Along the way she meets up with other troubled souls with shattered dreams and expectations. Daily the friends work to survive and gain strength from one another through each character's faith and resilience. Their trials are real and frightening and I have to admit that I shed a couple of tears and had a difficult time putting the book down. When hope is all you have to hold onto, hope is enough.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen E.

    Friday, May 23, 2014 Daisies are Forever by Liz Tolsma, © 2014 Women of Courage series, Book 2 The second book in the Women of Courage series, Daisies Are Forever, released May 6, 2014. Set in East Prussia and Berlin at the end of the war, American born Gisela Cramer must stay one step ahead of the Russian troops. Her task is complicated by an escaped British POW, two old women, two little girls, a wounded German soldier and a young woman with big dreams. When they reach Berlin, will they really be Friday, May 23, 2014 Daisies are Forever by Liz Tolsma, © 2014 Women of Courage series, Book 2 The second book in the Women of Courage series, Daisies Are Forever, released May 6, 2014. Set in East Prussia and Berlin at the end of the war, American born Gisela Cramer must stay one step ahead of the Russian troops. Her task is complicated by an escaped British POW, two old women, two little girls, a wounded German soldier and a young woman with big dreams. When they reach Berlin, will they really be safe? And ... what about her heart? Trusting their mutti and opa will follow, young Annelies and Renate Reinhardt join cousin Gisela Cramer "on an adventure" as they flee to safety. Would they see each other again? Two years earlier, in 1943, Gisela had left her parents to travel to East Prussia from Berlin. The war had caught up with her again. Gisela: Opa has handed me a daisy pressed in his Bible from Oma's and tells me to put it in my Bible at Isaiah chapter 43. "A reminder of God's pureness and holiness when the road gets hard," he tells me. "When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee." Taking her precious memories of her mother's parents with her, Gisela with cousin Ella's young kinder enter the cold air, in the bursts of light cast by the exploding bombs coming closer to them. By morning the Russians would be there. No escape. Cousin Ella staying with the Red Cross and many refugees, and Opa too ill to travel, they must trudge on ~ to whatever safety they could find far from them. British soldiers, Mitch Edwards and Xavier McDonald, have escaped their German captors in the stalag a few days earlier, walking against the tide of refugees going the opposite direction. Are they walking in circles? Seeking shelter for the night, they bring lice with them. With hopes of blending in with the German refugees, they could make it to the Allies. Stopping at a farmyard for the night for encampment, Mitch, in his stolen German greatcoat, seeks something to go with Spam over their campfire. Finding two small frozen potatoes, they will have a meal. Approached by a woman inquiring why they are not fighting for the Fatherland, Xavier answers in response in German learned in their five-year captivity ~ with their British accents. Followed! Sprinting, they rush to cover amid the pines and oaks at the edge of the field as Wehrmacht officers are approached by the woman. Exhausted, Gisela continued to pedal the bicycle as the girls slept on in the cart. Her thoughts staying to the little house in Heiligenbeil and Ella and her Opa. Waiting for neighbors, Herr Dietrich Holtzman and his elder, addled, sisters to catch up, they stop at the side of the road. Not far off, is the farmhouse of Frau Becker and husband, Heinz, as she opens their door in recognition of their friend Dietrich. With many refugees already sheltered, they spend the night in rest, thankful rest. Returning, Mitch and Xavier are rescued at dawn. They are saved from the same woman's wrath by Gisela who hears and approaches, claiming them as kin ~ her "husband," Mitch ~ now "Josep Cramer," and "brother-in-law," Xavier ~ now "Siegfried Munchen." With their bicycles stolen, these two men will be helpful pulling their carts. Now begins the story of their companionship. It's the real story of two very courageous women. I've taken the true accounts and fictionalized them, but much of what happens in the book did happen. I cannot imagine living during that time, either on the run for my life or hiding for my life. Wondering if each breath would be my last. Praying that the bombs would stop falling while praying at the same time that they would keep falling. I hope the story touches you the way it touched me. --author Liz Tolsma A story of bravery and survival, this ancestral story is written with truth and example of God covering us in our lives. Very well written and documented. Crossing the frozen Frische Haff, the lagoon to the narrow split of land, Frische Nehrung framing the Baltic Sea, brings more disaster and increase to their hope as they continue forward. God provides trucks on the road to Danzig as they arrive at just the right time to advance to a westbound train. He will not leave them. There are added burdens as they mesh with others. This is a story of courage that happened. It also portrays who you listen to ~ a divisive rattling in your ear from another, or the Truth spoken in your heart of hearts. So important not to assume, but to ask the One to whom your heart beats. Recreating memoirs of two women living through the atrocities of war, Daisies are Forever portrays the continued reliance and realization of the sheltering of God in their lives. Keeping on reassures dependence and trust, putting one foot in front of the other and doing the next thing. Beginning the next leg of their journey, nothing seemed the same with shifting landmarks. The trek worrisome and uncertain, air-raid sirens blaring a warning to get to shelters as the bombings began again, keeping them cloistered in tight enclosed space until the all-clear signal sounded. Book 1 in the Women of Courage series ~ also written modeling a true story ~ is Snow on the Tulips. I can just see this story as a movie! Excellent. I am looking forward to continued writings by this author. The third book in the series is set in the Philippines during the war and focuses on an American woman detained by the Japanese at the Santo Tomas Internment Camp. ***Thank you to Litfuse Publicity Group for inviting me to be part of the blog tour for Liz Tolsma's novel ~ Daisies are Forever. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***

  13. 5 out of 5

    Dorothy

    This one is a story taking place during WWII in Germany. Gisela was an American but originally from Germany. Her parents decided to move their family back to Germany just before the war broke out. Because of many occurrences Gisela was living with her Grandpa and cousin. However the Russians were now invading Germany and killing, looting, and raping as they advanced. So, it is decided that Gisela, 2 addled aunts, and her 2 young nieces must escape and travel to Berlin. The trip if hard and two e This one is a story taking place during WWII in Germany. Gisela was an American but originally from Germany. Her parents decided to move their family back to Germany just before the war broke out. Because of many occurrences Gisela was living with her Grandpa and cousin. However the Russians were now invading Germany and killing, looting, and raping as they advanced. So, it is decided that Gisela, 2 addled aunts, and her 2 young nieces must escape and travel to Berlin. The trip if hard and two escaped British prisoners, an injured SS soldier, and another lady wanting to get to America, Gisela, her 2 nieces, and 2 aunts join together to help one another.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lindsey (Books for Christian Girls)

    About this book: “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 a About this book: “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.” Series: Book #2 in the stand-alone series “Women of Courage”. {I have not read book #1, “Snow on Tulips”.} Spiritual Content- John 16:33 & Psalm 106:10 in the beginning; Scriptures are quoted; Many Prayers are said; Talks about God, His Will, Trusting Him & why He allows things to happen; Gisela has to learn to let go and let God. Negative Content- Minor cussing including: three forms ‘biddy’; Many, many blood parts (most are detailed); Almost every-other-page mentions a dead person or someone dies; Guns are shot and pointed at. Sexual Content- When the Mongol-Russians come Gisela says that they’ll “kill some of us and rape the others”; Gisela hears the screams and cries of women being raped; “She would never experience the joy of the marriage bed…with all she had” Gisela almost gets raped, it gets to the point where the pig tears about her blouse; Kisses (all not-detailed to semi-detailed) -Gisela Cramer -Mitch Edwards P.O.V. switches between them, Kurt, & Audra Set in 1945 (Epilogue set in 1946) 333 pages ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* Pre, New, Early High School Teens- One Star Older High School Teens- Two Star My personal Rating- Two Star While I thought this was a fine book, the topic of girls being raped is just too sensitive & something I don’t want to think about. Therefore, that sexual content made “Daisies are Forever” get lower stars. Link to review: http://booksforchristiangirls.blogspo...

  15. 4 out of 5

    Annette

    Source: Free copy from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for a review. Summary: Early February 1945. Gisela Cramer is a young woman, living with her cousin Ella and her daughters, and their grandfather in Heiligenbeil, East Prussia. Gisela is American born, but moved to Germany as a young girl with her German born parents. Gisela left her parents and relocated to Heilgenbeil, when the bombings began in Berlin. When the Russians close in on the town of Heiligenbeil, a difficult decision is made. E Source: Free copy from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for a review. Summary: Early February 1945. Gisela Cramer is a young woman, living with her cousin Ella and her daughters, and their grandfather in Heiligenbeil, East Prussia. Gisela is American born, but moved to Germany as a young girl with her German born parents. Gisela left her parents and relocated to Heilgenbeil, when the bombings began in Berlin. When the Russians close in on the town of Heiligenbeil, a difficult decision is made. Ella insists Gisela take her daughters and escape back to Berlin. Ella plans to stay with their grandfather because he is too weak to travel. Early in the journey, Gisela encounters a British soldier named Mitch, who is posing as a German soldier. His German accent creates suspicion. Gisela pretends to be his wife in order to help them both survive the bitter cold temperatures, the Russian advancement, and his certain death by Nazi Germany. My Thoughts: Gisela is the hero, she outshines her pseudo British army husband Mitch. She is the tough and resilient character. Mitch comes across as a played-down character. He is army trained, and has been a POW for five years. He is not what I'd expect considering his knowledge and experience. After five years as a POW, he would be haggard, possibly sick, weak; and with bitter animosity against the Nazi German war machine, which would make it impossible for him to hide his feelings. I believe in a real situation, his training would have led him to take-out a German soldier that posed a risk, and not allow a German woman (no matter how beautiful) to make decisions. Further, during a time of war, a soldier might have sex (with a golden opportunity) but there is no time for romance. A combat soldier wants: 1. To always have his firearm with him. 2. Dry socks. 3. Eat (preferably warm food). 4. Sleep (hopefully under a dry roof). 5. Return home. The strength of the story is the graphic Allied bombings in Prussia and Germany. The scenes are real, frightening; and as they continue, it is understandable how they wore at the people like a dog gnawing on a brittle bone. The story explains how the civilians survived, carnage and destruction, fear of death or rape, and worry over missing family. The themes of Daisies are Forever is: escape from Russian soldiers, preventing Mitch from becoming a prisoner again or death, survival of all of them (including the two precious little girls), romance. The author succeeds at pulling together a entertaining romantic story, but not believable.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Joy

    Description of the book Gisela must hold on to hope and love despite all odds in the midst of a war-torn country. 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 Description of the book Gisela must hold on to hope and love despite all odds in the midst of a war-torn country. 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. My Review If you enjoy WWII stories, you will love Daisies are Forever by Liz Tolsma. There is so much history throughout this story, and each scene is so vividly described by the author it will amaze you. I enjoyed getting to know the believable characters, and was shocked at some of the scenes throughout the book because they were so horrific. It was difficult at times reading, especially knowing that these situations are based on the real life of two ladies that lived during that time. But the story is during war time, and I appreciate the way the author shows how life was back then. I don’t want to give a lot away with the storyline, because you need to read it to get the full affect of the story. Liz Tolsma is truly a expert in storytelling and detailing historical events. I look forward to more books from this author. That said, I highly recommend this book, and especially to anyone who enjoys war stories or WWII historical stories. You will find yourself loving this one! I received this book from BookLook Bloggers to read and review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 55.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Reet Champion

    Gisela Cramer has suffered through one of the most devastating experiences a person could go through. As the lone survivor of a "massacre" that resulted in the death of her aunt and two young cousins at the hands of Russian soldiers Gisela struggles with guilt. It kills her to have to leave yet another cousin and her elderly grandfather as Russian forces fast approach their home. But for the sake of her cousins two small children it must be done. And so she embarks on a journey that will dramati Gisela Cramer has suffered through one of the most devastating experiences a person could go through. As the lone survivor of a "massacre" that resulted in the death of her aunt and two young cousins at the hands of Russian soldiers Gisela struggles with guilt. It kills her to have to leave yet another cousin and her elderly grandfather as Russian forces fast approach their home. But for the sake of her cousins two small children it must be done. And so she embarks on a journey that will dramatic consequences. Along the way she teams up with a British soldier and escaped POW, Mitch Edwards;  in order to protect him Gisela poses as his wife. It's an unlikely pairing and a dangerous one but with determination they hope to come through the ordeal alive. After a long string of bad book choices I was thrilled to pick up Daisies are Forever and find it an engrossing tale. Months ago I had enjoyed Snow on the Tulips immensely and had high hopes for Liz Tolsma's latest addition to the series. It was not a disappointment. I really felt that Daisies are Forever was even better than the first book. There was such depth to the story as Ms. Tolsma included the grim realities of war while focusing on individual experiences. This is a book for those with a love for human interest stories. Emotions run high , adventure lurks when you least expect it while love blooms in the most unlikely setting. For those of us who detest viewing the development of stories from the eyes of secondary characters plus the main character don't be put off by that here. It is well done and serves to strengthen personalities. I wouldn't change one thing about this book. If you're bored right now and looking for something to pass the time - get this book. You won't regret it. DISCLAIMER: In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising” we would like to note that we received a hardcopy of “Daises are Forever”  provided by the publishers Thomas Nelson, through booklookbloggers.com in exchange for our honest review. reetchampionbookreviews.wordpress.com

  18. 5 out of 5

    Vera Godley

    No matter how one tells the story of war or the people involved in war, the pen can not describe the horror of it adequately. No matter which side of the conflict is being chronicled, war and its horrors are unspeakable. The stories of World War II usually tell of the brutality of Germany against those deemed unworthy to live. The plan of Hitler to cleanse Germany and produce a pure nation resulted in horrific acts toward those condemned. In Daisies Are Forever, the focus is on the peoples of Ger No matter how one tells the story of war or the people involved in war, the pen can not describe the horror of it adequately. No matter which side of the conflict is being chronicled, war and its horrors are unspeakable. The stories of World War II usually tell of the brutality of Germany against those deemed unworthy to live. The plan of Hitler to cleanse Germany and produce a pure nation resulted in horrific acts toward those condemned. In Daisies Are Forever, the focus is on the peoples of Germany as the war turns in favor of the Allies and against the German war machine. The men, women, and children not involved in the atrocities that made up the war effort of Germany. Their fears. The dangers they faced. The ones who could not flee. The stumbles and falls along the way to flee the sweep of soldiers into their own cities and villages. The hours and days in bomb shelters. The destroyed buildings and lives at the hands of the Allies. This story milks one of our compassion for a people caught in the throes of war – a people for whom we normally would not feel compassion. A people who would have rejoiced in victory had the Allies not defeated them. A people who still, even in the face of invading Allies, believed in their Fuhrer and all that his purification of Germany held. This story is well written and it does show how the ordinary people are caught in the conflict of war. But you can not paint the story of war – especially so brutal, intense, and hugh a war as WWII was – with a gentle, loving brush. War is brutal. The conquering armies of Germany were not gentle as they swept through Europe. So it is difficult to hold compassion for the people of Germany when the tide of war turn in their disfavor. It is difficult but it is not impossible. For forgiveness is of God and from His heart we are able to forgive. I found Daisies Are Forever an interest read but not one that I enjoyed. I could not enjoy a story of such intense emotions, but I could think well of the author and her writing abilities and handling of an intensely conflicting story. I felt she showed a pretty true side of history, but one that none-the-less can be difficult to read. DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy of Daisies Are Forever in exchange for my review. Opinions expressed are solely my own. I was not compensated for this review.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Beth Strand

    “Daisies are Forever” Grabs but Doesn’t Hold the Reader Gisela Cramer was sent to East Germany to keep her safe from the war but the Russians have brought the war to her doorstep, again, and she finds herself running for her life while charged with keeping her two nieces safe. Mitch Edwards has survived most of the war in prison since his capture by the Germans in 1940. His recent escape puts him in danger from all sides. A chance meeting with Gisela forms an unlikely alliance that may blossom in “Daisies are Forever” Grabs but Doesn’t Hold the Reader Gisela Cramer was sent to East Germany to keep her safe from the war but the Russians have brought the war to her doorstep, again, and she finds herself running for her life while charged with keeping her two nieces safe. Mitch Edwards has survived most of the war in prison since his capture by the Germans in 1940. His recent escape puts him in danger from all sides. A chance meeting with Gisela forms an unlikely alliance that may blossom into more…if they can stay alive that long. Unfortunately, while this book has a good, accurate historic ring to it (which it should being based on the life experiences of two real women), it lacks the emotional depth to really grab and hold the reader. The action is interesting but the characters are lacking that spark of “spirit” that would bring them to life on the page. The story is well-conceived and nicely paced but lacks a certain zing that truly great fiction needs. Instead of living the story, we “read about” Gisela and Mitch and, frankly, I had no problem leaving these characters behind at the end of the novel. I would give this one a three. Not bad fiction but not great fiction. This book was provided to me by the publisher for this review. The opinions, however, are entirely my own.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Anne Campbell

    Maybe because I'm partial to World War II, maybe because I prefer romances that aren't "fluffy," or maybe just because it's good writing, but I loved this book. The point of view is different. Most WWII books I've read are from the viewpoint of Americans. In this one, the heroine is German, but Gisela's heart is in California where they had lived in her childhood. Her father had dragged them back to Germany before the war started, determined to fight for the Fatherland. Now she must get her two Maybe because I'm partial to World War II, maybe because I prefer romances that aren't "fluffy," or maybe just because it's good writing, but I loved this book. The point of view is different. Most WWII books I've read are from the viewpoint of Americans. In this one, the heroine is German, but Gisela's heart is in California where they had lived in her childhood. Her father had dragged them back to Germany before the war started, determined to fight for the Fatherland. Now she must get her two young nieces, her neighbor and his two elderly and demented sisters, and herself to Berlin ahead of the Russian troops invading from the east. Her escape is complicated when Mitch, an escaped English prisoner of war, shows up along the way with his atrocious English accent.. In order to keep this man from being turned over to the German army, she says he is her husband. And then another man joins them, this one truly a German officer, Kurt, one who had lost one arm in the war; then a woman, Audra, who has dreams of becoming a Hollywood star. Why does Kurt hang around them, walking with them through dangers and privations?

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mazzou B

    Captivating story. Perfect for young adults. Some of the content is not suitable for younger readers. Good Christian message, interesting story. Very engaging- heart-touching- interesting- historically-accurate- good message- good romance From the first chapter, I was captured by this book. I was instantly drawn into the world of the characters within. This new Christian novel by award-winning author Liz Tolsma takes place in war-torn 1940 Germany. Unusually, this book comes from the perspective o Captivating story. Perfect for young adults. Some of the content is not suitable for younger readers. Good Christian message, interesting story. Very engaging- heart-touching- interesting- historically-accurate- good message- good romance From the first chapter, I was captured by this book. I was instantly drawn into the world of the characters within. This new Christian novel by award-winning author Liz Tolsma takes place in war-torn 1940 Germany. Unusually, this book comes from the perspective of innocent German citizens, terrified by the encroaching Russians. Gisela is of German family but American-born. She is staying at her cousin's home in Germany when news of the Russians impending arrival comes. Gisela takes on the weight of shepherding Ella's two daughters to safety. Thus begins a long, harrowing journey, during which there are welcome- and some not so welcome- additions to their group as well as losses. Quite the exciting read.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Staci

    This second WWII novel by Liz Tolsma tells the story of Gisela, a German and Mitch, an Englishman. The book sheds light on what it was like to be a German when the Russians moved into Germany. Clearly, Mitch was at risk before the Russians arrived. In their charge were two young girls. I've not read any novels of the perspective of a non-Jew German and their experience in Germany. This particular novel was based on two different true stories. Adding to the novel were two sisters with dementia tha This second WWII novel by Liz Tolsma tells the story of Gisela, a German and Mitch, an Englishman. The book sheds light on what it was like to be a German when the Russians moved into Germany. Clearly, Mitch was at risk before the Russians arrived. In their charge were two young girls. I've not read any novels of the perspective of a non-Jew German and their experience in Germany. This particular novel was based on two different true stories. Adding to the novel were two sisters with dementia that were completely clueless about where they were and what was happening around them. Although the writing was a bit stilted at times, I overall enjoyed this novel and recommend it for those that enjoy Historical Fiction.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    FULL REVIEW AT http://www.amydrown.com/daisies-are-f... One reason my author tagline is "Deep-Rooted Fiction (TM)" is that I write stories rooted in real history—stories about real people, real places, real events. As such, I had very high hopes for this World War II story based on the true-life experiences of two of the author’s relatives. And while this book certainly provided a window into an unusual time and place in world history, it failed to live up to all of my expectations. FULL REVIEW AT http://www.amydrown.com/daisies-are-f... One reason my author tagline is "Deep-Rooted Fiction (TM)" is that I write stories rooted in real history—stories about real people, real places, real events. As such, I had very high hopes for this World War II story based on the true-life experiences of two of the author’s relatives. And while this book certainly provided a window into an unusual time and place in world history, it failed to live up to all of my expectations.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Abi

    Whoo. What do I say about this book? I wanted to scream at the injustices people faced and cry at the sorrows that happened in each chapter. I loved this book. This series is one I would recommend greatly.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Raechel Lenore

    Fantastic! Review to come!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    Things were not good in East Prussia in early 1945. The Russian army was advancing towards Germany, and thousands of residents were fleeing for their lives. When a young nurse refuses to leave her ailing grandfather, she entrusts her two small daughters into the care of her cousin Gisela and sends them out into the frozen countryside. Gisela soon finds herself in charge of a motley crew of survivors, trekking towards Berlin in the hope of outrunning the brutal Red Army soldiers. British prisoner Things were not good in East Prussia in early 1945. The Russian army was advancing towards Germany, and thousands of residents were fleeing for their lives. When a young nurse refuses to leave her ailing grandfather, she entrusts her two small daughters into the care of her cousin Gisela and sends them out into the frozen countryside. Gisela soon finds herself in charge of a motley crew of survivors, trekking towards Berlin in the hope of outrunning the brutal Red Army soldiers. British prisoner of war Mitch Edwards has escaped from a holding camp and managed to evade recapture by posing as a wounded SS guard. When his cover is challenged, he's shocked when Gisela steps up and claims him as her husband. Even though her group is traveling in the opposite direction for rejoining the British army, his life depends on staying with Gisela and taking on the identity she has offered him. Two little girls and three elderly people slow down the rate the group is able to travel. Also among their party is an injured Nazi who becomes enamored with Gisela, and a German woman who is believes she can convince Mitch to leave his "wife" and take her to America once the war is over. The internal conflict is just as dangerous as the outside forces. This book was full of the very real struggles and horrors of the end of World War II. I've looked up a lot of the things mentioned while they were fresh in my mind, and found them all to be historically accurate. While not explicit in details, there are mentions of bodies found in rubble after bombings, sexual assault, open hangings with corpses left swinging, etc. There are even dangers of these things touching the characters we come to care about, and because this kind of violence can be triggering for readers, I wouldn't recommend it without a warning. It's not whitewashed history. That being said, it's a story of survival and finding God even in the midst of unspeakable nightmares. Gisela is certain that because of failures in her past that God can never forgive her. Somehow through all the loss and life-threatening moments, she is able to hold onto the Bible and the pressed daisies which her grandparents had tucked between its pages. Could the promises of God's love and watchfulness be true? She tries so hard in her own strength to keep alive those she has claimed responsibility for, but nothing short of God's grace will allow any of them to remain alive through the end of the story. This was a book I didn't want to put down until I finished it. I received my copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own. This review originated at http://reviewsbyerin.dreamwidth.org

  27. 5 out of 5

    Pat

    Daisies Are Forever is set in World War II in Berlin. Gisela was born in California to an American mother & German father. They move to Germany before the war starts. She is sent to relatives to live when the Russians invade Germany. She has to leave due to her cousins being killed She once again has to leave her grandfather and cousin behind. Her cousin sends her two little girls with Gisela to Berlin for safety. One the way she becomes part of a group trying to survive the Allies bombing Germa Daisies Are Forever is set in World War II in Berlin. Gisela was born in California to an American mother & German father. They move to Germany before the war starts. She is sent to relatives to live when the Russians invade Germany. She has to leave due to her cousins being killed She once again has to leave her grandfather and cousin behind. Her cousin sends her two little girls with Gisela to Berlin for safety. One the way she becomes part of a group trying to survive the Allies bombing Germany. Mitch Edwards is an escaped POW. An American who had moved to England and was captured. His German accent definitely won't pass with him wearing a SS uniform. Their travel that should have taken only a few hours takes a lot longer. The train is bombed, crossing a lake the ice breaks and you will have to read to see what else happens. I read this book in one sitting and loved it. There is danger, lost supplies, a toddler found on the side of the road, air raids, bombings, being shot at and all the hardships of trying to survive worn torn Germany. When they think they are finally safe more danger is found. I bought this book at a local bookstore and on the recommendation of another customer. I'm so glad I took her recommendation. The book is well written and even better than Snow on the Daisies. That was the first book I read by Liz Tolsma. You could see the growth in the writing from her previous novel. Her characters had more depth, the plot and storyline was better and I love this book. Highly recommend this book. No one asked me to write this review and all opinions are my own. I definitely will be buying more books by this author.

  28. 4 out of 5

    regan

    3.5* I have VERY mixed feelings about this book. The plot was amazing. There were many twists and turns, there were lots of exciting and interesting events and this book definitely kept me on my feet. I also liked what happened in all these events. None of them really made me angry. The emotion was okay. The author has incredibly good word choice and description but I still didn’t really feel anything while I read this book. Maybe it’s because I couldn’t relate to any of the characters. Speaking 3.5* I have VERY mixed feelings about this book. The plot was amazing. There were many twists and turns, there were lots of exciting and interesting events and this book definitely kept me on my feet. I also liked what happened in all these events. None of them really made me angry. The emotion was okay. The author has incredibly good word choice and description but I still didn’t really feel anything while I read this book. Maybe it’s because I couldn’t relate to any of the characters. Speaking of the characters...some of them are ya described until 100 pages in. So you’re confused about who they are for a whole third of the book. For example, Bettina and Katya. I didn’t know they were old ladies until the book mentioned it. It didn’t say anything about their age, or how Gisela knew them, or anything. Another thing I disliked was the romance. Again, I didn’t feel anything. And it was very slow. Gisela and Mitch only start acting like an actual couple for the last 50 pages. Kind of a bummer. Overall, this book wasn’t bad. It took me a longer time to read because it wasn’t good enough that I couldn’t put it down. The only reason I still kept reading this book is because the plot makes up for all the other bad things. I would still recommend this if you want to read more for the plot rather the emotion and romance!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    I found this book very touching,inspiring and heartbreaking. Truth be told, a 95 year old person has come into my life recently who lived in Berlin during the time of this book. Prior to purchasing this book, totally by chance, she shared with me her early life in Germany - filled with the joys and pleasures of everyday living as each of us shared with friends, family, school experiences etc. Then War was declared, and she lived through the bombings, the loss of family and friends through fighti I found this book very touching,inspiring and heartbreaking. Truth be told, a 95 year old person has come into my life recently who lived in Berlin during the time of this book. Prior to purchasing this book, totally by chance, she shared with me her early life in Germany - filled with the joys and pleasures of everyday living as each of us shared with friends, family, school experiences etc. Then War was declared, and she lived through the bombings, the loss of family and friends through fighting and bombings, the rationing of food and the starvation, the loss of home, the fires and digging through debris looking for people, etc. She also remembers the day the Russians came into Berlin as the allies, looting, raping women and children and the screams, having her father shot in front of her and her mother, etc. She could have written this book and it was almost like I read this touching book through her eyes. The reality that even today we have not learnt anything about love and what hate and greed does to us. Rather than seeing the victors and/or the enemies, can we not center on the destruction, the blood, the pain, the losses, the raping, the looting - the devastating mental and physical effects on both sides of any battle, be it the Ukraine, Afghanistan, where ever. All humans grieve, bleed, suffer ....when will we ever learn.........

  30. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Robb

    This is the story of Gisela Cramer, an American living in eastern Germany with her cousin, during the end of the war. When the Red Army invades, they have to leave their home and travel to Berlin. However, her cousin refuses to leave their grandfather and asks Gisela to take her daughters with her and get them to safety in Berlin. Gisela's journey begins with the two small children and three elderly neighbors. Along the way, she meets Mitchell, a British POW, Kurt and Audra. Over the course of s This is the story of Gisela Cramer, an American living in eastern Germany with her cousin, during the end of the war. When the Red Army invades, they have to leave their home and travel to Berlin. However, her cousin refuses to leave their grandfather and asks Gisela to take her daughters with her and get them to safety in Berlin. Gisela's journey begins with the two small children and three elderly neighbors. Along the way, she meets Mitchell, a British POW, Kurt and Audra. Over the course of several months they stay one step ahead of the Soviet troops as they make their way to Berlin where Gisela's family is. Once they make it to Berlin, the hardships continue. There is also a subplot where Kurt and Audra plot to break up Gisela and Mitchell (Kurt is convinced that he and Gisela should be together).

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