Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Book Review: Remember the Lilies
Remember the Lilies is set in an internment camp in the Philippines during the last years of World War II. Readers meet Irene Reynolds and Rand Sterling the two protagonists of the novel. Rand is a former nightclub owner with a less than pristine past. Irene is a missionary; she was raised by her missionary aunt after being abandoned first by her mother, then by her father. When the novel opens, Rand is preparing a daring escape. His motivation is that he feels he really needs to go see the person who is his father figure. He's learned that this person is very sick, and, in fact could be dying. Irene works at the censor's office. Her message to Rand was missing vital information. When she realizes that, she rushes to find him and warn him that his escape will surely fail if he attempts it that night as planned. But. She arrives just a tiny bit too late. In time to see it fail in front of her eyes. She knows that he'll be tortured and/or executed.
Weeks later, she's surprised to see that he survived the torture. The two will come together--as friends, especially at first--throughout the novel. Their stories become more and more connected. Readers meet other characters, of course. And the novel is more than just a romance. The setting is a difficult one. It isn't every reader who wants to spend time in prison/internment camps, who wants to read of hunger and starvation, of cruelty and torture, of attempted rape and brutal beatings.
Did I "enjoy" this one? Yes and no. Of course, I didn't enjoy reading about torture. But at the same time, I found it engaging and compelling. I wanted to know what happened. I cared about the characters.
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible