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.
Rating: ✰✰✰ (3 out of 5 stars)
Gisela Cramer is an American living in East Prussia with her sickly grandfather and cousin Ella in 1945. The fall of Hitler’s Germany is imminent and the German people await the brutal Red Army’s advances. Ella convinces Gisela to flee from the invasion along with Ella’s two young daughters, Annelies and Renate, and her three elderly neighbors. Along the way, Gisela adds even more people to their odd group—one of whom is British soldier and escaped POW Mitch Edwards. Even knowing the danger, Gisela’s kind heart won’t allow her to leave the British man in trouble behind…so they pretend to be husband and wife in order to survive. Will they be found out? And will their makeshift family turn into something real?
Daisies are Forever starts off wonderfully. I was immediately captured by the characters, unique setting, and rich history. This story of love amidst chaos was powerful. Gisela had a heart of gold. Mitch was immediately likable and had me rooting for them from the very start. However, as good as the book started it just didn’t quite continue. It slows down around the middle and as much as I wanted to I didn’t connect with the characters. That’s not to say this book didn’t have a great, original story—because it did. I haven’t read many books from a German-American’s point of view during World War II. This book enables readers to to glimpse the ghastly consequences of war—on both sides. Whether it was from the Nazi’s, Russians, Allies, or whomever; the sad reality is that no one truly wins in war. It also had a great message. Gisela comes to realize that she can’t save everyone—only God can save us all. I also thought it was very neat that the book is inspired by the true stories of two woman—one of whom is the author’s grandmother!
With it’s promising start and unique story, this book had the potential to be great. And while it may have fallen flat for me, I still enjoyed the story and will tune in to the author’s next book Snow on the Tulips. If you like reading WWII historical fiction, I recommend you try Daisies are Forever for a different, enjoyable read.
**I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts are entirely my own.
“. . . compelling and fast-paced tale about the atrocities and tremendous losses. . . .” —Library Journal
“Excellent storytelling, accurate historical reporting and gritty, persevering characters make this WWII-era novel a must-read.” —CBA Retailers + Resources
- A Kindle Fire HDX
- Daisies are Forever by Liz Tolsma