Snow on the Tulips by Liz Tolsma is a novel about a true story taking place in the Netherlands during World War II. This story tells of the Kooistra family during the closing days of the war. The Dutch police were working closely with the Gestapo trying to round up and kill any Jews or Dutch Resistant’s who were still fighting against the Germans. The Germans were also regularly rounding up any men or boys still hiding in the homes to fight on the front lines in the rapidly losing battles of 1945. Cornelia was living at home taking care of her little brother, Johan, who was 20 and in hiding from the Gestapo. Cornelia’s husband, Hans, had died 4 years ago on their wedding night the first day of the war fighting with the poorly armed Dutch army against the Germans and she bitterly mourned his passing every day. Her sister Anki lived nearby with her husband. All are Christian but Anki’s husband, Piet, was the most staunchly literal in his beliefs but was openly able to live in the home because of his job working on the farm to provide for the army’s food. Cornelia has her hands full trying to keep Johan in the house because he so wants to join the Resistance and fight for their freedom from the Germans. In the opening chapter Gerrit, a Dutch Resister is on the wrong side of a firing squad and Johan hears him moaning from his wounds and brings him into the home to be healed by Cornelia and Anki, who happens to be a nurse. Anki is forced to lie to Piet in order to protect the family and Gerrit because she knows that Piet would not lie for any purpose. This brings the Kooistra family into the beginnings of working in the Resistance for Netherland’s freedom.
I know I read a lot of books and like a lot of what I read but I really love this book. It is a page turner that is difficult to put down. Some really good books force the reader to read several chapters in order to introduce the characters and get the reader into the book but this book grabs the reader in the very first chapter. This book tells the story of the waning days of the liberation of the Netherlands by the Allied forces lead by the Canadians. It tells of the terror of the Dutch citizens living under German rule during the war. The story brings out how difficult it is just to live a Christian life while there is a war going on in the country in which you live and the difficult decisions that daily life forces you to make. Is it ok to lie in order to protect your family? Is it ok to steal in order to feed your family? Who is my family, my brother or sister? So many blessings that we take for granted today were difficult decisions during the German occupation of the Dutch in the 1940s. This book can be read by older children (at least Middle School age) and should be read by all adults.
I received this book from Booksneeze for this review.