By Kelly Bridgewater
Book:What I Would Tell You
Author: Liz Tolsma
Genre: Christian Fiction / Romance / Historical Fiction
Release date: January 1, 2023
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What I Would Tell You by Liz Tolsma
features a dual time storyline. I love a good World War II novel that features
a different element of the war. This time around the story in the past takes
place in Greece, which I did not know Hitler's terror reached that far. It was
nice to see the strong heroine, Mathilda as she worked really hard to resist
and fight back against the German soldiers with her words. While she fought, it
really does bring more harm than good. She does make the ultimate sacrifice in
order to ensure the safety of her legacy. While the past heroine is brave, the
present day heroine, Riley Payson, just wants to discover her heritage. Once
she discovers this, it brings more questions to her mother. While the setting
was told that it was in Greece, since I have read a number of World War II
stories that take place all over Europe, this story could have taken place in
any other place. Nothing unique about the setting jumped out to me. As for the
plot, it was nicely handled as a dual time storyline, so as Riley is discovered
the past as we read about the past. It was not really that original. I have
seen this setting and story before. That was the only downfall I found to the
novel. Overall, What I Would Tell You
by Liz Tolsma is an interesting and well-written story that fans of World War
II should read.
I received a complimentary copy of What I Would Tell You by Liz Tolsma through Barbour Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Purchase What I Would Tell You
About the Author
Liz Tolsma is the author of several WWII novels, romantic suspense novels, prairie romance novellas, and an Amish romance. She is a popular speaker and an editor and resides next to a Wisconsin farm field with her husband and their youngest daughter. Her son is a US Marine, and her oldest daughter is a college student. Liz enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping. Please visit her website at www.liztolsma.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter (@LizTolsma), Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. She is also the host of the Christian Historical Fiction Talk podcast.
More from Liz
Take a Trip to Greece with Me
I was privileged to travel to Greece last year to research my upcoming WWII novel, What I Would Tell You. God orchestrated it so beautifully. Because of Covid, we weren’t sure my daughter would be able to travel there for the summer internship she had applied for. Eight weeks before her scheduled departure, Greece reopened to foreign visitors. Around that same time, I sold What I Would Tell You, which is set in Thessaloniki, Greece, to Barbour Publishing. I had to go and visit!
Greece is a beautiful country. The pictures you see don’t do it justice. And to someone like me, the history is one of the best parts. My daughter and I explored the old city wall, built in the 1400s, many churches that predated the Ottoman Empire, and many excavated Roman ruins that have been dug up in the city’s process of putting in a subway system.
Because this is a WWII book, we also spent a great deal of time learning about the history of the Jews in the city. The Kapani Market, just down the street from our apartment, was a vibrant mix of colorful fruits, fragrant spices, and a cacophony of languages. I could well imagine what this old Jewish market was like prior to the war with people hawking olives, fish, and oregano.
We wasted no time in visiting the Jewish museum. I was shocked by the heavy security presence with armed guards outside of the building. Once inside, we had to show our IDs and were required to turn in our phones. Antisemitism is alive and well in Greece. But what a place. There were displays after displays tracing the history of the Jewish people in Thessaloniki from 1492 until WWII. The most breathtaking was the room with stone-covered walls, the names of all 48,000 Salonikan Jews killed in the Holocaust carved into the marble. There’s an entire scene in the book that deals with this room.
What saddened me most was what we saw when we visited the trainyard where the Jews were herded into cattle cars and shipped to Auschwitz. Before we got to where the station once stood, there was a wall on which someone had pained a mural covered with black-and-white figures in their striped uniforms, their eyes and mouths wide in horror. As if that weren’t difficult enough to view, what sickened me was the blue swastikas someone had painted over them.
We also trekked to the other side of the city to visit what had once been the Jewish cemetery, now the grounds of Aristotle University. All that remains to testify that half a million people were once buried here is a small, ill-kept memorial. There were two dead Christmas wreaths placed there. We visited in August.
In addition to a moving and thought-provoking story, I hope to also introduce you to the amazing city of Thessaloniki and give you a peek into the people and the culture of this amazing place. If you ever find yourself in Greece, plan some time in Thessaloniki. Many Americans miss this gem, but it’s packed with charm and history.
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To celebrate her tour, Liz is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e-gift card and copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.