A Picture of Hope by author Liz Tolsma is part of Barbour Publishing’s Heroines of WWII Series.This was a Christian historical fiction and very unique captivating tale about an incident from WWII. I have never read a story like this even though I have seen movies and read other books about WWII. This heartfelt story will stay with readers long after finishing this exceptional book. It is a fictionalization of real events and actual people.
This phenomenal book tells the story of Nellie Wilkerson, a photo journalist from Chicago, who finds her way to Nazi occupied France in 1944. It is also about Jean-Paul, whose mother is French and father a Nazi. Jean-Paul is part of the French resistance and allows Nellie to join him as he searches for other members of his team. They find a young Mongoloid girl and decide to take her to a convent for shelter.
Author Tolsma has done an exemplary job of research for this project. With her skilled hand she took me to 1944 war torn France and taught me things I never knew about this horrific time. I loved some of the secondary characters. I hated how unbelievably cruel the Nazis were.
This was a suspenseful story that made my heart race at times. It is such an amazing book that I do not even want to tell much of the story. Touching, heart wrenching, riveting, adventure, romance, inspirational, and suspense are just a few words to describe this epic novel. I had trouble absorbing it at times, but I could not put it down. Thoughts of it are still swirling around in my head.
I definitely recommend this book. Anyone that is interested in WWII will be thrilled to find this gem. It is so unusual that a reading group will chat away for hours and still have more to discuss. There are a few parts difficult to read, but they are mild compared to other accounts. I rate this 5 out of 5 stars. A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit but these are my honest words.
About the Book
Book: A Picture of Hope
Author: Liz Tolsma
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction
Release date: October, 2021
A Photojournalist Risks Her Life to Save Children
Full of intrigue, adventure, and romance, this new series celebrates the unsung heroes—the heroines of WWII.
Journalist Nellie Wilkerson has spent the bulk of the war in London, photographing pilots taking off and landing—and she’s bored. She jumps at the chance to go to France, where the Allied forces recently landed. She enlists Jean-Paul Breslau of the French underground to take her to the frontlines. On the journey, they come upon an orphanage where nuns shelter children with disabilities. Can they help save them before the Nazis come to liquidate it?
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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 http://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
Why Another WWII Novel Set in France
You may well read the back cover of my latest release, A Picture of Hope, and wonder why on earth we need another WWII novel set in France. After all, Kristy Cambron just had one. Melanie Dobson and Sarah Sundin will be coming out with theirs in 2022. So why did I feel the need to write my novel with the same setting?
First of all, I’m a Francophile. I love all things French. It started when I took French in high school. Everyone else was learning Spanish, but I wasn’t into being part of the crowd. There were only a few of us in the class, and it was great fun. We had a wonderful teacher. Being able to pull out some of that French, refine it a bit, and use it in the book was a blast. But I also love French food (who doesn’t?) and everything else.
Secondly, I hadn’t written about France before. When I wrote this proposal at least five or six years ago, I didn’t know France would be so hot. God did, and the book came about in His perfect timing. I’d explored the Netherlands, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and the Philippines. Such a shame that I was leaving out France, so I set about to write a novel located in that country.
Thirdly, there was so much good material to pull from. The French resistance, while small, did good work and sacrificed a great deal to get Jews out of the country and into Switzerland or Spain. The books that Kristy, Melanie, Sarah, and I write are all so different. Only the setting is the same. And when I found out that the famous mime Marcel Marceau was part of the resistance, I couldn’t help but giving him a cameo. Be on the lookout!
Along the way, I discovered some truly heartrending incidents that took place in France. They also compelled me to write this book. I long for the world to remember what happened so that we will never forget. And so that the atrocities committed there will never be repeated.
Fourthly, this was originally the third book in a series. Don’t worry – it’s a stand-alone. Maybe someday I’ll get to publish the other two. The women in the series are all American journalists in Europe. One is a reporter, the other is a broadcaster, and so I decided to make Nellie, the heroine in A Picture of Hope, a photojournalist. And where better to take pictures than on Omaha Beach soon after D-day. How she gets there is based on a very interesting true story, so be sure to read to the end for that one.
There are so many stories about WWII to be told and so many countries that participated in the conflict in one way or the other. The ground is so rich that we aren’t plowing the same parcel. You’ll find all of these books to be very different from each other, each with its own message, its own voice, and its own plot.
The focus in my book is on children with Down syndrome. I have a background in special education, and my husband and I adopted a child from the Philippines with an intellectual disability, so I’ve always had a heart for people with special needs. My daughter brings us so much joy that I wanted to share a glimpse into what these remarkable people are truly capable of.
So that is why I wrote a WWII novel set in France. Make yourself a cup of café au lait, butter up a croissant, and enjoy A Picture of Hope!
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To celebrate her tour, Liz is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and copy of A Picture of Hope!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.