Sunday, July 18, 2021

Rose Among Thornes

 Title: Rose Among Thornes

Author: Terrie Todd

Publisher: Heritage Beacon

Genre: Historical Fiction, World War II, Christian Fiction,

My review:

Terrie Todd weaves a story of racism, war, love, forgiveness, heartache, friendship, hope, and sacrifice. The story begins in 1941 with Rose and her friend Frieda as typical teenagers headed to the movies. The book spans five years, with an update from Tim in an epilogue.

 "His church was filled with white faces like his own. Now God was broadening his horizons, literally and figuratively, and opening his eyes to the differences and similarities of people."

Rose Among Thornes is expertly crafted with a story line that draws the reader immediately into the story. The characters are relatable and have real struggles, ones that we cannot even imagine. The plot flows smoothly and the story comes to a satisfying end. Once I finished the story I got the title of the book and it is perfectly suited for the story. Rose Among Thornes gives the reader excellent insight into what the Japanese suffered in World War II. The story is incredibly well researched and poignant. 

"If the harshest ordeals faced by Rusty and his fellow prisoners seem too horrible to be true, I assure you that I held back in many instances for the sake of my readers' sensitivities."

Even though the author toned down the horrors that Rusty and his fellow prisoners suffered, they were still hard to read at times, as well as another tragedy that happened in the story. There was only one thing I did not like about the story and that was something that cannot be mentioned because of a spoiler. However, it is more me not liking what the author did in the story line than something too awful to read.

This is a powerful and enlightening read. I learned a lot from it and see issues that were faced in the story still being faced today. Maybe not exactly the same way, but in ways that showcase that we still need to learn from history. I appreciate the depth of the story and the way that faith was weaved throughout. 

I found this book to be a quick read and one that I did not want to put down to do other things. I would highly recommend this story to fans of historical fiction, especially history centered around World War 2. 

I received an e-copy of this book from the author for the sole purpose of an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.


Synopsis (from Goodreads): 

Forgiveness is the deadliest force on earth.

War might be raging overseas, but Rose Onishi is on track to fulfill her lifelong goal of becoming a concert pianist. When forced by her government to leave her beloved home in Vancouver and move to the Canadian prairie to work on the Thornes' sugar beet farm, her dream fades to match the black dirt staining her callused hands. Though the Thorne family is kind, life is unbearably lonely. In hopes that it might win her the chance to play their piano, Rose agrees to write letters to their soldier son.

When Rusty Thorne joins the Canadian Army, he never imagines becoming a Japanese prisoner of war. Inside the camp, the faith his parents instilled is tested like never before. Though he begs God to help him not hate his brutal captors, Rusty can no longer even hear the Japanese language without revulsion. Only his rare letters from home sustain him especially the brilliant notes from his mother's charming helper, which the girl signs simply as Rose.

Will Rusty survive the war only to encounter the Japanese on his own doorstep? Can Rose overcome betrayal and open her heart? Or will the truth destroy the fragile bond their letters created?

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