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Jan 17, 2023

Split-time novels are some of my favorites, and this year I discovered (and interviewed the authors of) two different World War II books with DNA connections. On the surface, you'd assume they'd be too alike to be interesting, but once you start reading, the similarities compound AND diverge at the same time, leaving inspiring stories that don't feel like a duplicate AT ALL. Listen in to what I loved about Terrie Todd's Lilly's Promise and Liz Tolsma's What I Would Tell You.


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Did You Know Opposites Attract—Even When They're Great Books?

First up was Terrie Todd's Lily's Promise from Episode 190.

In this novel, we meet a young woman whose DNA test and genealogy research leave her with a name she can't place, and when her father starts telling the story... whoa.  Much of the story focuses on the foolishness of decisions, trying to atone for one's own sins, and skewed perceptions. Rich faith elements, finding our true identities, and seeing how the Lord does work good into our lives despite the messes we try to make of it make it one of my top books of 2022... like definitely the top 22. Probably top 5. Here's my GoodReads review.

Next up was Liz Tolsma's What I Would Tell You from Episode 195.

Again, we have a DNA test with unexpected results. Tessa and her cousin, Riley, find that though their grandmothers were supposedly twins... they don't share the right DNA for that. Tessa has Sephardic Jewish DNA, but as far as she knows, she's not Jewish. So... what gives? This sends her across the world to Thessaloniki, Greece and immerses her in a story that helps her discover her true identity, how the Lord will work this good into her life, all her own skewed perceptions and more!

Both books were five-star reads for me, and I highly recommend them. The funny thing is that they are such very different books that I couldn't say which one someone should read first because it's not like, "Oh, this one has more information" or "This one has a better story" or better characters or... or... 

What is just wonderful is seeing how two people seemingly have the same idea for a split-time story and then end up writing such different books that you'd never know they started with the same premise unless you were thinking about it.

You can learn more about Terrie Todd on her website and about Liz Tolsma on hers. Note: Both authors have other split-time novels, so you definitely want to check out their books. I can think of The Silver Suitcase for Terrie Todd and A Promise Engraved for Liz Tolsma.

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