1st Books Library, 2003. ISBN 1403392692.
Reviewed by Doris Anne Roop-Benner
Posted on 09/10/2003
Lily is a woman who "has it all"—wealth with all the trappings, a loving relationship with her only child, and a tolerable relationship with all the other people in her family. But she is brought to her knees when a series of events threatens her well-ordered life.
Although she is a strong person, Lily carries around lots of secrets. In a very short period of time, she becomes emotionally bankrupt. Her first love (a boyhood pal of her husband) comes back to town and shakes up her life; her daughter is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness; her brother starts questioning his vocation; her husband becomes increasingly distant; and her mother tries to become more aggressive about being in charge.
Lily's new/old lover is pressuring her to decide whether or not to leave her husband. At the same time, her daughter decides to take charge of her illness, not wanting the rest of her short life to be about dying. She wants to learn how to live, face her secrets, and reach into the deep recesses of herself to find the answers for taking care of her unfinished business. And she wants Lily to do the same. This will affect all the characters.
Torn between all these people who need her, Lily suffers highs and lows and reacts like most women. She tries to satisfy them all.
This story has become one of my favorites because the people are so real—what they say and do, and what they don't say or do. It reminds me of people I know and love. I didn't want the story to end.
Marilyn Stuart was born and raised in Chicago. She has four daughters. Lily is her first novel, and it garnered a prize at the Southeastern Writers Association. Stuart presently resides in Central Florida and reigns over two local chapters of the 'Red Hat Society'. She welcomes hearing from her readers via email.
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