Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Book Review: Finding Lilly by Lisa D. Ellis

Finding Lilly
by Lisa D. Ellis
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing  (January 22, 2013)
180 pages

In this haunting story, Lisa Ellis takes us deep into the heart of a grieving mother accurately depicting the profound nature of grief and the torque that the loss of a child can apply to a marriage, forcing it onto a new trajectory.

The devastating loss of their newborn daughter throws this Jim and Claire into a tailspin as their different grieving styles create a dynamic that deprives each of the other's comfort.  Unable to tolerate her husband's distant impassiveness Claire leaves to grieve alone in the tiny house attached to a lighthouse that she had encountered and fallen in love with as a child.

It was on the beach nearby that she had first encountered and fallen in love with Jim as well.  So it is unsurprising to find her grieving for her daughter all jumbled up with memories of the courtship as Claire wends her way deep into the dark sadness unsure whether she will find her way back, unsure whether she wants to.

Then, whether the result of her intense grief or the rumored mystical powers of the lighthouse, Claire is joined by the tiny ghost of Lilly making the thought of returning home nearly impossible to contemplate.  But now the all-consuming grief is tempered by the companionship of the child and the opportunity to mother her and tell her the story of how she came to be.  In this way Claire feels her way toward clarity about her past, present and future and the meaning of her life, the brief life of Lilly and her love for Lilly's father.

A love story, an ode to motherhood and a ghost story, Finding Lilly is an emotionally wrenching but very rewarding story that will linger in your heart like the spirit of a loved one.

Be sure and check out the rafflecopter giveaway for a copy of Finding Lilly just below the author bio.

From the Publishers:

When her newborn baby Lily dies suddenly, Claire Edwards runs away to live in a lighthouse she had fallen in love with as a young child. The lighthouse is reputed by some to have magical powers, but Claire isn't looking for a miracle. She just wants an escape from her husband Jim's colder way of grieving, and from their apartment filled with the tiny clothes and stuffed animals they had collected over the past few months. But once Claire is situated in the lighthouse, it begins to illuminate things for her in a new way and she's suddenly forced to rethink her views on life, death, and her marriage. 

What they are saying:

"In Finding Lily, Lisa D. Ellis offers up a lyrical--yet practical--first novel that so accurately depicts not only a woman's first love, but her first loss as well.  As the narrator grapples with the death of her infant daughter, Claire slips between the surreal gossamer world of devastating grief and the unknown turf of the inevitable marital discord that accompanies the death of a child--as represented by that  "invisible line in the bed" between Claire and Jim.
Her husband is an attorney, she knows that--but she is still horrified that, even while her "arms still felt the shape of Lily in them," Jim tells her to be "reasonable," saying between forkfuls of homemade cake, "We can have another child soon."

Although she is aware of what she calls "the grateful way he looks at me when he thinks I am asleep," Claire's anger incites her to retreat--alone--to the  lighthouse in the cold of winter.

Her thoughts and feelings about Jim are further clouded when she sees an image of Lily "suspended inches above the frozen sand in the cold air, like a dancer caught at the end of a leap from which she can never land." The real question here is whether Claire's grief--and the apparition of her daughter--will create another loss:  the loss of her marriage.
In the end, Claire must decide whether her ethereal child is more real and permanent than the foundation of her marriage.  In so doing, Claire's journey to the lighthouse resonates with the voices of women everywhere who simply want to love, and to be loved, even within the cold grasp of tragedy.  Like Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse, a novel more concerned with lyrical introspection than predictable plot points, Finding Lily is a must-read for anyone who has ever pondered the vagaries of human existence--as defined by both men and women". -
Karen E. Peterson, Ph.D., author of WRITE: 10 Days to Overcome Writer's Block

"The author's words paint wonderful pictures as I'm reading. Her characters are very believable. I've never suffered the death of a child, but Claire's handling of her grief makes me feel such empathy for her. Lisa Ellis's descriptions make me feel as though I'm right there at the lighthouse with Claire.  If you like fiction that deals with women's issues, then this would be a great book for you! "- EWF, Barnes & Noble Reviewer 

Lisa Ellis is a writer whose short fiction has appeared in a number of literary journals and magazines. FINDING LILY is her first novel. She has a master's degree in journalism from Boston University and provides health content regularly for hospitals and websites in New England and the tri-state area.

Lisa's Website: www.LisaDEllis.com
Lisa D. Ellis on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lisadellisauthor
Lisa D. Ellis on Twitter: https://twitter.com/LisaEllisauthor

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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1 tell me a story:

Teddy Rose 5/22/2013 2:12 PM  

Thanks for taking part in the tour. I'm so glad you enjoyed Finding Lily!

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