Thursday, May 16, 2013

Finding Lily by Lisa D. Ellis (Review)

Image of Lisa D. EllisFinding Lily

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.

Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing  (January 22, 2013)
Category: Women's Fiction, Relationships, a Dash of Supernatural
Available in: eBook, 180 pages

When Lisa D. Ellis was in the fifth grade, she first fell in love with the rich images and rhythmic language of L.M. Montgomery's ANNE OF GREEN GABLES. This classic book ignited her passion to someday become a professional writer so she could touch other readers in the same way.

Over the years she has written many short stories, most of which have appeared in small literary journals and magazines. FINDING LILY is her first novel and she is now finishing her second novel, THE RASA-LILA. While both of her books are quite different, they both share the common goals of exploring gender style differences that exist within marriages and defining the unique framework that each couple creates in order to be able to peacefully co-exist. Both of her female characters also live more in their own heads than in their bodies, which leads them to cope with the hands that fate deals them in quite unexpected ways.

Lisa has a master's in journalism from Boston University. She lives with her husband, two children and cocker spaniel in a Queen Anne-style Victorian and loves to decorate. She is also obsessed with fashion and when she isn't writing, she can be found hunting for the perfect pieces to add to her generous clothing, shoe and purse collections. Of course she counts this as essential fieldwork to ensure that her characters will always be well dressed!

Lisa Ellis' 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.

Connect with Lisa D. Ellis here:

Praise for Finding Lily:

"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

My Review:

Finding Lily is an amazing book. It is hard to imagine how one might react to the imaginable pain of losing a child. I, myself, would be destroyed. The author brought you to the core of Claire's heartbreak with her words. She crafted a well written story that gave the reader the opportunity to become a close friend of Claire, and as that close friend, allowed the reader to suffer through her loss along with her, as well as her healing. 

I think that God helps us heal in a way that only the person grieving can understand. For Claire, that healing came in the form of isolation and time with her daughter, Lily. Finding Lily is also a story of hope, showing us all that time and love can help in easing the pain and moving forward.

Here are a few quotes from the book. The author brings out the humanness in Claire.

"Then I wept and wept in a new, more violent way that I had so far. The crying scared me with its intensity. My tears were ragged and my breath caught in my chest in painful bursts that threatened to suffocate me, and I wanted to break something or throw something or do something that would release some of the tension, but I couldn't stop crying long enough to figure out what, besides Lily's coming back, would help me to feel better."

"Can I get you anything?" he (Jim) asked, unaware of my growing wrath. "Aunt Gwynn made some of your favorite strudel." He gestured to his plate, as though I could've missed it. How in the world could this man be so untouched by Lily's death to stand here eating? I hadn't been able to eat in a few days even though everyone kept pressing food on me."

"All of my energy was focused on the chase, and that prevented me from seeing what the catch would feel like when-and if-I was successful in my attempt. I wonder if all couples experience a similar paradox in their relationships."

"Even though Jim can't quite pinpoint exactly what it is that made him marry me, I think that it was because I was so nice to him, and so persistent, that eventually he realized his life was empty without me in it. Now, though, some of my niceness has died with Lily, and I'm just struggling to survive in her absence. I don't have the strength or the will to coddle him anymore and deal with his moods..."

Finding Lily can be purchased on Amazon:

Disclaimer/Disclosure. I received a complimentary copy of this book with no obligation for a positive review. No compensation – monetary or in kind – has been obtained for this post. Cover art, book description, and any excerpts are courtesy of the author, publisher, or PR firm.The views, beliefs, and opinions expressed by guest post authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views, beliefs, or opinions of My Life. One Story at a Time. My Life. One Story at a Time. is an advertising affiliate with Amazon, a small fee is earned when purchases are made using the above links.

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1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you enjoyed Finding Lily so much! I loved it!


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