Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Book Review: Lilies in Moonlight by Allison Pittman

Available @
Fishpond AU 
& Amazon
Lilies In Moonlight by Allison Pittman
Multnomah Publishers, 01 April  2011

He’d lost his zest for life. She was just lost. Will they find the healing and love they long for?

After a roaring night on the town, fun-loving flapper Lilly Margolis, dazed and disoriented, twists her ankle and falls into the backyard of a wealthy family where the effects of the Great War—over for more than half a decade—are still endured. Inside the walls of the Burnside mansion, Cullen Burnside, a disillusioned and disfigured veteran, and his widowed mother, Betty Ruth, who daily slips a little further into dementia, lead a lonely existence … until Lilly. Whimsical, light hearted, and beautiful, she rejuvenates their sad, disconnected lives and blossoms in the light of their attention.

But Lilly, like Cullen, is hiding from a painful past. And when Cullen insists on returning her to her faraway home, their budding attraction seems destined to die on the vine. The resulting road trip becomes a journey of self-discovery—but what will Cullen and Lilly find at journey’s end?

A book cover goes a long way to convince me to buy a book. After I salivate at a cover, I turn it over and start reading the blurb. Almost within the first three to four lines, I can tell whether I will walk out of the shop holding the book or not. The cover art of "Lilies in Moonlight" did not spark my interest at all, however I turned it over and hoped it sounded better than it looked. Well I did walk out of the shop with the book after all, so you take a guess! 

This book consumed me, okay, that’s not a fair statement. Most books that I read consume me! Hmm, let me start again. Allison Pittman is a new author to me, so I really didn’t know what to expect. Upon finishing it, I was treated to a deeply moving, often funny story that I could visualize so clearly in my mind as I read every word.

I struggled to like Lilly Margolis. I found her selfish, too flirty, vain and shallow. However, as only a good writer can do, Pittman show’s Lilly’s transformation into a woman learning to forgive, to be forgiven and what her worth in Christ really is. Pittman does this slowly, realistically and genuinely, and all this without removing one bit of Lilly’s zest for life; which bathes everyone in the novel with the bright sunshine of hope, joy and laughter.

That sunshine of hope, joy and laughter is especially needed for Cullen Burnside and his mother - who is falling rapidly into dementia. Cullen, a man disfigured from World War I leads a quiet life, while trying to deal with the daily knowledge that his mother only knows him as her teenage son, not a thirty year old man broken by life. 

Lilly’s arrival brings great joy to Cullen’s mother, Betty Ruth. Betty lavishes love and affection on Lilly, whose been starved of it; having grown up with a legalistic mother. Cullen is not so impressed with the beautiful, flirty flapper. But he sees how good she is for his mother and allows her presence in their lives to continue. As events take them on a pilgrimage of sorts to Pittsburgh, both Lilly and Cullen must face their past. They both come to accept their parts in the paths their lives have taken and learn to forgive themselves and to receive Christ’s ultimate forgiveness.
Allison Pittman really explores the nature of forgiveness and what it means to forgive. Lilly discovers that forgiving her mother does not come naturally at all, but it is something God has commanded her to do and in obeying that command, he will give her the strength to face her past and forgive.

This is a great book with written with care, depth, honesty and some humour tossed in as well!

Favourite quote from "Lilies in Moonlight"
Convince him. Crazy things sound better when they’re coming from the mouth of a pretty girl.

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