Welcome to my stop on the Virtual Author Book Tour for Finding Lily by Lisa D. Ellis
Title: Finding Lily
Author: Lisa D. Ellis
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Published: January 2013
Source: Received in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating: 2 Stars
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.
This review is going to be very short and to the point. There were things that I both enjoyed and didn't like about this book. Let's start with the things I liked.
I really enjoyed some of the imagery in the story. There's one particular scene after a wicked storm on the beach that is described very well and clear to the reader's eye as they navigate through these parts of the story. I also wish that the plot element of Claires' art work had been more developed throughout the story because it was a nice aspect of her character.
I also enjoyed the different elements of the story and how they all came together, like the history of the lighthouse and how it has saved people in the past compared to how it seems to be saving Claire now, or at least helping to cleanse her soul. Claire's attachment to the lighthouse could have been toned down the tiniest bit though, because at one it felt to be bordering on downright obsessive and that got to be a little much after a while.
I also did like the way that Lily's spirit exits the story. I won't say how, because it's more powerful if you read it for yourself, but I did enjoy the metaphor that the event portrayed with her leaving.
That being said, there were a few things I didn't like as well. The main issue I have with the story is the writing style. There is a lot of "telling" rather than showing. It felt like Claire was babbling on at the reader the throughout the book, and so I didn't really get attached to her at all. It was difficult to see her development throughout because I don't feel like we truly get a feeling of who she is as a person.
Another issue I have is the fact that some of the major plot points are just unrealistic, as are some of the smaller details as well. For example, it is said that Lily dies suddenly the day that she's born while she's in Claires' arms. It's written that she dies of a congenital heart defect, which I would think would have been detected by the doctors on previous ultrasounds or within her apgar scores after being born since kids with heart defects would likely have trouble breathing or oxygenating their blood, which would probably cause those scores to be low.
Another example is the whole cat and mouse game Claire play with their relationship. The fact that they went through an off and on relationship for four or five years before he would finally commit just seems a bit ridiculous to me. I completely understand the fear of commitment aspect, but as for a strong main character in Claire, I was let down, because no self respecting woman would put themselves through that kind of rollercoaster for a relationship, no matter how much space a guy needs to work through his feelings/emotions.
Overall, this book just wasn't for me. I couldn't relate to Claire as a character because it felt like she was just telling us every aspect of the book rather than getting to see it truly develop through the story itself. I really wish that some of the elements I had enjoyed, like Claire's artwork had been developed further. I did like the slight twist with Lily's spirit, but that wasn't enough to get me to really enjoy the book. But, I would say that if you are a fan of beach centered stories, or stories with ghosts you might enjoy this one.
***I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. I was in no way compensated for my review.***