I enjoyed this novel that is sort of of a coming of age story of a young southern woman. It also explored the themes of spousal abuse, divorce, and restoration.
Lily Rose had an idyllic childhood in the south. Her father doted on her and she glowed under his attention. But then he died when she was sixteen and her life was in shambles. A handsome man promised the attention she craved. His facade soon fell to pieces, as did the marriage. Abused and broken hearted, Lily Rose has a decision to make.
Lily Rose is an interesting young woman. She is naive and is forced to face a situation she never dreamed of. I was disappointed in her character growth. She is able to make a difficult decision and escape the harmful marriage but it was really others who saw her through to a better life. Even at the end of the novel I did not think Lily Rose was a mature character. She still needed the strong support of others.
Although there was no discussion guide included in this book there would be much to discuss. One topic is spousal abuse and how it relates to divorce. Lily Rose has a brother who thinks divorce is never allowed according to Scripture. Considering Lily Rose's situation, that would make for some lively discussion.
Another topic for discussion would include honesty. Lily Rose is less than honest about her situation when she lands in a safe place. When a man shows interest in her, she does not tell him she is married. I lost some respect for Lily Rose, especially when she allowed the man's interest to continue.
The plot is perhaps a bit predictable. There is a little suspense as we anticipate the abusing husband finding out where Lily Rose has escaped to. How that aspect of the plot worked its way out to a resolution I thought was a bit unrealistic.
In general, I enjoyed the book. I recommend it to those who like a novel taking place in the south a generation ago. You'll be entertained and given some weighty subjects to think about.
I'm taking place in a blog tour of this book. You can read other reviews here.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Rose Chandler Johnson has had her devotions, poems, and articles appear in numerous Christian publications. She has worked as a counselor, librarian, ESOL teacher, and for the last twenty years has been a French and English teacher. She is from a small Georgia town and now lives near Augusta, Georgia. This is her first novel. You can read her blog at http://writemomentswithgod.blogspot.com/.
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 314 pages. You can purchase a copy here.
I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Litfuse for the purpose of an independent and honest review.