A Lily in the Light
by Kristin Fields
What is it about:
A harrowing debut novel of a tragic disappearance and one sister’s journey through the trauma that has shaped her life.
For eleven-year-old Esme, ballet is everything—until her four-year-old sister, Lily, vanishes without a trace and nothing is certain anymore. People Esme has known her whole life suddenly become suspects, each new one hitting closer to home than the last.
Unable to cope, Esme escapes the nightmare that is her new reality when she receives an invitation to join an elite ballet academy in San Francisco. Desperate to leave behind her chaotic, broken family and the mystery surrounding Lily’s disappearance, Esme accepts.
Eight years later, Esme is up for her big break: her first principal role in Paris. But a call from her older sister shatters the protective world she has built for herself, forcing her to revisit the tragedy she’s run from for so long. Will her family finally have the answers they’ve been waiting for? And can Esme confront the pain that shaped her childhood, or will the darkness follow her into the spotlight?
What did I think of it:
I wanted to challenge myself to read more Contemporary/Women's Fiction, so I joined an online book club lead by Kerry Anne King. Our first monthly read was A Lily in the Light.
And this a good read.
I will confess I loved the first part of the book the most. It deals with Lily disappearing and how Esme and the rest of her family cope. I must say the family is a dysfunctional one in my eyes, even before Lily disappears. Esme had too much responsibility for an eleven year old, in my opinion, and the dysfunction only became more clear after Lily disappears. Still I loved tiny adult Esme, and rooted for her to be able to overcome her problems and to pursue her dreams.
Then the story skips several years and it became harder for me to connect with it. I think it's because little information is given about how Esme and her siblings dealt in the years between. There was a disconnect for me between how they were and are now. Also the relationship between Esme and a friend felt forced because I didn't get to see how they became friends and what shape that friendship had before we reached the present day where the story takes place.
That aside (and maybe it isn't even an aside, maybe living without a sibling and not having answers to what happened to them causes a disconnect like this), I enjoyed this read. It wasn't as heart wrenching as Whisper Me This
(my previous Contemporary Fiction read), but still I was invested in little Esme and seeing her become a happy adult.
The ending was a bit too contemplative for me, but overall this was a really nice read. I will keep an eye out for what book will be picked next in the book club.
Why should you read it:
It's enjoyable Contemporary/Women's Fiction