Monday, April 13, 2020

Surprise Lily by Sharelle Byars Moranville - ADVISABLE

Surprise Lily by Sharelle Byars Moranville, 240 pages. Holiday House. 231 pages, 2019.  $16.

Language: G (0 swears); Mature Content PG; Violence: G



Ten-year old Rose is happy growing up on the farm and taking care of her calf and living with her grandmother, Ama.  But family secrets have a way of revealing themselves, and much to Rose’s dismay, her absentee mother suddenly shows up in her life.  Told in alternating chapters from different women in Rose’s family tree, Rose’s familiar life is upended as she discovers more about her family. 

A story about family struggles and the imperfections that make family what it is, this story reminds us of the importance of knowing who you are.  While beautifully written, I wish the mental illness would have been explained more fully, and that some of the characters would have made a repeat entry. Rose’s family tree may be messed up, but it shows that family ties run deep.

Michelle in the Middle

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