FICTION

Surprise Lily

Holiday House. Oct. 2019. 240p. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780823442645.
COPY ISBN
Gr 4-7–The Lovells have deep roots in their Midwestern family farm, ones that are more tangled than Rose Lovell could have ever guessed. In this story about the challenges a family faces when secrets come to light, Rose struggles to find her own way through the pitfalls of decisions made in the past. Readers are taken on a journey through Rose’s background via a family tree of female relatives that she creates for a school project. Every woman has lived a full life and is a whole person with the flaws to match. Moranville paints wonderfully complete and compelling characters in a richly detailed rural setting. Chapters shift among time and character; the only drawback to this format is that readers don’t have time to get to know each woman before being thrust into the action that results in a thoroughly shaken family tree. The plot starts at a good pace but meanders through Rose’s current experiences with her mother, highlighting her naiveté to a point that readers may find unbelievable. Readers will have to suspend their disbelief and ride out the ending of the story along with Rose, following every twist and turn.
VERDICT A recommended purchase for libraries in need of more realistic fiction.

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