Monday, November 21, 2011
Review of Reclaiming Lily
When family tensions tighten as Lily becomes more and more rebellious, Gloria Powell, the shy wife of a pastor and Lily's mother, decides that Kai would only tear up what little control her seventeen-year-old daughter has left. Different cultures and opinions collide as Kai and the Powells are forced to face the possibility of a terrible disease. Will Kai and Gloria be able to reconcile and do what is best for Lily?
Wow. I love books that inspire and educate. I chose to read this book due to my interest in the medical aspect, but I got so much more than that. As Kai and her sister are from China, we get glimpses into their pasts and their cultural background. Reading Kai's perspective of events from her past brought very clear pictures to my mind. The author masterfully describes Kai's experiences in a way that readers understand but also learn from. The prose style and word choices beautifully describe Kai's culture, and I really appreciate that. I also loved the character of Kai. Her way of thinking and expressing her thoughts was definitely unique but poignant in its own way. I especially loved the quotes from Kai's mentor in dealing with patients. The medical aspect of this book was one of the biggest perks of this book. I love medicine, and my recent studies have been about genetic disorders, the ethics involved, and how they may be treated. It is very obvious the author put a lot of work into this book to make it was realistic as possible. This book covered many issues well, and I really enjoyed reading it.
To be honest, the first few chapters of this book were confusing. I had a hard time getting into it, but I was so glad I did by the end of the book. The beginning of the novel jumps right in with the story of Kai, and the terminology used is somewhat too abrupt for a reader to understand. Kai's mindset is of a different culture, so it was easy to get lost in the beginning. However, as the story progressed, I became more interested in the characters and began to invest my attention into what would happen. The story was lovely, but I believe it could have been even better if the beginning was polished a bit and made more attention-grabbing for readers. Also, there was a backstory of Gloria having a hard past due to her father's unfaithfulness to her mother. It did explain her motives and reactions to things that came up, but there didn't seem to really be any full-on confrontation of the issue. It left me wanting that closure, which I never really got. Finally, I would say I recommend this book to readers in their late teens and up. This book does address some very weighty topics. Some things to be aware of is that a character steals inappropriate things (and is later given the appropriate punishment), some of the medical-related scenes may be uncomfortable to sensitive readers, and one of my biggest pet peeves of a book, strongly hinting at the physical relationship between a husband and wife. Yes, it's perfectly natural and right, but I don't like it when that aspect is given time in books.
All in all, I rate his book four out of five stars.
Specifics (from amazon.com):
~Paperback: 380 pages
~Publisher: Bethany House (October 1, 2011)
Note: Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a free copy of this book for reviewing purposes.