Lily's Ghost

Cheryl Drake Harris, Author Delta $13 (244p) ISBN 978-0-385-33933-9
Harris's first novel is a moving, if helter-skelter, story of a doctor's attempts to reintegrate into normal life after a shattering tour of duty during the Vietnam War. Picking up in 1978 in bucolic Maine, ten years after the Tet Offensive Lily Townsend endured as a doctor in Vietnam and which still erupts in memories to torment her. Her outwardly staid life with her husband, Ben, the owner of a dry-cleaners, and their four-year-old son, Jaime, is undermined by a litany of panicked flashbacks and the lingering guilt Lily feels over the crackup of her former lover, Ian, a reporter for Reuters, and the disappearance of their friend, Bao-Long. Back stateside, Lily resists treatment for her post-trauma stress, and Ben grows increasingly concerned about his wife, who prefers to leave off the house lights, breaks out in hives and dives under a car when she hears a sudden sharp noise-putting Jaime in harm's way. Ben's affair with a family friend shocks Lily (""You're not really here,"" he accuses her), and his aggressive attempts to secure custody of their son isolates her. Harris's story is enormously affecting, although the thick layering of Lily's suffering both overwhelms and diffuses the power of this slender, uneven work.
Reviewed on: 06/27/2006
Release date: 06/01/2006
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 162 pages - 978-0-307-42311-5
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