The Life She Was Given

Ellen Marie Wiseman. Kensington, $15 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-61773-449-6
Wiseman alternates between 1930s and 1950s New York State in this emotional tale of one young girl’s tragedy and another’s coming of age. At Blackwood Manor Horse Farm in 1930s New York, nine-year-old Lilly Blackwood bemoans the fact that her mother won’t let her out of her attic room. She wants to visit the local circus, which she can see with her telescope. Instead, her mother sells her to the circus because of Lilly’s albinism. The narrative jumps ahead to the 1950s, when 18-year-old runaway Julia Blackwood learns that she has inherited Blackwood Manor in the wake of her parents’ death. Back in the 1930s, as Lilly grows up in the circus, she makes friends with some other members of the troupe. And in the 1950s, as Julia learns how to run the horse farm, she tries to uncover the secret of the manor’s attic room and the old pictures of a mysterious girl who was a member of a circus. Wiseman has created two equally enticing story lines that gradually reveal the commonalities between them. This well-crafted novel provides rewards throughout. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/12/2017
Release date: 07/25/2017
Genre: Fiction
Library Binding - 500 pages - 978-1-68324-503-2
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