Reviewed by Vera Pereskokova (Luxury Reading)
The Powells’ desperate desire to start a family leads them to early 90’s China, where foreign adoptions are still taboo. Promised a baby, the Powells are instead told that they only child available is a 10-year-old girl, Lilly, the rumored daughter of counterrevolutionaries and the victim of China’s one child policy.
Undeterred, Gloria Powell is convinced that God placed them in Lilly’s path and that she is their child; the couple returns home to Texas with the girl and rename her Joy.
Seven years later, worn out from Joy’s rebellious antics, Powells’ receive a call from Kai, a Boston doctor claiming to be Joy’s sister. Kai arrives eager to see the sister she left at the orphanage many years ago, but also bearing the news that Joy may be suffering from PKD, a hereditary and deadly kidney disease that claimed the life of her birth mother. Can Gloria trust Kai’s intentions, or will the woman’s sudden appearance drive an even bigger wedge between mother and daughter?
Reclaiming Lily, the latest Christian novel from author Patti Lacy, explores the emotional subjects of foreign adoption and the tough reality of fatal kidney disorders. While I could appreciate the intention behind the book and thought the premise was great, I could not truly get invested in the story or the characters. I could have easily put down the book midway and not cared enough to go back and find out how it ended.
In my mind, Lacy’s writing felt forced and did not inspire an attachment to the story that this type of subject matter normally does. There was just too much of everything – overly detailed descriptions, Chinese imagery, etc. – and at times the book read more like a play than a novel. I must note that most reviewers gave Reclaiming Lily glowing praises, so I may be alone in my assessment.
The review copy of this book was provided free of any obligation by Bethany House. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.