Flappers, Forgiveness and Baseball
Since my last review for Waterbrook/Multnomah, the rating system on their website was cleared, since certain members of the program were trying to game the system. This is good news, because it means that those who were being dishonest are out of the program, but it also means that all rating of my previous reviews have been deleted. If you’ve rated my reviews in the past, I would greatly appreciate your rating them again (you can use this link) even if you haven’t rated before, I greatly appreciate your support for this and other reviews. Thanks very much. And without further ado, my review of Lillies in Moonlight by Allison Pittman.
This is a book about a girl named Lilly (a flapper), a woman named Betty Ruth (an elderly woman suffering from dementia) and her son Cullen (a veteran who suffered war injuries and ex-major league baseball player). These characters come together through a chance encounter and quickly learn more about themselves, and each other.
One of the things that really charmed me about this book was the chapter headings, all the sudden I felt a little like I was in Thoroughly Modern Millie (one of my favorite flapper films, starring Julie Andrews). They read like the dialogue in a silent movie, perfect for the turbulent 20’s in which this novel is set.
This is a time period which I find fascinating, and for that reason alone I was drawn to this novel. I am never happier than when I am watching Nick and Nora fight crime while drinking a dry martini or Julie Andrews dance her way up the floors in a faulty elevator, wearing a drop waisted gown.
This was a pleasant book, but it didn’t grab me. There were bits and pieces that I enjoyed, the concept was interesting and fresh, but I simply would not be drawn in. However, I did find great connection with several minor characters throughout the book. The story focuses on three main characters for the majority of the book, only bringing Lilly, the female lead, into focus and context near the end of the novel. Only then did I begin to understand and appreciate her character instead of wondering where she was coming from constantly.
As a writer, I know that it is a difficult feat to balance knowing and recording the thoughts of two characters. I thought that Allison Pittman managed this well (with Lilly and Cullen). I always felt that I knew who was “thinking” and had a sense of the place that was their mind, even their world, based on the words that they used.
Although this wasn’t my favorite book that I’ve reviewed for Waterbrook/Multnomah, I do think that it would make a perfectly decent vacation read. The story was fast-paced enough (especially as you near the conclusion) to keep the pages turning. If you’re interested in the 1920’s, so much the better.
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I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.