Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Book Review "Lillies in Moonlight" by Allison Pittman

"I envy you.  I wish I could have just come to this house and forgotten about everything I've done.  Everything that's happened to me.  I guess that's been your gift to me.  You...you seem like you love me, no matter what, Without question."

Betty Ruth reached out and patted her leg.  "Don't lose sight of where that kind of loves comes from.  That is how Jesus Himself loves you.  When you are His child, and you open your heart to accept that He has forgiven you, He sees you through eyes of love, and He restores you back to that place of perfection.  Pure perfection."

Lily looked down at the tiny hand on her knee and covered it with her own.  "That's what Mama always said.  That I needed to beg Jesus to forgive me.  That I could never be a child of God with so much darkness in my soul."

"Land sakes, child.  There's no begging to be done.  Forgiveness is for the asking, but most of all, for the accepting.  Sin wounds us, but Jesus heals us.  We're clean in His eyes.  The scars are in ours."

Wow---those are some pretty powerful words.  A beautiful description of the pain that sin causes us and the healing power of forgiveness.  Sometimes our pasts are painful because of things we have done or because of things that were done to us.  Sometimes we struggle with the gift of forgiveness that God gives us.  Scars are painful well past their healing. 

Alison Pittman, wrote these words in "Lillies in Moonlight".  The story takes place in the mid 1920s.  The historical Christian romance centers around Lilly Margolis and Cullen Burnside.  Lilly is a beautiful young woman that has made some poor choices.  She's a flapper that knows how to use her body and beauty for her benefit.  She enters the story as a door-to-door sales girl for Dalliance Cosmetics.  Cullen, is a wealthy, disfigured war veteran. 

I am a huge fan of historical fiction.  I have mentioned many times how I love to get "lost" in a time period and how a good book takes me from our present time to the past.  "Lillies in Moonlight" didn't disappoint.  Within a few pages, I felt completely entranced in the 1920s. 

The great thing about this novel is that as with most Christin romance stories, there are usually two stories going on.  There is usually someone in need of God's redemption and there is a romance.  Lilly is in need of learning to forgive----both her mother and herself.  She is in need of finding God in a personal way and turning her life over to Him.  Cullen, is battling with having a mother with a mental illness and the death of his father.  His father's death left him with unresolved issues that he needs to work through.  He needs to feel loved and accepted, despite the fact that he is disfigured from the war.  As expected, the two main characters find love with each other, but most importantly they find the REAL love they are both searching for----FINALLY in the right direction! 

I absolutely loved the story line and it made for a great summer read.  Because I read so quickly, I was finished with the 340 page book in just about two hours.  I enjoyed it so much that I read it cover to cover in one sitting. 

Because I'm expected to leave an honest review, I will say there were a couple of disappointing points for me.  One, the mother's vision in the story was treated as part of her craziness.  I would have rather seen at least some points of someone treating it as God communicating with her.  Even when her vision came to be true in some ways, I think it was somewhat brushed away.   Secondly, I think the book ended too soon.  I love how the story ended, but it left me with too many questions and too many unresolved issues.  Though the story was about the two main characters finding love and acceptance in each other, so much more of the story was about forgiveness and relationships with their parents.  I felt the entire book was about the relationship with Lilly and her mother and it was quickly wrapped up in just a few pages.  That was disappointing. 

All in all, if you are in search of a summer read that leaves you feeling great about God's redemption, that draws you into a historical time period, and than explores a budding romance between two individuals with "flaws"----"Lillies in Moonlight" is a great one!

*Disclaimer:  This book was provided to me by WaterBrook Multonomah in exchange for my review.  My opinions are my own and are truthfully based on my impressions of the book.*

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