Book Review: Reclaiming Lily

11 Jan

A storm the size of Texas brews when Gloria Powell and Kai Chang meet in a Ft. Worth hotel. They have come to discuss the future of Lily, the daughter Gloria adopted from China and the sister Kai hopes to reclaim. Kai is a doctor who had to give up her little sister during the Cultural Revolution and has since discovered that an inherited genetic defect may be waiting to fatally strike Lily.

Gloria’s relationship with her daughter is tattered and strained, and the arrival of Kai, despite the woman’s apparent good intentions, makes Gloria fearful. Gloria longs to restore her relationship with Lily, but in the wake of this potentially devastating diagnosis, is Kai an answer to prayer–or will her arrival force Gloria to sacrifice more than she ever imagined?


Patti Lacy graduated from Baylor University with a BS in education and completed master’s-level courses in English at Indiana State University. She taught at Heartland Community College until May 2006, when she resigned to pursue her passion of writing. The author of three previous novels, Patti is the mother of two grown children and lives with her husband in Normal, Illinois.

My Impressions:

Wow, what a wonderful story!  Reclaiming Lily by Patti Lacy is sure to be on my best of the best list for 2012!  Lacy’s latest novel is a complex study in western and eastern cultures, teenager turmoil and the life and death struggle of a serious disease. Sounds like a lot is going on, right?  There is, but Lacy deftly weaves all the elements into an unputdownable read.

Joy Powell is a very troubled teenager.  Brought to the United States from China by her adoptive parents, Joy has struggled with her identity and the prejudice of others almost from the start.  Her parents, Gloria and Andrew are clueless as to how to help her.  Enter a previously unknown sister, Kai, who brings some potentially devastating news about Joy’s Chinese family’s health history.  Kai long ago vowed to reclaim Joy/Lily for the Chang family and has worked hard to get to the point to do it.

Reclaiming Lily was difficult at first to read.  There are major differences between western and eastern cultures that Lacy presents.  It was hard to connect with Kai and her very Chinese way of looking at things.  Then there is the character of Gloria — an overprotective mother determined to do the right thing, but failing miserably.  And Joy/Lily is the teenager every parent fears.  But as the story unfolded, the characters became so real and believable.  And the story of reclamation, new starts and new life is beautifully profound.

Reclaiming Lily is simply a wonderful story.  You need to read it!

Highly Recommended.

(I received Reclaiming Lily from Bethany House Publishers in return for a review.  The opinions expressed are mine alone.)