The life she was given review

8.14  ·  5,448 ratings  ·  952 reviews
the life she was given review

The Life She Was Given by Ellen Marie Wiseman

From acclaimed author Ellen Marie Wiseman comes a vivid, daring novel about the devastating power of family secrets--beginning in the poignant, lurid world of a Depression-era traveling circus and coming full circle in the transformative 1950s.

On a summer evening in 1931, Lilly Blackwood glimpses circus lights from the grimy window of her attic bedroom. Lilly isnt allowed to explore the meadows around Blackwood Manor. Shes never even ventured beyond her narrow room. Momma insists its for Lillys own protection, that people would be afraid if they saw her. But on this unforgettable night, Lilly is taken outside for the first time--and sold to the circus sideshow.

More than two decades later, nineteen-year-old Julia Blackwood has inherited her parents estate and horse farm. For Julia, home was an unhappy place full of strict rules and forbidden rooms, and she hopes that returning might erase those painful memories. Instead, she becomes immersed in a mystery involving a hidden attic room and photos of circus scenes featuring a striking young girl.

At first, The Barlow Brothers Circus is just another prison for Lilly. But in this rag-tag, sometimes brutal world, Lilly discovers strength, friendship, and a rare affinity for animals. Soon, thanks to elephants Pepper and JoJo and their handler, Cole, Lilly is no longer a sideshow spectacle but the circuss biggest attraction. . .until tragedy and cruelty collide. It will fall to Julia to learn the truth about Lillys fate and her familys shocking betrayal, and find a way to make Blackwood Manor into a place of healing at last.

Moving between Julia and Lillys stories, Ellen Marie Wiseman portrays two extraordinary, very different women in a novel that, while tender and heartbreaking, offers moments of joy and indomitable hope.
File Name: the life she was given
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Published 16.04.2019

The Life She Was Given book review

Desert Isle Keeper

Thank you! The lives of a s circus performer and a s runaway daughter intersect at an upstate New York horse farm. Her hyperreligious mother views Lilly as a monster and a punishment for some undefined sin. Her father visits her and has given her a pet cat, but he does nothing to liberate her. Her enslavement is brutally enforced by Merrick, the embittered sideshow manager. She marries Cole and becomes pregnant.

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This is the reasoning behind why I got this book to begin with. Released on July 25 th , a little over two months ago from my posting of this review , this tells that story of two girls in two different eras—one in the s and the other in the s. In , Lilly Blackwood, an albino who has been locked up her entire life by her parents, is sold by her mother to a circus as a freak. In , Julia Blackwood comes back to Blackwood manor after her mother dies and leaves her the estate. Their two stories intertwine as they both attempt to find happiness, in alternating chapters. Before I start complaining about some of the issues I had with the book, let me just say that I really liked the majority of this story.

The circus becomes both a refuge for Depression-era misfits and a site for additional cruelty. A sumptuous plot balances horror and tenderness to reveal lesser-known facets of history. In the s, Julia, a runaway teen, inherits the family manor and horse farm, where she uncovers lies about her past. Coralline Blackwood is an exacting matriarch who wields the Bible as a weapon. When she decides to get rid of Lilly, whose albinism she calls an abomination, the effect of her fury is manifest in characters who must learn to forget her influence.

Ellen Marie Wiseman. The Life She Was Given , is a dark, brutal portrayal of family life, with a few glimmers of hope shining through when the reader least expects it. She longs to see the circus, but is sure her parents will not permit her to do so. After all, her mother tells her almost daily how frightened people in the outside world would be if they caught even the most fleeting of glimpses of her. Lilly is sold to the circus sideshow. But Lilly is quite resilient, and, over the coming months, she makes a place for herself in the Barlow Brothers traveling circus. Lilly also discovers she has a great affinity for animals, especially elephants.


  1. Munchkin1969 says:

    How to think on your feet under pressure pictures that will make you laugh

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