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Lily's Odyssey Paperback – January 29, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: All Things That Matter Press (January 29, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984098453
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984098453
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,738,872 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Carol Smallwood has appeared in English Journal, Michigan Feminist Studies, The Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine, Journal of Formal Poetry, Mobius: The Journal of Social Change, The Writer's Chronicle, The Detroit News, and anthologies. The Published Librarian: Successful Professional and Personal Writing by the American Library Association, is her 19th book. She's in Who's Who in America; in Best New Writing 2009; Eric Hoffer Award Short List.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Story Circle Book Reviews on July 5, 2010
Format: Paperback
It's been a long time since I have so reluctantly put down a book upon completion, not simply because the story was so compelling but also the writing. Opening the pages of Lily's Odyssey has been a sacred activity that I have mindfully measured out in small, savored doses.

A lily is a symbol of purity while an odyssey, when we think of Odysseus, is a heroic journey accompanied by the gods. As we accompany Lily through the decades of her journey--childhood, marriage, motherhood, divorce, grandmotherhood--we find her an endearing representative of this passage of countless contemporary women, who are largely unaccompanied by the gods.

At age three--following her father's death in the war and her gardener mother's death a week later when their home burns--Uncle Walt, Lily's father's brother, and Aunt Hester adopt Lily and her brother, Vincent, 5. The story opens with Lily, at retirement age, going to the hospital for her final visit with Uncle Walt, who is dying.

A few days later, Lily's brother Vincent, now a Catholic bishop, leads the congregation in Uncle Walt's memorial service. Vincent honors Uncle Walt as "...a good friend, a trusted neighbor, a public-minded citizen, a fond relative, a beloved and devoted father to his adopted children," then adds, "Walter was God's chosen, the salt of the earth."

Lily is in her 30s when her "time bomb" goes off and her Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms begin. Smallwood shows us how, through Lily's relationships with her aunt, uncle, husband, church, as well as her lifelong introspection, when the human mind experiences too much trauma, it is forever altered.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dreamcatchers for Abused Children, Inc. on February 5, 2010
Format: Paperback
"Lily's Odyssey" is a painful, but necessary in-depth look at an extremely difficult topic.

As the CEO & Founder of a worldwide child abuse & neglect organization, I have read and researched a great deal of the literature and books on the subject of child sexual abuse. This is one of the best books written at really conveying the after-effects, pain and impact upon a developing young mind and body.

While novels reflect the human condition and provide the reader with vicarious experiences, a biography brings life itself to the printed page. Autobiography and memoirs are especially intriguing, despite the fact that the author may only reveals those aspects of her life that she chooses to share with others. Autobiography and memoirs most often provide a catharsis for the author. The writer relives her experiences by sharing them with her readers. The memoirist enhances the understanding of human psychology through sharing experiences with others, while she views herself simultaneously.

"Lily's Odyssey" remains the definitive argument for the overwhelming prevalence of incestuous abuse. It is an extremely powerful read for anyone who wants to understand, relate to, or comprehend what child molestation and incest is really like. "Lily's Odyssey", despite its painful subject, is beautifully written and highly inspirational. I recommend this book and will utilize it in all of my workshops on abuse and to my clients that are ready to face their pain and recover. I am grateful that Carol Smallwood shared her continuing journey with us as it is guaranteed to help many.

Smallwood is an incredibly gifted author with a broad range of experience, education & knowledge on the subject of abuse.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Shoop on March 4, 2010
Format: Paperback
Carol Smallwood knows how to wind her readers into her story. Be prepared to nestle in closely with Lily, who is one of the most memorable characters of the year.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Janet Hill on February 5, 2010
Format: Paperback
Lily's Odyssey opens a door on a dark and secret history as Lily slowly unravels the cause of post-traumatic symptoms that disrupt her adult life. With poignant lyricism and clear articulation, author Smallwood portrays the prevalent and far-reaching shame of child abuse and incest, revealing how it cripples each victim and impacts the world.
-Janet Muirhead Hill, author of Kyleah's Tree, finalist, Parmly Billings High Plains Book Award; and author of the Miranda and Starlight book series; founder, Raven Publishing, [...] Kyleah's Tree
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jan Siebold on April 5, 2010
Format: Paperback
Lily, an incest survivor, is on a life-long quest for understanding and peace of mind. Along the way, her observations about people, places, events and nature are often heart-wrenching, often wickedly funny, and always deeply profound and dead-on. Thank you, Carol Smallwood, for giving your readers so much credit. Your many cultural, scientific, literary and historical allusions and references lift us up and allow us to discover more about Lily's world and our own.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Carolyn Davis on February 5, 2010
Format: Paperback
Carol Smallwood's novel is an exquisitely written tale of a woman's observations and self-analysis. Vignettes of Lily's life provide the background for her assessment. Smallwood is a poet and editor, and this book evinces her significant abilities. It is a work of art.
-Carolyn Davis, author of How to Write Persuasively Today (Writing Today) for Greenwood/ABC-CLIO Publishers, and "Tales from Wales," for Technicalities.
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More About the Author

Carol Smallwood edited Bringing the Arts into the Library, American Library Association, 2014 and is a National Federation of State Poetry Societies and Franklin-Christoph Poetry Contest Winner. Among her over four dozen books, Women and Poetry: Tips on Writing, Teaching and Publishing by Successful Women Poets (Foreword by Molly Peacock) from McFarland, 2012, appears on the list of "Best Books for Writers" by Poets & Writers Magazine. Recent poetry collections are from WordTech Editions, and Lamar University Press. Writing After Retirement: Tips by Successful Retired Writers is from Rowman & Littlefield, 2014. Compartments: Poems on Nature, Femininity, and Other Realms was nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Carol's first chapter of her novel, Lily's Odyssey, is in Best New Writing 2010. Some of the Marquis publications she appears in are: Who's Who in the World, Who's Who of American Women, Who's Who in the World. Carol has founded humane societies.

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