Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Gilding the Lily Paperback – November 24, 2016
See the Best Books of 2017
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Fragrant Evelyn is not all she seems to be and the veneer of devoted partner soon develops seismic cracks, but surely her scornful and cutting remarks and actions are misunderstandings? Even when Evelyn lunges for Jack in an attempt to throttle him, Amelia and Jack are still determined to pursue a relationship for the sake of her father. But with each day, it seems, Evelyn is intent on driving a substantial wedge between father and daughter. The physical distance, once they are back in England, only serves to fire the breach in relations. These are very unhappy family dynamics.
As Roger’s health starts to fail and the couple is kept at arm’s length by Evelyn, Jack trawls his memory and comes to an ominous conclusion, based on a case in his past life in the police force. It is too terrible to contemplate, and yet….. driven by his suspicions, the two journey back to New York to try and get to the bottom of what is really going on. What lies behind Roger’s rapid demise? He is clearly very ill. It dawns on them that Evelyn does afterall have a history of outliving past relationships…. Where can it possibly end? No spoiler that lilies of the valley feature somewhere along the line, as they adorn the cover!
The chapters in the book are fairly short, each titled with one of the characters, mainly ‘Jack’ and ‘Amelia’. Occasionally ‘Evelyn’ talks to the proverbial camera and it is through her musings that the reader comes to understand a little more about what her drives might be. The chapters flip between first and third person at random and this undermines the sharp pace that is beginning to build – if a chapter has a character in the heading I would anticipate the narrative would largely be from that character’s perspective or at least full focus would be on that character. Not necessarily so in this book, however. It feels muddled.
The author clearly has a talent for writing, I really did want to know where the story would go. The characters, though, drifted across the pages and for me weren’t sufficiently fleshed out to be able to connect with them.
Overall, I felt that an eagle-eyed editor would be able to coax the storyline, which at times felt like an unruly puppy, into a sleek and seamless narrative with a good focus. The use of editorial services would also be a chance to remove the typos and grammatical errors, and hone some of the writing. Descriptions, such as that of a check-in queue at JFK, ultimately felt like unnecessary padding, the purpose unclear: “I spotted a pair of erstwhile Hasidic Jews, business people, Chinese, African, smart, casual, lazy-looking, happy, fat, thin, hurried, laid back. I saw light hair, dark hair, greasy hair, bald heads, head-scarves, black jacket, no jacket, ties, t-shirts… To me that sounded like an average day at any airport the world over and added nothing to my experience of reading the book (and probably detracted if I am honest).
All in all Gilding The Lily is an ok reading experience in the form in which it is presented at the moment.
This is told from several viewpoints, but the bulk is relayed via Amelia and Jack, a lovely couple and then there are a handful of chapters from some interesting characters that I can’t name, it would ruin the fun. Roger is Amelia’s father and Evelyn is his girlfriend and you know right from the start there is something off about this cold, calculating woman. As much as I despised Evelyn I adored Amelia and Jack, both together and separately. They were so supportive of each other and while this had a domestic suspense feeling it was nice to read something where the husband and wife aren’t at odds but instead working together as a team.
Despite the chilling opening to this book, it isn’t as fast paced as I would’ve assumed it would be, but the intensity gradually increased the further along you get. Maybe fast paced isn’t the right description, it’s still a page turner and there weren’t any boring parts but I guess what I mean is that by the end things were more pulse pounding. It kept me on my toes and had some revelations that I was not expecting and the ending was great.
The book is mainly told from a dual perspective, that of Amelia, the daughter of Roger, and her husband, Jack, and their relationship with him and his partner, Evelyn. It begins with a trip to America to visit Roger and Evelyn. Evelyn comes across as being jealous of Amelia's relationship with her father, and at first Jack can see both sides. As the novel continues, they become suspicious of Evelyn, and think she's trying to put up barriers between father and daughter. Told over a period of 3 years, this is a family drama like no other.
It took quite a while for me to get into the story, as some of the chapters feel quite repetitive - the same scene being played out first from one character's perspective then another. However, once it got going, I was hooked and desperate to read "Just one more chapter".
I liked both the characters of Amelia and Jack, I found them to be very believable and well rounded. Evelyn was also well written as a villain, however Roger felt a little flat and underwritten as a character.
I would recommend this mostly for people who enjoy a domestic thriller.
*I voluntarily reviewed this book from Authoright.com