- Paperback: 474 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (April 10, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1470157713
- ISBN-13: 978-1470157715
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 1.1 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 23 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,443,404 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Lily of the Springs Paperback – April 10, 2012
"Maybe You Should Talk to Someone" by Lori Gottlieb
"This is a daring, delightful, and transformative book." ―Arianna Huffington, Founder, Huffington Post Learn more
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**My review contains minor spoilers**
Lily of the Springs is set in small town Kentucky in the 1950s. We meet Lily as she's graduating from high school. After summer ends she's set to go to secretary school in Louisville. Big dreams for a young lady when most think about marriage and babies and setting up house. But events over the summer change Lily's course.
She ends up at a shotgun wedding, pregnant with bad boy, Jake Tatlow's baby. He's forced to join the Army and they get stationed away from her life in Kentucky. Lily tries to make the best of this life. There are good times and bad.
My advice going into this book - don't for a minute be fooled it's a romance. That's the only hint I'll give you. What it is is a beautiful story spanning almost two decades of one woman's rather ordinary life but Bellacera keeps you awake until the early hours of the morning turning the page nevertheless. I was captivated.
There were a few scenes I would have liked greater detail on but for the most part the ending was very satisfying. Do yourself a favor and read this book now!
In the almost two years that I have been reviewing books, I have only come across a few that have touched me in such a strong was as Lily of the Springs has. So many emotions were running through my mind when I finished reading, that I felt I needed time to process them. Now, after a good nights sleep, I still don't know if I can convey them.
Lily of the Springs is a love story unlike ANY other that I have read. Sure it had those tender moments we all love to read about, but it also has heartbreak like no other, deceit like not other, and strength like no other.
Set during the 50's-70's, Springs tells the story of Lily Foster. An average girl growing up in Kentucky. She goes to church on Sunday's with her family, goes to Bible school during the summer's, and is a "good girl" who isn't willing to go all the way with her boyfriend. Her boyfriend however isn't willing to wait any longer and runs into the arms of the class slut.
Hurt and angry, Lily breaks up with her boyfriend and finds herself in the arms of her childhood friend, Jake. And Jake is anything but wholesome. In fact, Jake and his family are the "trash" of their town. But that doesn't matter to Lily as she realizes that she is in love with him and in fact always has been.
When Lily's family finds out that she is pregnant with Jake's child, the two are forced to marry and move in with his family. But not even marriage stops Jake from going out with his friends drinking and partying. Even on the day his daughter is born.
Through their marriage, Lily endures both mental and physical abuse from Jake, but she never chooses to leave him. Even when he brings home a hooker and is told to watch said hooker pleasure him orally! But then, the heart wants what the heart wants right?
I so wanted Jake to change as I read Lily of the Springs. At times he was so tender and loving. But then I would find that he was the same old Jake. And though I thought that Lily was letting him walk all over her, I really wanted everything to work out even though when Jinx gave birth to a son after her husband's death, I knew that it never could, no matter how much I wanted it to.
Women that are in an abusive relationship usually stay in them longer than they should, and Lily is no different. We often make excuses for the men we love, placing the blame on ourselves instead of where it should lie. Perhaps at some time these men really did love us, at least I hope that's the case for Jake, and that they just don't know how to love. Perhaps, like Jake, they weren't shown how.
Lily of the Springs is a MUST read! It's one of those books that you just HAVE to HAVE!!
5+ of 5 stars
Available at Amazon
Lily Rae's story left a few cracks in my heart.
I really struggled through the growing pains of watching Lily Rae morph from a naïve young girl into an innocent mother & wife until she finally grew into her OWN woman. At one point, I had to sit the book down and move to something else. I was SO angry and frustrated at the harsh reality of Lily Rae's situation that I just had to take a step back from the book. When I started reading again I couldn't stop. I should have never put it down.
Never has the first line of a book pulled me in quite like this one...
"I knew my marriage was in trouble the night my husband brought home a streetwalker to teach me how to satisfy him."
When Jake proclaimed to Lily Rae that she needed a few pointers on how to please her man, I swear my eyes were as big as silver dollars. I couldn't help but laugh at the absurdity of the situation. I knew that I was about to read a one-of-a-kind story.
The best aspect of Lily of the Springs is how well Bellacera captured the era in her writing. The story is told over a 20 year span, 1952-1972, and I felt like I took a trip back in time. I could almost hear the sweet southern twang of Lily Rae's voice as she told her story. It was phenomenal writing. As an added bonus, at the beginning of most chapters there is a recipe & I'm definitely going to try one out! They sounded delicious. As much as I wanted things to be different for Lily Rae, I kept having to remind myself of the time period she was living in. When you grew up in a southern town under the nose of Southern Baptists in the 1950's, certain things were expected. When Lily Rae found herself in a tough situation, she had to remember her mother's words...
"Like my mother once told me...I've made my bed. Now, I have to lay in it."
I knew, I KNEW from the first chapter of this book that I didn't need to let Jake pull me in. I knew he'd shred my heart to pieces. I knew it! He lured me right in though right along with Lily Rae. I wanted the cute, bad boy that Lily Rae used to play with by the creek to be a good guy. Once Lily Rae's high school sweetheart, Chad, ticked me off in the beginning I figured Jake could save the day...
I felt so helpless for Lily Rae. I hated it. I hated to see Lily Rae down. I hated to see her belittled. I hated to see her struggle. She was a little spit fire with a free spirit and I hated to see anyone try to smother her fire. Lily Rae got one thing right, Jake Tatlow only cared about two things...I'll let you figure out what they were though. To be fair, Jake has a story and it definitely helped color the man that he became, but, in my opinion, you can either let yourself drown in past wrongs or you can overcome them. You should overcome them. I actually pitied Jake, because I'm pretty sure he loved Lily Rae when it came down to it. He loved her the only way he knew how. Love goes hand in hand with respect though and he could never really nail down that concept.
My favorite character was definitely Lily Rae's best friend Betty. She was the one person that Lily Rae could count on and the one person that had Lily Rae's best interests at heart. She was never afraid to be honest with Lily Rae and she was a big ball of fun.
There's a big twist in the end. I did not see it coming. I'm not sure if I was just as naïve as Lily Rae or if I was justified for not seeing it coming...but it knocked my socks off.
I could go on forever, but the bottom line is that this book was a joy to read. I loved taking a step back in time...
This is the kind of story that hangs around your heart for a little awhile.