Lily was born in China. Before she was born, her parents were both sent to prison for crimes they did not commit. Once released, the family lived the life of paupers, instead of the well-to-do lifestyle they had enjoyed in the past. When Lily's mother finds out she is pregnant, she is upset. She doesn't want another baby with life the way it has been. Fourth Daughter, as Lily is affectionately called, is taken to the nearby orphanage to be raised.
Kai visits her younger sister as often as she can, peeking through the orphanage fence to watch Fourth Daughter grow up. One day, an American couple arrives at the orphangage. When the woman sees Lily, she knows she has met her baby girl, even though the child is already 10 years old. Second Daughter Kai watches as Lily is taken to the American woman and embraced as her daughter.
Years later, Kai goes to Texas to find her younger sister. She has news about a possible health defect that Lily, or Joy as her adopted parents call her, could have. She meets with Andrew and Gloria Powell, and eventually meets her sister once again. But the family reunion is not all smiles and hugs. Gloria is unsure about Kai's intent, not wanting to lose her daughter. And Lily has an attitude a mile wide, hating everyone and everything.
I loved reading about Kai and Lily getting to know each other, the smiles and tears as the sisters share and confide in each other. The transformations that take place in each of the character's lives is reflective of what can happen when we allow God to work in our lives.
"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28
"When an insidious genetic disease strikes her family, Harvard graduate Dr. Kai Chang must alert Lily, the sister Kai left on orphanage steps years earlier. Standing in her way are the Powells, Lily's adoptive parent. Gloria Powell, a shy pastor's wife, distrusts Kai and things her presence will send their troubled seventeen-year old over the precipice of teenaged angst. A Texas-sized tornado whirls when Kai summons the Powells to a Fort Worth hotel. Tempers and cultures collide. Can Kai and Gloria, separated by culture and faith but devoted to Lily, reconcile their differences and trust their dreams to God?"
Sitting at lunch the other day with a friend, we leaned toward one another to get close enough to see the small photo of my new baby grandson less than a week old sent to me on my IPhone . My friend who has never been able to marry and have children looked at me through very sad tear filled eyes and said, "All I have ever wanted was to be married and have children, but it is now too late, and I am now too ill."
So many of us desire children_
For many of us, we must face the world of adoption_
If you have ever wondered about the adoptions that take place in China, Patti Lacy's book, "Reclaiming Lily" does a wonderful job exploring the subject to give the reader through fiction an idea of what might happen.
The character of Kai was so intense. At times I didn't find I liked her very much. But isn't that the way it is sometimes with those who don't know Jesus? Those who may want something from us drive us crazy with irritation. Have you ever thought that maybe God has allowed for the situation to happen just so that person can come to know Him? That is why God gives us His promise of Romans 8:28. He is working it out for good. We need to hang in there_ Keep going_ Pray_
If you are looking for a good contemporary fiction book, I highly recommend the book, Reclaiming Lily by Patti Lacy. You will yourself reaching for a cup of coffee or tea as you turn page after page until you finish! Yes, it is that good!
Can you imagine being born and raised and not being taught about Jesus? How would that affect your salvation when you are an adult?
Reclaiming Lily is a book that gives you a huge, realistic view of Chinese culture. When Kai was a youngster in China, she knew that she was made to be a healer. After political turmoil ruined her family's life, her mom is forced to give up the family's fourth child (Joy/Lily), leaving Joy in an orphanage. Kai, now a Harvard graduate and a medical doctor living in Boston, is determined to reunite with her "lost" sister, Joy. Joy has been adopted by an American family and Kai wants to reunite with Joy - there's a medical condition that runs in the Chang family and Kai wants to be sure that Joy is not at risk.
This story shows the vast cultural differences between Chinese and Americans. Joy was adopted by a White American family, and her adopted father, Andrew, is a preacher. Joy's relationship with her parents is difficult and she's the classic problem child: smoking cigarettes and getting into trouble with the police. Emotional problems run deep within this family and Kai eventually proves to be a welcome reprieve to the tenuous relationship that Joy's family shares.
I found Kai's struggle with Christianity the most intense aspect of this novel. Kai was born and raised in China and she does not have a relationship with the Lord. She struggles with understanding the "Christian God" and this book gives a realistic glimpse into the minds of those who are not raised with Christian beliefs - showing why they doubt Jesus.
Can you imagine being born and raised, not being taught about Jesus? Would you be likely to question God more than those who were raised in the Christian faith?
I highly recommend this book as an intense, highly emotional read. The unique story idea as well as the unusual twist near the end will keep you turning those pages, anxious to discover what happens.
This book is such a beautiful story told from different angles and view points. On the one hand you have the adopted mom who has loved and cared for Lily. Then you Kai who is Lily's sister who had to give her up but never gave up loving her. Told in present day but includes flashbacks full of history. This book will reel you in and have you wanting more of their story. Lily/Joy is no longer a little baby she has grown into a teenager that is starting to question all around her. Can the 2 women who love her the most help her understand her life and do what is best for her?
thank you Bethany House for sending me a review copy.
Lily is a girl born in China, the third daughter of the Changs, an intellectual and independent family that faces the harshness of the Cultural Revolution. In a country where fathering more than one child is simply out of line, Lily's sisters save her by taking her to an orphanage; Kai, the middle sister promises to bring Lily back into the family one day. Kai ends up studying medicine in Harvard, and she is residing in Boston when she learns about a fatal hereditary illness that could claim Lily's life. In order to fulfill her promise, she goes back to China, but just in time to see Lily get on the van with the Powells, her adoptive parents.
Andrew Powell is a Minister, always with the right words and tone to deter any catastrophe of any kind. Gloria is his wife, involved in church, weathering issues that come about in church, but incapable of restraining her emotions when it comes to Kai, the woman that might shatter her already fragile relationship with Lily. A test of faith for both, Gloria and Kai, saving Lily's life is the motivation to go ahead and both learn valuable lessons that will shape them (I hope) for the rest of their lives.
In a poor intent at imprinting suspense, the author uses almost unending flashbacks that are really confusing, leaving an overall taste of shallowness, which is really sad, as the idea is really deep, and a good example of love and forgiveness is always welcome. The frequent long descriptions distract from the situation, rather than enhance it; they feel forced and fake. I am sorry to say that the book became boring and that it was difficult to finish; at no moment did it interest me in a way that made me want to know what happened next. I did enjoy the references to the Chinese culture, which sparked my curiosity about doing some research, so I can also say that I got something out of this reading.
I must say that this would be a good book if you appreciate clean vocabulary, and want to be entertained with an easy book. Also, as I mentioned before, the idea is good, so it could be used as a teaching tool. For example, Gloria's faith is shaky, so we can see a real person with struggles; Kai is someone who has been in touch with some Christian faith, but she has to deal with her ancestors and the teachings of a lifetime without God.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a review. In no way has this influenced my opinion on the book or the author.