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A Lily in the Light

Narrated by: Saskia Maarleveld
Length: 9 hrs and 22 mins
Categories: Fiction, Literary
4 out of 5 stars (200 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A harrowing debut novel of a tragic disappearance and one sister’s journey through the trauma that has shaped her life.

For eleven-year-old Esme, ballet is everything - until her four-year-old sister, Lily, vanishes without a trace and nothing is certain anymore. People Esme has known her whole life suddenly become suspects, each new one hitting closer to home than the last.

Unable to cope, Esme escapes the nightmare that is her new reality when she receives an invitation to join an elite ballet academy in San Francisco. Desperate to leave behind her chaotic, broken family and the mystery surrounding Lily’s disappearance, Esme accepts.

Eight years later, Esme is up for her big break: her first principal role in Paris. But a call from her older sister shatters the protective world she has built for herself, forcing her to revisit the tragedy she’s run from for so long. Will her family finally have the answers they’ve been waiting for? And can Esme confront the pain that shaped her childhood, or will the darkness follow her into the spotlight?

©2019 Kristin Fields. (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

“Anyone who loves a study of human behavior under catastrophic circumstances will be swept away by Fields’s dynamic prose and intense psychological suspense.” --New York Journal of Books

“Kristin Fields masterfully explores the personal disappearances that take place inside each of her characters when the youngest child in the family goes missing in an unsolved abduction. Fields’s understanding of the power of art and movement to transport and comfort, along with her empathy for a sister who otherwise feels powerless as her own life is changed forever by unanswered fears, questions and guilt, draws the reader along to a complex conclusion. Heartbreaking and compelling, A Lily in the Light is a revelation of what it is to lose yourself and come home again.” --Kimberly Brock, award-winning author of The River Witch 

“What happens when a four-year-old vanishes without a trace, when a family is unshaped and long-held dreams begin to unspool - when you don’t even know what to hope for anymore? These are the questions Kristin Fields deftly explores in her beautifully written debut A Lily in the Light. Honest, heartfelt, and at times wrenching, Fields’s novel exposes every heartache and raw nerve of her compellingly flawed characters, touching on the many ways we punish ourselves and those we love when life leaves us feeling powerless - and how we must ultimately learn to forgive.” --Barbara Davis, bestselling author of When Never Comes 

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

I feel a little lost

Good book but I feel kind of empty now that is is done. I felt like part two should have also included part 3 and then added a part 4 that played off the epilogue. There was a point where I thought the book had a great natural ending, but it kept going and I think the story got a little jumbled by the end. I liked it, but I don't feel satisfied.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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compelling

excellent narrator with a good story. it kept my interest and i was fascinated by the ending

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Did not finish

I could not get into this book. It is slow, depressing and not likable. Sorry - I usually finish and like most books. I felt the book dragged on and could not get to the point.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Family tragedy ripped from the headlines almost...

3.5 stars - this was a simmering read about a family tragedy that should have or could have imploded onto itself but somehow the family manages to keep everything and everyone together, albeit with conflicted feelings, difficult relationships and sheer stubbornness.

I liked this story but I didn't love it. The family calamity could have happened to anyone – pulled from a newspaper somewhere in the world at any given month. Therefore, I felt like I have read or seen on TV the characters in the novel.

The middle of the book centers on the middle daughter and her pivotal relationship with everyone in the story and how she deals or not deals with the situation(s). I liked her character study but at the same time, it slowed the story down.

The novels ending brought a new dynamic and opened up a slew of unanswered questions…so much so that I felt like the author had another book waiting in the wings. Crazy enough, I like that I didn’t get all my questions answered. But the ending felt like it had to be done, regardless that things seemed to have a somewhat lucky conclusion.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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story draws you in

loved it, the story drew me in and kept me captivated during the whole performance.

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loved

I didn't stop listening to this until I finished it. awesome book and author. love

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    1 out of 5 stars
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B-O-R-I-N-G!

This was a very slow read and very difficult to follow as an audio book. Through 98% of the book I wondered “what is this book about”? It was quite painful to get through.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Had More Potential

I tried this book on a whim and I was not disappointed. It was very good and sent me on an emotional rollercoaster. However, I do feel like it was a bit rushed. I feel like the author very easily could have explored the main character's life a lot more to give the book more substance. Overall, a worthy read.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Beautiful and Powerful

I loved this book. I have listened to it three times. Nor only was the story well written, but the narration was superb.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Not for me

I liked the title - but that was all.
I kept reading and reading, hoping for something more, but never found it. It was not my kind of story.