Life Entwined with Lily's A dark day in Beth Lovely's past casts a mournful shadow over her entire future. And although Beth has revealed her unspeakable secret to no one, her Aunt Lily is unwittingly responsible for a resuscitating breath of new hope. And so comes an unpredictable and satisfying conclusion to a trilogy that chronicles Lily's impact on three generations of family.
Leticia Velasquez on Goodreads wrote:
This is an excellent conclusion to the Lily trilogy. Although we don't hear Lily's voice very much in this book, we are still shown the many ways that Lily has enriched the lives of those who have encountered her.
It is mind boggling to consider the ripple effect from Lily's life. Anyone who would suggest that someone who is not "perfect" is destined to be a burden or to have a poor quality of life needs to read this trilogy and then get to know others with an open mind. It astounds me how, in an age of tolerance, how little tolerance is extended for someone who might be born different.
My favorite part of this book was when Beth's college friend decided that giving birth to a child with Down Syndrome was going to enrich her family rather than to devastate it.
Review of the Lily Trilogy
In every person’s life, there should be a person who believes in them and brings out the best in them. A person who as C S Lewis says “hears the song in your heart and can sing it back to you.” Through this devoted love, one overcomes fears, hurts and selfishness, and the soul expands. For the Lovely family, this person is Lily; the one they all thought would be a burden because she has Down syndrome. After all, as a child, she was stubborn to a fault, slow to speak, and prone to overeating. She required extra supervision, lest she wander into traffic, lose her hamster in the hole in the wall, or stuff too much food into her mouth. Whatever she ate, she wore all over her body. When she was little, Lily was a handful.
Caring for Lily and her two siblings was a responsibility Auntie Bev hadn’t asked for; she and her husband Jack were childless, happily absorbed in their separate activities in a quiet, orderly home. The last thing they needed was three suddenly motherless children left behind by Bev’s single sister Jen whose life was cut short by cancer. She did her best to cope with the sudden responsibility, yet Bev allowed bitterness to take root, alienating her husband, who left her alone with the children. When the older two married and moved away, there was no one left but Lily, the one Bev had resented the most.
Fast forward a few decades; Parkinson’s robbed Bev of her independence, leaving her helpless in a nursing home, and Bev realized that Lily was a blessing she didn’t deserve. Yet Lily never kept score; Bev could no longer walk by herself so Lily took her trembling hands in her soft ones, carefully walking backwards as if she had all the time in the world, down the hallway from the dining hall to her bedroom. Lily introduced Bev to the gentle Fr Fitz, who helped Lily bloom spiritually like a tropical plant, lending fragrance and warmth to a dying woman’s final days. It was Lily who accompanied Bev as she drew her last breath, and then found herself looking for another family member to bless.
The other books of The Lily Trilogy tell of Lily’s impact on her siblings and nieces’ lives, how even Beth, the deeply disturbed teenager who shut out her family, wasn’t immune to the loving influence of Aunt Lily. Few can resist the tenacious love of Lily, least of all her long-absent father Pedro, whom she draws into her family circle from his home hundreds of miles away. Father and daughter develop a spiritual bond which absorbs the rest of the family as much as it leaves them spellbound in its spiritual intensity.
The story of Lily’s life is told in a trilogy of novels; Until Lily, Wherever Lily Goes, and Life Entwined with Lily’s. It’s a story of a life fully lived, how an innocent person who gives unbounded love, sheds Christ’s light on a darkened world. Author Sherry Boas is a seasoned journalist and loving mother of a daughter with Down syndrome. From her own experience she is able to draw realistic picture of the joys of raising a child with Down syndrome, her realistic perspective of raising a child with an extra dose of stubborn will cause you to laugh as well as cry. Her characters are intricately drawn; full of faults, strengths and idiosyncrasies which make them believable, and Lily, though innocent and loving is not a one dimensional angel. She is a living, breathing person who, despite a tendency to eat candy bars which aren’t hers, will win your heart. She will cause you to reflect on whether you have a Lily in your own life, a person who draws out the best in you, and loves you wholeheartedly, yet whom you don’t recognize as God’s gift to you.
Cleverly woven into these novels are aspects of Catholic moral and social teaching; from welcoming the stranger, to the beauty of the vocations of marriage and the priesthood, to the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death. Sherry Boas is never preachy; she allows her engaging characters’ powerful stories of sin and redemption to demonstrate the truths of the Catholic Faith, leaving readers pondering how to be a Lily in their own families.
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