The Life She Was Given: A Moving and Emotional Saga of Family and Resilient Women

The Life She Was Given: A Moving and Emotional Saga of Family and Resilient Women by Ellen Marie Wiseman 1617734497 9781617734496
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A GREAT GROUP READS Selection of the Womens National Book Association and National Reading Group Month

A GOODREADS Best of the Month Selection

"A powerful, poignant novel."
--In Touch, Grade A


From the internationally bestselling author of The Orphan Collector comes a beautifully written and moving tale of family secrets and the importance of a mothers love--and how it can shape a life--even in the most shocking ways. A painful saga of strength and reinvention perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes and Lisa Wingate--set in two different times, as two young women come of age and uncover the mysteries of their families, and find their own ways in the world...

On a summer evening in 1931, Lilly Blackwood glimpses circus lights from the grimy window of her attic bedroom. Lilly isnt allowed to explore the meadows around Blackwood Manor. Shes never even ventured beyond her narrow room. Momma insists its for Lillys own protection, that people would be afraid if they saw her. But on this unforgettable night, Lilly is taken outside for the first time--and sold to the circus sideshow.

More than two decades later, nineteen-year-old Julia Blackwood has inherited her parents estate and horse farm. For Julia, home was an unhappy place full of strict rules and forbidden rooms, and she hopes that returning might erase those painful memories. Instead, she becomes immersed in a mystery involving a hidden attic room and photos of circus scenes featuring a striking young girl.

At first, The Barlow Brothers Circus is just another prison for Lilly. But in this rag-tag, sometimes brutal world, Lilly discovers strength, friendship, and a rare affinity for animals. Soon, thanks to elephants Pepper and JoJo and their handler, Cole, Lilly is no longer a sideshow spectacle but the circuss biggest attraction...until tragedy and cruelty collide. It will fall to Julia to learn the truth about Lillys fate and her familys shocking betrayal, and find a way to make Blackwood Manor into a place of healing at last.

Moving between Julia and Lillys stories, Ellen Marie Wiseman portrays two extraordinary, very different women in a novel that, while tender and heartbreaking, offers moments of joy and indomitable hope.

"Perfect for book clubs and readers who admired Sara Gruens Like Water for Elephants."
--Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

"A vibrant maze of desires."
--ForeWord Reviews

"Seamlessly blends mystery and history with compelling and well-researched details."
--The Historical Novels Review

"Vividly drawn and complex...Fans of Karen White and Sara Gruen will be drawn in by the drama and mystery of Wisemans novel."
--BookPage

Author: Ellen Marie Wiseman

Language: English

Binding: Paperback

Pages: 304

Publisher: Kensington

Publication Date: 2017-07-25


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