Lily – A Review

Lily by Kate Hamilton. Available on Amazon US and Amazon UK.

“And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin.”This review is from: LILY (Kindle Edition)

Kate Hamilton’s ‘Lily’ will catch you and hold you in suspense till you turn the last page.

“But in my dream I heard her singing. I knew she was near. I lay contented on the grass, wriggling my toes, waiting for her return. And in my dream I gained the landing and made a pillow my throne, sitting as the child in the nursery rhyme, adamant I would not be frightened from my perch. I traced an embroidered initial with my forefinger. A twisted letter curled at the corner in a hangman’s noose.”

‘Lily’ is possessed of exceedingly lovely prose. But ‘Lily’ is far more than an exercise in good writing. It is a captivating story with many layers, complex characters and a setting-Little Deeping, Westshire-that lives and breathes. The past stalks the present while generations of ancestor-portraits people the very walls of Stardene, watching and waiting. Waiting for the manor, inhabited for decades by the Nevilles, and more recently by the Schapanskys, to resolve its dark minor chords.

“Perhaps it was the hourly deliberate chime of the grandfather clock in the hall that struck a steady dialogue through the passage of events. Like an old father who gave out wise advice, its tolling punctuated every action, every conversation in the house, bringing us, and all who inhabited those ancient rooms to heel. It would still querulousness with a gentle reminder that idle words and idle tongues breed ill. The clock continues with us but its message is somehow changed. There is a lingering in its chime, a faltering, as an old man with a bad heart. Now and then it stirs and groans.”

‘Lily’ is a generational story. It is about a special mother and a special daughter. It is about generations of Nevilles and the halls imbued with their customs. It is about a May-December marriage. It is a Battle of heirs to the Neville fortune. It is a story of terror, madness, music and mystery. Eccentric English neighbors come to tea; Continental musicians come to play Mozart; and retired (but not retiring) jurists try to prosecute a case extrajudicially. The plot twists and turns and the ending will have the reader inhaling sharply, hanging on the tenterhooks of Hamilton’s words, such that even the characters are surprised!

Not the sort of book I would usually read, but I am so glad I did. Had I not, I would have missed the picturesque river to Stardene.

“For the whispers remain. The placing of a stem in a vase.” A Lily has found its place at last.

Leila Smith, for The Kindle Book Review. The Kindle Book Review received a free copy of this book for an independent, fair and honest review. We are not associated with the author nor with Amazon.

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