My Review of “The Life She Was Given” by Ellen Marie Wiseman

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The Life She Was Given
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The Life She Was Given

byEllen Marie Wiseman(Goodreads Author)
From acclaimed author Ellen Marie Wiseman comes a vivid, daring novel about the devastating power of family secrets–beginning in the poignant, lurid world of a Depression-era traveling circus and coming full circle in the transformative 1950s.
On a summer evening in 1931, Lilly Blackwood glimpses circus lights from the grimy window of her attic bedroom. Lilly isn’t allowe
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Paperback, 356 pages
Expected publication: July 25th 2017 by Kensington Publishing Corporation
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OMG!  Ellen Marie Wiseman has written such a thought provoking, emotional and intense novel, “The Life She Was Given”.  My head is literally spinning! I love the way that the author describes the settings, and tells the story. The genres of this novel are Historical Fiction, and Women’s Fiction. Kudos to Ellen Marie Wiseman for the historical research done for this story set around 1931 during the depression. In coal mined towns such as Pennsylvania, work was scarce, and people did what they could to survive. Some worked in the Circus. Children and “people” who were different were treated in a terrible way. Some were sent to institutions.There was poverty and desperation.

 

The author describes two young girls who lived at Blackwood Manor at different times.In 1931, Lilly was a young girl locked up in her bedroom in the attic for the difference in her appearance. Lilly winds up being part of the Circus. During these depressive times, there were rules to follow and consequences. Lilly has a way of bonding with animals. It’s almost like she is an “Animal Whisperer”. The crowds can be dangerous, and the managers of the Circus were ruthless. There was much cruelty and no compassion.

Around twenty years later we meet Julia who ran away from her parents at Blackwood Manor. Her parents didn’t provide love and emotional support. Julia is almost homeless, when a man looking for her informs her that she has inherited Blackwood Manor. Both of her parents have died, and have left Julia the mansion, the horse farm, and a tremendous amount of money.  Julia finds that she has a special way relating and working with the horses. She discovers that her parents had many secrets.

The author describes some of the characters as mean, evil, and unlikeable Most of the characters are complex and complicated. I like the way the author describes the themes of family and friends, betrayal and secrets, love and hope.

I want to thank Kensington Publishing, Edelweiss and Ellen Marie Wiseman for the Advanced Reading Copy of “The Life She Was Given” by Ellen Marie Wiseman for my honest review.

I highly recommend this novel as an amazingly well written and descriptive, intriguing novel. Be warned, have tissues on hand.

 

 

 

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