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on Aug. 14, 2012 :
Author Sherrie Hansen writes books beautifully shaped to their titles, and characters whose lives and trials grow into genuine truths. The three sisters of her Maple Valle trilogy are all different, united by common experience of their upbringing, but divided by their different responses, from childhood to adulthood. Without the overarching confidence or her older sister, or the goody-two-shoes perfection of the youngest one, Michelle has spent her life trying to please her mother and expecting to fail. Now at a certain age and a certain size she’s come home. Unable to shape herself to fit the parental image, she’s a genius at shaping her surroundings instead. An interior designer with talent and imagination, an encouragement to everyone around her, an astute observer of her niece's needs, all Michelle is missing is the confidence to create a home life for herself, and to accept herself as beautiful.
None of us are perfect, but Michelle’s high school crush comes pretty close. Divorced with two small sons, he’s back in town, but he’s obviously far too good for Michelle, or is he? As murky waters of misunderstandings, secrets and trepidation flow around them, and the clock ticks on Michelle’s dreams of someday having a child, love blooms like a glorious water lily, tentatively breaking the surface and waiting to be seen.
Not just a love story, this might even be considered a coming of age story, allowing those of us long out of high school to come of age as well. It’s a tale of learning to accept oneself, to see through eyes of love and joy, and to recognize whose words really matter—the mother who wants the best for you and treads on your confidence, the schoolfriend who wants the worst and scorns your dreams, or the one who truly sees you, warts and beauty and hopes and all.
An uplifting story with great characters, a lovely sense of place, and a protagonist you’ll wish you could meet again in real life, Water Lily is a thoroughly enjoyable, peaceful read with wise lessons and lasting joy.
Disclosure: I bought this ebook a while ago and can’t imagine why it took me so long to get around to reading it.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)