This was a really good easy to read book.
It is set in the 1800's on the East Coast of America. Lilian is a 10 year old girl who has lived on a remote island with her mother and lighthouse keeper father her entire life. Her father gets transfered to another Lighthouse station and she finally gets to live in the company of 2 boys Heath and Ayden and gets to go to the mainland every week and even attend a real school for the first time.
Having been brought up just by her mother and father she is very naive, but soon learns to trust others and even falls in love for the first time.
When her mother goes mad and eventually dies (no spoiler as on the back of the book) she is shipped off to live with her psycho grandmother in Savannah and uncovers about her family's hidden past. Yes they even had skeletons in the closet back in the Civil War days. By this stage she is about 13 and starting to develop into a young lady.
I really felt sorry for Lilian having led such a sheltered life, then having to endure the psycho grandmother. I found she was a little too naive and trusting and am worried about what will happen to her in the second book if I ever find a copy of it.
I really loved Heath to start with, but he grew up too much for Lilian. And Ayden started off not very nice but became a firm friend later on. I think he was jealous of Heath to start with.
I did pick the POW that occurred towards the end of the book, as it does become obvious as you are reading.
It is definitely young adult, but some YA readers may not like it due to the setting era and the way Lilian behaves. But I found it is typicl of the era and really liked it. If you liked Flowers in the Attic you will love this.
Wow I couldn’t have imagined Lillian could get into so much trouble is a short period of time. Although it starts off slowly it does pick up and becomes a real saga through the years.
After escaping from her psycho grandmother and then getting away from her equally psycho father she meets up with Richard Parker and his strange wife Judith. Richard promises to help her get back to her beloved Jasper Island but first she must hide out from the law with him in New York City. Seriously that girl is so naïve it is almost frustrating.
Whilst living with Richard, he introduces Lillian first to alcohol and then later to hard core drugs. Maybe I am as naïve as Lillian, but I didn’t realise cocaine was around in the 1870’s. Poor Lillian, she really didn’t stand a chance. As she is so trusting she believes him when he tells her that he loves her, wants to draw her picture and thinks she should star in a Burlesque show. All the time Judith is staying at her family’s estate and leaving Richard to shower Lillian with gifts, dinners and clothes. He is the ultimate manipulator.
After a couple of years with Richard, and having fallen in love with him she finds herself again alone and looking for a way to get back to her beloved Jasper Island. Enter Ned the man that Richard hates the most in the whole world. Yet again a man bestows what Lillian believes to be love on her and again she gets hurt.
Finally making it back to Jasper Island she appears to be happy with Ayden, until Heath returns, followed by the Assistant Keeper and his family. More dramas and problems arise for Lillian and then when she and Heath have to return to New York City where she has her heart broken yet again. Some good and bad news greets her upon her return and again everything seems to be working out until her life is again thrown into turmoil.
Honestly this poor girl goes through so much in her life that I couldn’t possibly imagine how she survived it all. I was bawling like a baby by the end of this book and I generally don’t cry when reading books but this one just got to me.