written by Lisa D. Ellis
published by Soul Mate Publishing
About the book – from Goodreads: When her newborn baby Lily dies suddenly, Claire Edwards runs away to live in a lighthouse she had fallen in love with as a young child. The lighthouse is reputed by some to have magical powers, but Claire isn’t looking for a miracle. She just wants an escape from her husband Jim’s colder way of grieving, and from their apartment filled with the tiny clothes and stuffed animals they had collected over the past few months. But once Claire is situated in the lighthouse, it begins to illuminate things for her in a new way and she’s suddenly forced to rethink her views on life, death, and her marriage.
Every Free Chance Book Reviews is pleased to welcome Lisa D. Ellis, author of Finding Lily, to the blog today. She has answered the following questions for all of you.
Please tell us, in one sentence only, why we should read your book. Finding Lily is a lyrical narrative that provides a unique perspective on life and on death, and its vivid descriptions and thought-provoking ideas will continue to haunt you long after you’ve finished the last sentence.
Where did you get your inspiration for Finding Lily? There are two answers to this. First, the idea for Finding Lily was born out of my own fascination with a lighthouse in Nantucket called The Brant Point Lighthouse. It’s a tiny place that isn’t big enough to live in, but I used my imagination to expand the dimensions and also created some characters and a situation that would propel my narrator to run away to live there.
The second answer is that I was still single when I wrote this novel and was interested in exploring how a husband and wife with very different emotional styles could find some common ground on which to build a lasting relationship. Now that I am married and look back on the storyline I created, I am struck by how real life seems to mirror art, and vice versa!
Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects? I have two more novels in the works. The first is The Rasa-Lila, which looks at how having a child changes the balance of a marriage and how both partners need to redefine their roles without losing themselves in the process. In this context, I explore the lengths that my main character Faith will go to in order to salvage her marriage. I am also fascinated by what she is willing to sacrifice in the process, and what this says about her character.
My other novel is The Meaning of Marigolds. It’s still in the early stages, but it features an American narrator who travels to India and finds herself comparing the strengths and weaknesses of her own marriage with those of 5 or 6 Indian women who have met their husbands in a variety of different ways. In the course of this journey, which is both physical and spiritual, the narrator comes to better understand herself, her expectations and the true meaning of marriage.
What is your favorite genre to read? I love women’s fiction and literary fiction. My favorite books are about women from different cultures… particularly when they are trying to assimilate to a new environment while holding on to the parts of their origins that are particularly dear to them. I also like books that offer a unique perspective or in some way challenge—or even change—my view of the world.
Who is your favorite author? I have so many authors that I particularly admire… Some writers I love include Nahid Rachlin, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Saborna Rowchowdhury and Amy Tan. I have also always enjoyed Joyce Carole Oates, Susan Minot, and Alice Munroe. Then there’s Karen Peterson, PhD, who wrote two of my favorite writers’ resources (Write: 10 Days to Overcome Writer’s Block and The Tomorrow Trap). Both are essential in my library.
In your opinion, what is one book that everyone should read? Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery is the one book that I think everyone should read. This book is what sparked my desire to be a writer. Anne’s strong character, her unique perspective on her situation and on her surroundings, and the long, flowing descriptions captured my heart the very first time I read this book as a child and has continued to inspire me all these years later.
Tell us three things about yourself that cannot be found on the internet…at least not found easily.
My children enrich my life in very unexpected ways. For instance, I’ve always wanted to be a professional ballerina, and although I wasn’t ever good enough to make this a career, I am getting a second chance to appreciate this art through my daughter, who seems to have much more potential as a dancer than I ever did. And my son is extremely passionate about golf; although I have actually never hit a golf ball myself, I have been following his lessons for years and know tons about a sport that I’ve never even played!
I recently started coaching gymnastics, which is something I used to do when I was in college. Reconnecting with a sport that I used to enjoy so much has been a real treat. When I’m in the gym, I am able to get out of my head and just live in the moment, with no computer and no phone to distract me. It’s my favorite part of the week.
My cocker spaniel often sleeps curled up near my feet when I am writing or working late into the night. But as soon as I stop typing and turn off the lights to go to bed, she wakes up and starts howling and wants to play. We repeat this ritual almost every night.
About the author: Lisa Ellis is a writer whose short fiction has appeared in a number of literary journals and magazines. Finding Lily is her first novel. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Boston University and provides health content regularly for hospitals and websites in New England and the tri-state area.
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Happy reading wherever you are and whenever you get a free chance!!!