Read The Life She Was Given Online Free - 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 allowed to explore the meadows around Blackwood Manor. She's never even ventured beyond her narrow room. Momma insists it's for Lilly's own protection, that people would be afraid if they saw her. But on this unforgettable night, Lilly is taken outside for the first time--and sold to the circus sideshow.
More than two decades later, nineteen-year-old Julia Blackwood has inherited her parents' estate and horse farm. For Julia, home was an unhappy place full of strict rules and forbidden rooms, and she hopes that returning might erase those painful memories. Instead, she becomes immersed in a mystery involving a hidden attic room and photos of circus scenes featuring a striking young girl.
At first, The Barlow Brothers' Circus is just another prison for Lilly. But in this rag-tag, sometimes brutal world, Lilly discovers strength, friendship, and a rare affinity for animals. Soon, thanks to elephants Pepper and JoJo and their handler, Cole, Lilly is no longer a sideshow spectacle but the circus's biggest attraction. . .until tragedy and cruelty collide. It will fall to Julia to learn the truth about Lilly's fate and her family's shocking betrayal, and find a way to make Blackwood Manor into a place of healing at last.
Moving between Julia and Lilly's stories, Ellen Marie Wiseman portrays two extraordinary, very different women in a novel that, while tender and heartbreaking, offers moments of joy and indomitable hope.
|Title||:||The Life She Was Given|
|Number of Pages||:||356 pages|
August 19, 2017
I've said before that I'm fascinated by what it is that prompts an author to write a story and I appreciate that Wiseman in an interview at the end of the novel tells us how idea for the story came about. " ...the idea started with the image of an old camera hidden inside a mansion. Then I imagin...
September 15, 2017
THE LIFE SHE WAS GIVEN by ELLEN MARIE WISEMAN was a moving, haunting, and heartbreaking tale with an intriguing and engaging storyline that I thoroughly enjoyed. I have a fascination for circus themed books and this one kept me entertained and spellbound right to the very end.
ELLEN MARIE WISEMA...
July 25, 2017
The Life She Was Given is a riveting, heart-wrenching story, a book unlike anything I've ever read!! My heart was racing from the very first page; my heart was pulled in a million different directions. The Life She Was Given runs the gamut of emotions; tender and terrifying, heartbreaking and hop...
August 11, 2017
It was 1931 and Lilly Blackwood had spent her entire short life in the attic bedroom of her parent’s house. Never allowed outside or even downstairs in case “someone saw her” - she was told by her Momma that she was an abomination. But things changed the night her Momma took her across the paddoc...
August 08, 2017
Circus themed books are a hit or miss for me so I was slightly wary when starting this book. It had received some great reviews from my Goodreads friends and so I thought I’d give it a go.
The novel is told from two points of view. We first meet Lilly, in the early 1930’s. who is a little girl liv...
June 08, 2017
(This review is based on an advance reading copy I downloaded from NetGalley in May, 2017. Please be advised that the few items quoted below may change in the final published copy, but needed to be included in order for me to leave a meaningful review. Since I only read the first half of the book...
February 07, 2017
I've read every novel Ellen Marie Wiseman has written, and although they were all wonderful, none touched me quite like The Life She Was Given. In the 1930's, six year old Lilly had no idea why she spent her life locked in the attic. In the 1950's, nineteen year old Julia knew she had to escape h...
July 19, 2017
THIS BOOK, OMG!
Lilly was born an albino in the early 1930s during the depression to a family that was fairly well off during that time, the family owned Blackwood Manor and horse farm. Lilly’s mother kept her locked up in the attic until Lilly was ten years old before selling her to the Circus wh...
August 20, 2017
I wasn’t sure how I was going to like this book about a circus. But after reading all the reviews on Goodreads, I decided to get it as soon at came into my library. There are a lot of very uncomfortable things that go on like child abuse and animal abuse in the circus. A lot of family secrets thr...
July 30, 2017
Water for Elephants with Albinos
As Reviewed by an Actual Albino
If you google the term ‘albinism’ Google, very obligingly, opens a brief summary paragraph for you at the very beginning of the search entry listing, taken from Wikipedia. The paragraph says, in more or less layman’s terms: “Albinism...