book review: Reclaiming Lily

Reclaiming Lily

Author: Patti Lacy

Publisher: Baker Publishing Group

Complimentary Copy from Bethany House (via Litfuse Publicity Group)

Rating: A

Publishers Description:

A Mother’s Love. A Sister’s Promise. Will two women find the path to save a young woman’s life?  When an insidious genetic disease strikes her family, Harvard graduate Dr. Kai Chang must alert Lily, the sister Kai left on orphanage steps years earlier. Standing in her way are the Powells, Lily’s adoptive parents. Gloria Powell, a shy pastor’s wife, distrusts Kai and thinks her presence will send their troubled seventeen-year-old over the precipice of teenaged angst. A Texas-sized tornado whirls when Kai summons the Powells to a Fort Worth hotel. Tempers and cultures collide. Can Kai and Gloria, separated by culture and faith but devoted to Lily, reconcile their differences and trust their dreams to God?


Let me say “Wow!” to Patti Lacy’s beautiful novel exploring complex characters and cultural divides. Reclaiming Lily has all the essential ingredients of an engaging read. Drama, in the form of rebellious teenager, Joy Powell (a.k.a. Lily Chang), placed on the steps of an orphanage in China by her birth-family, adopted by an American couple at age 9. Neuroticism, in the behaviour of Joy’s adoptive mother, Gloria Powell, who smothers Joy in a hawk-like manner. Dedication, in the actions of Joy’s biological sister, Kai Chang, who sacrifices everything in her promise to her family to one day find Lily. Devotion, in the conduct of Joy’s adoptive father, Andrew Powell, who demonstrates great patience and compassion to all parties involved. Sacrifice, on behalf of Joy’s biological family, the Changs, who as a result of China’s strict Family Planning laws must give up their daughter, Lily. Toss in the mix a few violent acts of nature, a cultural revolution, a love interest (or maybe two?) and we’ve got enough action and suspense to make for a page-turning read. Sounds like Lacy bit off more than she can chew? Nope. Not really. It all flows very well.

Though a novel, Reclaiming Lily reads just like non-fiction (and we all know how much I love me some non-fiction!). The author’s ability to create characters who became “real” people left me thoroughly engrossed in this novel. Rich characters with distinct personalities, dealing with believable life circumstances; the actions of each personifying their personality, made for an enjoyable read. Joy speaks (and acts) just like a teenager. Gloria behaves like an overprotective mother. Kai operates in the calm, controlled, calculated manner expected of a doctor. Andrew plays peacemaker between Gloria and Joy, and helps build a bridge between Gloria and Kai.

A theme beautifully woven throughout the novel, the heart of Reclaiming Lily is the strength of the family bond. At first glance, the Chang and Powell women appear miles apart on the opposite-meter Kai Chang: a peasant from China, born in the time of Chairman Mao and the counter-revolution, a believer in fate, who worked her way through Harvard medical school to become a doctor and Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) specialist to save her sister, Lily, from a genetic condition that claimed the life of their biological mother. Gloria Powell: a Texas-bred American and Pastor’s wife, a Christian, wondering how her “Sweet Joy” ended up a punked-out shoplifter at the age of 17. Joy Powell: a Chinese-born American-adoptee longing to fill the hole in her heart and searching to find her place against the bigotry expressed by classmates and congregation members. What eventually unites the two families–a scarred journey through life and utter devotion to Joy–leads them to find healing and hope in unexpected places and people. It is in the process of learning to trust one another, and God’s plan, that Joy, Kai, and Gloria find hope, healing, and answers to the doubts that have been nibbling in their hearts for years. Will Joy learn to feel comfortable in her own skin and find a place she belongs? How will questioning fate lead Kai to peace so-longed for? Can Gloria learn to trust Kai and in the process forgive childhood hurts?

(I received a free copy of this book direct from the distributor, Bethany House and Baker Publishing, via Litfuse Publicity Group, in exchange for an honest review.)

Related Links:

Hey! You! Want to win a free Kindle Touch?

Patti Lacy is celebrating the release of her latest book, Reclaiming Lily,  with a KindleTouch Giveaway, blog tour and FB Book Chat Party!

Follow the blog tour and read the reviews!

Patti and her publisher, Bethany House, are giving away a Reclaiming Lily prize package worth over $150 to one lucky winner!!!!

Enter the Reclaiming Lily Giveaway and you could win:

  • A brand new just released KindleTouch with Wi-Fi
  • $25 gift certificate to

But, wait there’s more!

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. Giveaway ends on 10/19! Patti will be announcing the winner of the Reclaiming Lily Giveaway at her Party on Facebook October 20th! She’ll be hosting a book club chat of Reclaiming Lily (it’s okay if you haven’t read it – you could win a copy!) and giving away other fun prizes! (signed copies of her books and gift certificates to, Starbucks, & iTunes!). Don’t miss the fun at Patti’s FB Author Page on 10/20/11 at 5pm PST ( 6 pm MST, 7 pm CST, & 8 pm EST)! RSVP today!


2 thoughts on “book review: Reclaiming Lily

  1. pattilacylacy says:

    Micah 6:8 is a verse dear to my heart. Oh that I will learn to walk humbly!!!!

    Praise God for your work with His little ones. It thrills my heart that you are living out the gospel and seeking out books that open the eyes of the world’s heart.
    Blessings, dear ones.

    • Su says:

      Thank you, Patti.

      We’re just trying to do the best we can with what has been entrusted to us in all realms. How exciting that you stopped by my blog. I absolutely loved reading Reclaiming Lily! I look forward to checking out your other works.

      🙂 Susan

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