Book Reviews, Uncategorized, Words on Wednesdays

Book Review: Lily’s Crossing

I’ve been trying to read different books this summer, rather than ones I’ve read several times already. The book I just finished is called Lily’s Crossing, a historical fiction by Patricia Reilly Giff.

Lily’s Crossing is about Lily Mollahan, who goes to her family’s beach house for the summer with her grandmother. Lily is looking forward to spending time with her friend Margaret on the beach, and going fishing with her father on weekends, as in past summers. But this summer is different. It’s 1944, and Margaret moves away when her father gets a job at an airplane factory. When Lily’s father is goes to war, Lily greatly misses her father and best friend. Then she meets Albert, a boy her age from Hungary. He is staying with the neighbors, and the two become friends.

My favorite part of the book is how well Lily and Albert get along from the beginning. Almost immediately, they are spending time at the bay, wandering around town, and playing with Albert’s rescue cat, Paprika. Lily also attempts to teach Albert how to swim. Together they have a memorable summer. Albert eventually tells Lily about his sister Ruth, who is in France. Albert misses her greatly and wishes she could be in America too. This is where the theme of telling the truth comes in. Lily tells Albert a lie about how he could get to Ruth, one that could endanger his life. Thankfully, they get it sorted out before anyone gets hurt.

I noticed that this book doesn’t have a lot of big action scenes, which only adds to the summer vacation vibe. Lily spends time with Albert, does her best to avoid practicing piano, and waits impatiently for letters from her father and Margaret. She wonders when the war will be over, whether Ruth is all right, and when her father will be home. Throughout the story, I could see how Lily tries to do the right thing, after telling lies she regrets.

After I finished reading Lily’s Crossing, I started wondering about the title. Lily doesn’t cross anything significant like an ocean or bridge, so I believe the title is talking more about a metaphorical crossing, such as how Lily learns to tell the truth instead of a lie, and that it takes patience to learn the piano!

I would highly recommend Lily’s Crossing! It’s a sweet book that would be perfect for reading with friends, or just on your own.

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