Review: The Life She Was Given by Ellen Marie Wiseman

THE LIFE SHE WAS GIVEN by Ellen Marie Wiseman
Kensington | ISBN: 9781617734496 | Pub Date: July 25, 2017 | 356 pages

Inside Front Cover: "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."

I love strong female characters, but I  can't stand formulaic women's fiction. That's sometimes a tall order when I'm choosing a contemporary fiction read. But I found it in The Life She Was Given. I will note that not everyone will love this story due to aspects of abuse (animal abuse, child abuse, and sexual abuse). As a matter of fact, I'm sure that some people will hate it because of these topics, but the strength of the characters in spite of their abuses and the harsh realities of humanity are what really made me love this book. I predicted this story would be Water for Elephants meets The Night Circus meets The Museum of Extraordinary Things and I was right. Plus, throw in a little Flowers in the Attic. This book is raw and different and unexpected. I loved that it wasn't "safe". If I had a complaint, I would say it is the title. It's just not the right fit. I would have liked something less passive and more attention grabbing. 

***Disclaimer:: I was given a copy of this release in exchange for an honest review. I received no additional compensation. ***


Judy Krueger said...

Wow! Sounds great.

Ellen Marie Wiseman said...

Thank you so much for the wonderful review!!!