This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
REVIEWED BY AMANDA KEATS
Lily Button has led a sheltered life. Abandoned by her parents at a young age, she has been raised by her grandparents. But now they are no longer around, at only 20 years old Lily must learn to live in the big wide world, with no money and no idea of what life beyond her little house has to offer. She doesn't know what facebook is or understand texting, has never tasted alcohol, never travelled beyond Cornwall, never had sex, never been in love. The only thing Lily knows how to do is clean houses, and take care of people who are sick.
So when Lily gets a job cleaning the enormous and very impressive house of the handsome TV star Harry Summer and his wife Sarah, she starts to daydream about what life as lady of the house might be like. And when Sarah commits suicide while on her Christmas holiday with the gorgeous Harry, it seems her dream might just become a reality.
But Lily is new to the big wide world and doesn't yet know who to trust and who to not. And as she starts to think there may be more to the death of Sarah Summer, she starts investigating on her own. This is the incredibly gripping tale of what life is like through the eyes of innocence as she learns that even the most charismatic and generous people might not be as they seem.
There is a switch early on from Lily to a man thousands of miles away in New Zealand with no apparent connection to Lily or anyone she knows. Though it is a little jarring at first to switch between the two stories you soon realise that the journey these two people are on will probably connect at some point and I personally had no problems being led right along with them until then.
The rest of the characters are equally interesting, even those that don’t get much allocated page time. Lily is thrown into the real world while living on benefits and sleeping in a room in a family house. She is soon welcomed into the family and stops being just a lodger. The eldest daughter Mia looks up to her and she can’t see why. Even the parents enjoy her company … and her cooking! And then there is her only friend Al who helps her so much at the start because he understands first-hand the feeling of utter loneliness and despair she is dealing with.
It's a journey the reader needs to take with Lily. In Lily Button, Barr has created the most intriguing of characters. Were anybody else to be swept up in the life Lily gets swept up in, it would make the character less likeable and ultimately the reader would lose the desire to keep reading. Lily's innocence forgives her any mistakes. As you see her neglecting those close to her and taking a path you doubt is the right one, you cannot blame her. There is charm and appeal in her new life that she has never experienced before. It takes you back to first loves and first experiences without the restrictions of having a child lead you. Lily is an adult, she is just an incredibly inexperienced and naïve one. She is also gorgeous but of course has no awareness of her own appeal and is, at heart, an honest, caring and totally loveable young lady.
A brilliant page turner about the joys, passions, upheavals and harsh realities of everyday life.