Thursday, July 20, 2017

Book Beginnings/The Friday 56 July 21, 2017

Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's Voice and Book Beginnings is hosted by Rose City Reader. The idea is to share a sentence or so from the first page and the 56th page of the book you are currently reading!  Also, I will now also include a brief synopsis.
The Life She Was Given

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.

Beginning of the Book:
July 1931
Blackwood Manor Horse Farm
Dobbin's Corner, New York
Nine-year old Lilly Blackwood stood in the attic dormer of Blackwood Manor for what felt like the thousandth time wishing the window would open so she could smell the outdoors. Tomorrow was her birthday and she couldn't think of a better present.

Page 56: 
Chapter 6

The trees surrounding Blackwood Manor were black and bare making the estate look even grayer.  The house seemed as overpowering as the day it did the day Julia left, grim and bulky, the color of the winter sky.

What do you think would you continue to read this?  I have actually only 1/3 left to go; I'm hoping to finish before the weekend, but then that means tomorrow.  Not sure about that, but definitely before the weekend is over.  


  1. This one has an interesting premise. I haven't heard of it before, so, thanks for mentioning it and enjoy your current read.

  2. I got the chills! Love a good mystery book!
    Happy Reading!

  3. Now I want to know more about Lilly, and why she was hidden. Thanks for sharing, and here's mine: “MRS. SAINT & THE DEFECTIVES”

  4. This doesn't sound like it's for me but I hope you enjoy it.
    sherry @ fundinmental Friday Memes

  5. Totally love this - so intriguing! And the cover is, too!

    Here's mine ;

    Happy weekend!



  6. Kinda grim snippets, but I'm pulled into the question of why. :-) Happy weekend!

  7. Sounds intriguing. I'd read it though it isn't something I'd usually pick. I am reading The Hunting Grounds by Katee Robert this week. Happy reading!

  8. Sounds different, which I like. Thanks for sharing.