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Lily's Ghostby Cheryl Drake Harris
Synopses & Reviews
As a doctor in Vietnam, Lily survived unimaginable terror and loss. Now, safely ensconced in a close-knit Maine town and a seemingly comfortable marriage, she no longer needs to be afraid, but she is: afraid of light, afraid of sudden sounds, afraid of seeing the wide-eyed child of war who haunts her. So Lily is unprepared for the act of betrayal that threatens to take away the one thing she cannot live without: her young son. Plunged into a bitter custody battle, befriended by a man with a heartbreaking secret of his own, Lily must fight-to escape her own memories, to survive an uncertain future, and to protect, above all else, the love between a mother and child.
"Harris's first novel is a moving, if helter-skelter, story of a doctor's attempts to reintegrate into normal life after a shattering tour of duty during the Vietnam War. Picking up in 1978 in bucolic Maine, ten years after the Tet Offensive Lily Townsend endured as a doctor in Vietnam and which still erupts in memories to torment her. Her outwardly staid life with her husband, Ben, the owner of a dry-cleaners, and their four-year-old son, Jaime, is undermined by a litany of panicked flashbacks and the lingering guilt Lily feels over the crackup of her former lover, Ian, a reporter for Reuters, and the disappearance of their friend, Bao-Long. Back stateside, Lily resists treatment for her post-trauma stress, and Ben grows increasingly concerned about his wife, who prefers to leave off the house lights, breaks out in hives and dives under a car when she hears a sudden sharp noise-putting Jaime in harm's way. Ben's affair with a family friend shocks Lily ('You're not really here,' he accuses her), and his aggressive attempts to secure custody of their son isolates her. Harris's story is enormously affecting, although the thick layering of Lily's suffering both overwhelms and diffuses the power of this slender, uneven work." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
In this haunting debut novel, Cheryl Drake Harris explores the abiding love between parent and child and the terrifying legacy of trauma and memory.
About the Author
Cheryl Drake Harris lives with her husband in Maine, where she is at work on her second novel, about Elizabeth Siddal, model for and wife of pre-Raphaelite painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti, which Dell will publish in 2007.
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