What Kelli is Reading: The Life She was Given

Kelli, my daughter, has been an audiobook listener lately. She decided to share an audiobook with all of you that she recently listened to. The book is The Life She was Given by Ellen Marie Wiseman.

Kelli writes:
I like this one because it tells the story of two girls both of which are very intriguing.  About halfway through, I thought I knew how things were going to end, but at the last second, it twisted….and then the last chapter threw it for another loop after I thought I had it figured out again!  It was also one, that once the first “secret” was told, I was still interested in reading the rest of the book.  It really had me until the last word was said!

I also liked the historical aspect of books.  I’ve come to find that my love of history is often expressed in my choice of reading as I really love learning about different time periods. 

And as always, I love audiobooks as they allow me a little time to myself while still being able to take care of the kids or while driving on the way to work/school.

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.”

Kelli says she’d give the book 4.6 stars. Amazon readers gave it 4.4 stars. It just so happens that I read this book back in 2017 and I gave it 4.8 stars. Hmm. It looks like a good book by those standards.

If you are a historical fiction lover, this author is fabulous. You can find other books by her HERE.

As of the writing of this post, the book was available for free for Kindle users. You can find it HERE.

3 thoughts on “What Kelli is Reading: The Life She was Given”

  1. I LOVED this book! I really wanted to sit down with others to discuss it and that’s unusual for me but that’s how powerful it was I gave it a 5!

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