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Dear Lily by Drew Davies was received as an ARC by Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Plot outline: Dear Lily, it’s me, Joy, your much wiser and (very slightly) older sister. I thought I’d start a new tradition of letter writing – now that we’re long distance. On the plane over here, I began to cry in seat 21C. I think the magnitude of it finally hit me, after everything that happened… I haven’t even unpacked yet – the only thing I’ve taken out of my suitcase is Harville, your beloved childhood teddy. Sorry for stealing him, but I need him more than you do. Every time I look at that little brown bear I think about our childhood. Remember that dance we made up to Annie’s ‘It’s a Hard Knock Life’? (Remember the broom choreography?) I’m also sorry for abandoning you – I’ve always been your agony aunt, and a buffer in your infamous shouting matches with Mum. But I had to leave, Lily, I had to. Anyway, I’m here now. I’m here to start over, and to face up to the past. I want to learn to laugh again, and to find someone to love who will maybe even love me back. You always told me I was just getting by, not actually living, so I’m finally doing it. Wish me luck, little sister. Love, Joy x
My Review: This book shock me to my core! It is filled with such heartache, beginnings, and life emotions. When I was reading through Dear Lily, I felt a connection to the character, in a sense of I could relate to how Joy was feeling, why she moved so far away and why she changed her life around.
Dear Lily is set out as ‘letters’ to Joy’s younger sister, Lily, where Joy tells Lily about what was going on in her life. These letters are started when Joy gets transferred to the office to another country, Denmark. There, Joy has to learn to make new friends, learn a different language, as well as deal with her personal demons.
*SPOILER ALERT: Please don’t read on if you don’t want to know what happens at the end of the book* – It wasn’t until Letter 23 that it came to light that Lily was actually dead. I was really shocked! I had assumed up till then, that Joy and Lily had a falling out and that Joy was writing to make bridges, so to speak. The letters had actually been a way to cope with her grief. After a health scare near the end of the book, Joy realises how much her sisters death had affected her, and travelled back home to visit her parents and put the past behind her. The last letter was written eight years after, when Joy was settled with her partner, Jakob and her two children. It was the perfect ending, to a perfect book!!
Recommendation: I highly recommend this book!
My Rating: 5*