#bookreview – The Life She Was Given – by Ellen Marie Wiseman

32926258Awarded gold stargold stargold stargold star on Goodreads

Another well-written and creative offering from Ellen Marie Wiseman, full of suspense and showcasing both the best and worst human beings offer.

There are two main characters – Lilly and Julia, whose histories are both connected to Blackwood Manor, a horse farm whose owners hide many secrets. During the middle of the Depression, Lilly is born with a distinctive appearance that her mother believes indicates the child is “marked by the devil.” And so begins her parents’ elaborate efforts to hide her from society, until Lilly’s mother decides she must leave Blackwood Manor permanently.

A generation later, Julia is living a bare existence as a runaway, when she suddenly inherits Blackwood Manor. She goes there to decide if she wants to to live there, but quickly gets wrapped up in all the secrets.

I can’t describe the book much more without risking spoilers – but I will say the book is full of the morals and sensibilities of another era — where cruelty to people and animals could be the centerpiece of a profit making venture. It’s not an easy read. The book is full of horrors committed against people and animals. But it’s also difficult to put down.

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