Growing up, life is idyllic for Lily Rose Cates due to one constant – her father’s love. But in her sixteenth summer, all that changes without warning. There begins Lily’s struggle to find herself and the life she’s lost. . . . Marriage promises fulfillment, but her happily-ever-after barely survives the honeymoon. Her husband’s sophisticated facade hides a brooding man with even darker secrets. When all illusions shatter, Lily must make hard choices – abandon her husband or risk losing much more than her marriage. She flees their home in Detroit and sets out on a fearful journey to a house in Georgia that her husband knows nothing about. This is one woman’s compelling tale of love and survival as she finds her way back home to who she’s meant to be . . . in her father’s house.
My Father’s House by Rose Chandler Johnson is about Lily Rose Cates, who has the perfect childhood that includes a fantastic relationship with her father. Her father adored her and she loved him so much. Lily’s father unexpectedly passes away when Lily is sixteen and it leaves her to emotionally flounder throughout the rest of high school and into college.
As Lily heads off to college, she sees her friends marrying off or falling in love. On a trip to New York City to meet up with her best friend, Lily meets Manuel Valenti. He seems charming and sophisticated and Lily is captivated by his attention. He sweeps her off her feet and promises her the world. She falls into a whirlwind romance and totally falls for him even though there are signals – warning signs – she fails (or chooses) to recognize. Even her wise Annie Ruth feels that Manny Lily brings him home to meet her family.
Lily moves forward with marriage, but not surprisingly, soon afterward their marriage begins to fall apart. Her husband is a dark, abusive man and Lily soon realizes that she must make the hard choice of leaving Manny – of running from her husband – or possibly risk even more than the marriage. Once Lily gets away from her horrible marriage, Lily starts to take the necessary steps of healing her heart from her past and from her marriage so that she can move forward. We readers standby (and read on) as Lily slowly begins the process of healing and returning to her father’s house.
I felt that this story was written to remind us all that there is always hope, even in our darkest hours and our deepest pain. I loved Ms. Johnson’s writing and this is one of those books you can definitely get caught up in, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll read it cover to cover in one sitting. (Pray that I make it through work tomorrow without falling asleep!!)
Rose Chandler Johnson’s award-winning devotional journal, God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea: Experiencing God in the Midst of Everyday Moments released in July 2013 from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. Her devotions, poems, short stories and articles have appeared in numerous publications over the years.
My Father’s House is Rose’s first novel. Rose has lived near Augusta, GA for the last twenty-nine years. For the last twenty plus years, Rose has been a French and English teacher. Currently she is an adjunct English instructor at a technical college. Rose enjoys baking, gardening, and spending time with her six children and their families. Another devotional is in the works and another Southern lit novel.
I received a copy of this book without cost from the publisher through the litfuse bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. If you’d like to read what others say about this book, check out litfuse’s book page HERE.