A Lily in the Light
by Kristin Fields
Pub Date 01 Apr 2019
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A harrowing debut novel of a tragic disappearance and one sister’s journey through the trauma that has shaped her life.
For eleven-year-old Esme, ballet is everything—until her four-year-old sister, Lily, vanishes without a trace and nothing is certain anymore. People Esme has known her whole life suddenly become suspects, each new one hitting closer to home than the last.
Unable to cope, Esme escapes the nightmare that is her new reality when she receives an invitation to join an elite ballet academy in San Francisco. Desperate to leave behind her chaotic, broken family and the mystery surrounding Lily’s disappearance, Esme accepts.
Eight years later, Esme is up for her big break: her first principal role in Paris. But a call from her older sister shatters the protective world she has built for herself, forcing her to revisit the tragedy she’s run from for so long. Will her family finally have the answers they’ve been waiting for? And can Esme confront the pain that shaped her childhood, or will the darkness follow her into the spotlight?
A Note From the Publisher
“Kristin Fields has written a propulsive first novel, the story unspooling around the disappearance of a child and the misery this loss inflicts. With heartbreaking clarity, the narrator realizes that to save herself she must leave the albatross of her broken family. But the past, as we know, has a way of haunting us no matter how hard we try to escape. Fields brings new light and language to the relentlessly terrifying and ever-present subject of lost children and the horrifying fallout that, here, grips the reader from start to finish.” —Martha McPhee, Author of Bright Angel Time and Dear Money
“Kristin Fields masterfully explores the personal disappearances that take place inside each of her characters when the youngest child in the family goes missing in an unsolved abduction. Fields’s understanding of the power of art and movement to transport and comfort, along with her empathy for a sister who otherwise feels powerless as her own life is changed forever by unanswered fears, questions and guilt, draws the reader along to a complex conclusion. Heartbreaking and compelling, A Lily in the Light is a revelation of what it is to lose yourself and come home again.” —Kimberly Brock, award-winning author of The River Witch
“What happens when a four-year-old vanishes without a trace, when a family is unshaped and long-held dreams begin to unspool—when you don’t even know what to hope for anymore? These are the questions Kristin Fields deftly explores in her beautifully written debut A Lily in the Light. Honest, heartfelt, and at times wrenching, Fields’s novel exposes every heartache and raw nerve of her compellingly flawed characters, touching on the many ways we punish ourselves and those we love when life leaves us feeling powerless—and how we must ultimately learn to forgive.” —Barbara Davis, bestselling author of When Never Comes
“Imagine a book with the propulsion of Dennis Lehane and the emotional wisdom of Anne Tyler, and you’ll have a sense of Kristin Fields’s surprising, powerful debut. I read it in two tense, admiring sittings.” —Ben Dolnick, author of The Ghost Notebooks
“A Lily in the Light captures family in the throes of chaos. A journey through guilt and suffering, the world of ballet, culminating in the miracles achieved through both. Fields is an emerging literary talent and her debut, deftly written, uncovers the heart of family and forgiveness.” —Rochelle B. Weinstein, USA Today bestselling author
“A Lily in the Light is unlike anything you’ve ever read. Poignant and gripping, Fields’s writing will break your heart and put it back together again.” —Kaela Coble, author of Friends and Other Liars
“A Lily in the Light is a tender, heart-wrenching novel that considers the long-ranging effects of shattering loss upon a young dancer and her family. A haunting and beautifully rendered tale of survival and the careful tending to a wild and desperately needed hope. Highly recommended.” —Therese Walsh, critically acclaimed author of The Moon Sisters
“Kristin Field’s powerful and poignant debut, A Lily in the Light, draws the reader deep into a young dancer’s journey through a tragedy that will haunt her into adulthood, revealing the subtle and fateful ways we create and dismantle illusions to force ourselves forward. Magical and gritty by turns, Esme’s story—of family and the search for self—is as radiant as it is unforgettable.” —Sophie McManus, critically acclaimed author of The Unfortunates