Lily Love is the story of a newly single mother navigating her way through the world of special needs parenting and relationships.
The story starts out with Caroline having just given birth to her daughter. She wakes up to find out that she had a stroke during childbirth, but her new baby girl is ok. They both will be ok.
Then we jump to present day and now Lily is 5 yrs old and going through testing due to seizures. This was the first thing that "bothered" me. I felt like we missed all those years in between - we missed all the things that really led up to her separating and her husband serving her with divorce papers. Don't get me wrong, it's hinted to along the way, little bits here and there, but it's never fully addressed.
I thought the book was going to stay more on track about parenting/relationships as a special needs parent/couple with a hint of romance, but instead it went full on romance. And don't get me wrong, I love a good romance, but I wanted more about the health issues, the parenting a special needs child, how that has affected their marriage.
As the parent myself of a special needs child, specifically Autism, I was drawn to first couple chapters ...I saw parallels...it hit home for me. The guilt that Caroline was feeling...the strain is puts on a marriage at times (and yes I am happily married), all that struck such a cord with me. And I wanted more. But I feel like I was kinda let down.
Then there was her relationship with Max... dear, sweet Max. He seemed perfect -he had been around from the get go - he was helping her out - he was being a true friend. And then boom - he's "gone". We never hear about him again in the whole book. I was devastated. I had thought for sure as I was reading that he'd be the one she would end up having a relationship with - all the signs were there. At this point I'd just love to know what happened to Max? Did he just vaporize? sigh...
And then insert mystery man...Tate. He's charming and mysterious...and suddenly she's in love with him and that's that. We don't know much about Tate...but then learn his mother is dying from cancer. And suddenly Caroline, who was reluctant to accept anyone's help is running off at every chance she can get to be with this new mystery man. I got the impression that she didn't want to leave her daughter with anyone, including the ex, but now she was anxiously awaiting it to be the ex's turn with Lily so she could be with Tate. It's like one extreme to the other.
So many unanswered questions...like what became of Lily's testing? What happened to Max? How did she prepare Lily for the new man in her life? How did school go for Lily? So many questions left unanswered.
I think the two things that hit so close to home for me was the fact there was a special needs child - that is so close to my heart and I've felt and carried the same burden of guilt in my own heart/mind for 10 yrs now. I've seen and experienced the strains it can put on even the best of relationships, not only the husband/wife type but the familial relationships, the friendships, etc. And then the dying/hospice angel. Having just lost my own mother two weeks ago, knowing she had spent the last 6 weeks of her life in hospice, that really struck a chord with me.