"Reclaiming Lily"

Author: Patti Lacy
Publisher: Bethany House

It's been a busy several days, so I haven't had much time for reading, but I came down with a cold yesterday and haven't felt like doing anything but lay on the sofa while my medic brother tries to convince me that he needs to start an IV on me (thanks, but no thanks). So, I was able to catch up on my reading a bit.
Again, Reclaiming Lily goes back to my fascination with China; it's the story of a Texas couple, Andrew and Gloria, who are unable to have children and so adopt a ten-year-old girl whom they name Joy, from China.
Seven years later, Joy has rebelled against the Christian upbringing her adoptive parents have given her. Her parents are at their wits' end, unsure of how to handle their back-talking, cussing, purple-haired daughter. When a Dr. Kai from Boston shows up, claiming to be Joy's biological sister and warning Andrew and Gloria that Joy could have a deadly hereditary disease, the adoptive parents are naturally wary.
What follows is a battle to break down cultural barriers, admit past mistakes, accept changes, and trust God.
The story line itself was great - no complaints in that department, even though this isn't the kind of story I usually go for.
The big turn-off for me, though, was the over-the-top emotion on all sides. I mean, there's being upset, even being irrationally upset... but this topped even that. I got extremely tired of characters having enormous breakdowns and 'emptying the contents of their stomachs' every time they turned around. The crying, the panicking, the shrieking, and especially the vomiting, all got very old very quickly. Don't get me wrong: I'm a girl, and I know there comes a point where you just have to have a meltdown. And that's fine. One meltdown per character per book I can handle. But after a while reading this book I felt like I was just reading one enormous series of meltdowns. (There also comes a point where you either need to get it together or have someone slap you.)
There was also a recurring problem with grammatical misuse of the word 'were', which I can't help being annoyed by. And there were also several instances of odd, irrelevant questions being inserted into characters' internal monologues. For instance, a character would be thinking about something that happened 'yesterday - or was it a decade ago?' or looking at another character's eyes which were 'blue-gray... or were they gray-blue?' Just a bit too melodramatic for my tastes.
I don't know, maybe my personality just doesn't allow me to appreciate or understand this particular genre of fiction (or emotionally unbalanced and overwrought characters). What I do know is that this book had a great storyline, as I said before, but it would have been much more enjoyable if not for all the careening, uncontrolled emotions going off like a Roman candle every other page.

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