Lilies in Moonlight: A Novel

Lilies in Moonlight: A Novel

4.3 24
by Allison K. Pittman

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He’d lost his zest for life. She was just lost. Will they find the healing and love they long for?

After a roaring night on the town, fun-loving flapper Lilly Margolis, dazed and disoriented, twists her ankle and falls into the backyard of a wealthy family where the effects of the Great War—over for more than half a decade—are still…  See more details below


He’d lost his zest for life. She was just lost. Will they find the healing and love they long for?

After a roaring night on the town, fun-loving flapper Lilly Margolis, dazed and disoriented, twists her ankle and falls into the backyard of a wealthy family where the effects of the Great War—over for more than half a decade—are still endured. Inside the walls of the Burnside mansion, Cullen Burnside, a disillusioned and disfigured veteran, and his widowed mother, Betty Ruth, who daily slips a little further into dementia, lead a lonely existence … until Lilly. Whimsical, lighthearted, and beautiful, she rejuvenates their sad, disconnected lives and blossoms in the light of their attention.
But Lilly, like Cullen, is hiding from a painful past. And when Cullen insists on returning her to her faraway home, their budding attraction seems destined to die on the vine. The resulting road trip becomes a journey of self-discovery—but what will Cullen and Lilly find at journey’s end?

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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The Crown Publishing Group
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Random House
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October 1925

Just ten o’clock in the morning, and already Lilly Margolis could feel the trickle of sweat sliding between her shoulder blades.

Head up. Big smile, chin out, she silently rehearsed.

Good morning, madam. Are you the lady of the house?

Pause, two, three, four.

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Lilly, Lilly Margolis. But Lilly’s not just my name. It’s also the name of the fabulous new body crème from Dalliance Cosmetics. Lilies in Moonlight. I use it myself.

She held out her arm, focusing on the creamy silk of her skin against the dark wood of the door.

Makes my skin smooth as silk and irresistible to the touch. At least that’s what my boyfriend says.

Wink, wink. She didn’t really have a boyfriend, but every man who’d ever touched her said she felt like satin. Or cold milk. White and soft and pure. She, of course, didn’t use Lilies in Moonlight body crème. She couldn’t afford it. Nothing but Ivory soap from the five-and-dime and maybe a dab of Jergens lotion.

May I introduce you to the other irresistible offerings from Dalliance Cosmetics? This little case right here is a regular treasure trove of beauty.

This is where she’d hold up the case. She wore three bright red bangles on her left wrist, including one that held the case, and they’d clank together as she lifted it. Right arm? Pure, soft, white, unadorned. Left arm? Fashion and beauty in one grip.

Lilly Margolis was everything—blond, bobbed hair, perfectly plucked eyebrows, bright red lips—all wrapped up in the perfect porchsized package. What would Mama say if she could be on the other side of that door? No great mystery there. She’d say Lilly looked like a tramp, that God would condemn her for cutting her hair. To her, Lilly’s smooth skin
meant that she was lazy, pampered, indulged.

Lilly banished such ugliness behind what she knew to be a dazzling face. Her mother might not approve, but the rest of the world sure did. Men most of all. And if she got lucky, the woman behind this door would too. Resolved, she touched her painted fingertips to her hair, doubled her smile, and rang the bell.

“What do you want?” The woman on the other side of the door wore a faded housedress. Her hair was mostly piled on top of her head, though tendrils floated around her face.

Smile. “Good morning, madam! Are you the lady of the house?”

“Oh, for the love of Pete.”

And Lilly faced the door again.

She relaxed her posture, letting her shoulder stoop with the weight of the tan leather case, getting no satisfaction from even the clank of her bangles. She turned and walked down the front steps. Those potted flowers looked a little less lovely than they did when she first walked past them just a minute ago.

“Should’ve opened with the flowers.” Next door, she’d know.

Back on the sidewalk, she assessed the next house. Trim lawn, roses in bloom at the corner.

Chin up, big smile, shoulders squared, she strode up the walkway, looking confident lest the lady be looking out the front window at that moment. At the door, she shifted the leather case from one hand to the other, bangles rattling as she raised her fist to knock.

The door opened and this woman looked much like the previous one, but her hair was a little neater, her dress less faded.

“Good morning, madam. Tell me, are you responsible for those beautiful roses in bloom?”

“Why yes, I am.” The woman touched her fingers to her throat, as if shocked to be greeted with such a compliment.

“Well then, it won’t surprise you to learn that the delicate rose petal is a key ingredient in Dalliance Cosmetics’s Rose of Sharon hand crème. Just a dab worked in at night, and your hands will be as soft as the petals on your lovely flowers. May I offer you a demonstration?”

“Oh, I don’t think so, dear. Jergens works fine for me.”

A softer closing of the door this time, but a closing nonetheless. Back on the sidewalk, Lilly looked up the street. One house after another, all of them small and square. In some ways, no different from the row of clapboard shacks she left behind in Miresburgh. But here there seemed to be a sweetness to the smallness. Maybe it was the trim green lawns, the varied gardens, the short white fences. Who knows? Maybe her own street would take on life and beauty if it were bathed in this relentless Florida sun. Still, small houses meant small lives; small lives meant small dreams. Green grass or not, when she looked down the street all she saw was one closed door after another.

“Never gonna sell nothin’ in this lousy neighborhood,” she muttered under her breath. Still, she wasn’t about to cry over it. After all, it could be worse. She could be one of those women all wrapped up in a housedress with nowhere to go. Why, they might be looking out of their windows right now thinking, What is that stunning vision of beauty doing on our humble little street? Lilly herself had been inspired by the beauties she’d seen in the movies and magazines.

Mindful of her purpose, she smiled sweetly at the young woman pushing a pram, followed by two sticky children. Half a block behind Lilly was a park. She’d planned to stop there and sit on one of its bright red benches to eat the cheese sandwich that was wrapped in wax paper and nestled among the bottles and jars of Dalliance Cosmetics in the tan
leather case.

She turned around and followed the woman and the pram and the sticky children, who took turns looking back at her. Lilly stuck out her tongue and they did too. The mother never glanced over her shoulder even once.

Once in the park, the sticky children ran to the swing set; the mother settled on a bench and pulled the baby out of the pram to settle it on her lap for a gentle bouncing.

“Cute baby.” Lilly chose the bench on the opposite side of the little walking path that stretched around the park.

“His name’s John.” The recollection of the name seemed an exhausting endeavor.

“I don’t have any children myself.” Lilly crossed her leg and admired her shoe. White patent leather with a wide sea-foam green ribbon. She’d have to sell ten jars of Lilies in Moonlight to pay for them. “I’m a salesgirl for Dalliance Cosmetics. It’s highly rewarding.”

The mother smiled weakly, then hollered at the sticky children—June and Teddy—telling them to play nice and take turns.

“Of course, motherhood is its own reward.” Though truthfully, Lilly could think of nothing worse. Besides the disaster a pregnancy would bring to her perfect planklike figure, she’d grown up knowing exactly what kind of inconvenience it could bring to a girl’s life. “But I bet you like to take yourself a long, hot bath at the end of a day.”

Baby John began to fuss, bucking straight back in his mother’s lap.

“Or on a hot day like this, maybe a nice cool one. Not too cold—that can be shocking. But tepid. Just enough warm to take off the edge. So when you dip your foot in, you can’t hardly tell where the air stops and the water starts, except for the wet. And then, when you lift yourself out, no matter how hot it is, you get this breeze that just chills—”

“Look, lady. I don’t usually have time to take a bath. I got three kids.”

“Haven’t you got a husband?”

“He’s a manager down at Parson’s. Sometimes he works late.”

“So you never have time to bathe?” Lilly widened her eyes, creating an image of innocent incredulity.

“’Course I do.” The mother set baby John back in his pram and handed him a bottle of milk, a veneer of resentment on her smile. “Just nothing long and luxurious is all.”

Lilly pouted. “Poor dear.” She lifted the tan leather case and set it beside her. Two clicks of the brass latches and she had a wide-mouthed jar—frosted pink glass with a silver-painted lid. “There’s no reason you can’t pamper yourself with even the shortest dip. It’s not the length of the soak but the quality of the soap, that’s what we say at Dalliance Cosmetics.”

“I use Ivory—”

“As well you should, what with the little ones and all. But how about something like this?” Lilly rose from her bench and crossed the path, carrying the wide-mouthed jar aloft like a treasure. Slowly, holding the jar just under the mother’s nose, she twisted the silver lid, wincing a bit at the glare from the bouncing sun. “Bath salts. Lavender. Here, just take a whiff.”

The mother closed her eyes, revealing thin lids with tiny blue branching veins. Perhaps it was the shiny silver lid that caught the attention of the now sticky and sweaty children, because they abandoned their swings and ran pell-mell toward their mother.

Lilly stopped them in their tracks with nothing more than a kohleyed glare. “Scram, kids. This is for your ma.”

The mother opened her eyes again, transformed. Soft and content.

“Very nice.”

“Not bad for a nickel, is it?”

“A nickel? You’re kidding.”

“Well, the whole jar is a dollar thirty, but there’s enough in here for at least twenty-five baths, so that works out to about a nickel a bath. Don’t you think at the end of a day you deserve a nickel’s worth of bath salts all to yourself?”

Perhaps some innate protective sense had taken over the children, because once again they abandoned their swinging and were running—more cautiously this time—toward the benches. Now the mother, with her arms crossed, looked at them with narrowed eyes.

“Teddy and June! You two go play or I’m going to give you a spank right here and now and another when we get home!”

Teddy and June obeyed, taking sulky backward steps so their selfish mother could gaze upon their sweaty, sticky, grubby faces for as long as possible.

The mother scooted an inch or so away from Lilly. “Put that lid back on. I haven’t got a dollar thirty to spend on bath salts.”

“Don’t forget about the beauty of the jar itself,” Lilly said, grasping to close the deal. “When you’ve finished with the lavender, you can always refill it with something from the five-and-dime, and none of your friends need be the wiser. With this beautiful Dalliance Cosmetics jar on your powder-room shelf, you’ll be the envy—”

“I don’t have friends who visit my powder room.” The mother lifted baby John out of the pram again and held him close, resting her chin on top of his bald little head.

Teddy and June would not be denied a third time. They scrambled onto the bench, wedging their way between the two women.

Lilly leaped to her feet, barely snatching the pretty pink jar from the grimy clutches of June.

Once again the mother’s manner softened. What sternness she had dissolved like so many bath salts as her children peppered her with silly questions. Who was this lady? What was in the jar? Could they have a Coca-Cola with their lunch when they got home? And could the lady come have lunch with them? And wasn’t she pretty?

With gentleness Lilly couldn’t have imagined, the mother answered each child. Yes, the lady was pretty, but no, she was far too busy to come home for lunch. This response was given with a wary eye across the top of Teddy’s grubby face, but Lilly just smiled and winked.

It was enough that they thought she was pretty.

Lilly checked to be sure the silver lid was screwed on tight. Then, as the little family debated whether they should play on the swings or the slide, she reached inside baby John’s pram and nestled the lavender bath salts within his blankets. She quickly closed the latches on her leather case and lifted it off the bench.

Before she could get away, however, the mother called out, “Hey! I told you I can’t afford that.”

Lilly waved a hand behind her, bangles clanking. “Forget it. You qualify for the free sample of the day.”

“No, thanks. I’m watching my figure.”

Three blocks later Lilly sat down again—this time at a drugstore counter—and filled out a sales slip. She thought back to the nearly empty powder box on the washstand in her room at Mrs. Myrtle’s Hotel for Women. She had a little more than three dollars in there—two of which were meant for next week’s rent. A couple of big sales would make up the
difference, but she’d need to find better hunting ground.

“Hey, lady.” The man behind the counter wore a blue-and-whitestriped shirt and blue suspenders. His gray hair was thick and curly; the glasses on the bottom of his nose gave a kindly effect absent from his voice.

“This isn’t your office. You going to order something?”

Lilly dug into her little beaded purse and pulled out a dime. “Two Coca-Colas.” One for later tonight with the supper included in her two dollar-a-week rent.

The man behind the counter popped the top off one of the bottles before swiping the dime across the polished wood. Lilly quietly unwrapped her sandwich, keeping it hidden on her lap as she tore off one bite at a time, chewing slowly and washing it down with sips of the cold, dark, fizzing soda.

Behind her the bell rang, and though she didn’t know another soul in this part of town, Lilly spun on her stool to see who walked in. Two women, probably in their fifties, wearing identical gray dresses, white aprons, and ugly brown shoes.


“Afternoon, ladies.” Now the man behind the counter lived up to his friendly visage.

“Afternoon, Ed.”

“Two egg salads? Coffee?”

“Oh, it’s payday,” one of the women said. “Make it two chocolate sodas, right, Annie?”

“You read my mind,” Annie said, and the two of them giggled as if it were truly funny.

“Sounds good,” Lilly said. She imagined herself part of their conversation, but they responded with a dismissive glare. The few bites of sandwich sat heavy in her stomach, and she wished for just a minute she were sharing a sticky table with little June and Teddy.

Deciding these women weren’t worthy of her smile, she drooped her face into an exaggerated pout and twirled back to her sandwich, giving the women a view of the back of her neck, imitating the pose she’d seen on the cover of the Vogue magazine on the newsstand in the corner.

She continued with her sandwich and soda and sales-ticket book, all the while listening to Annie and her friend. Apparently their mistresses were at a weekly country club luncheon, meaning somewhere within walking distance there was a neighborhood with money.

Lilly tore her sandwich into smaller and smaller pieces, making it last long enough for Annie and her friend to finish their egg salads and chocolate sodas. Ed was not fooled for a moment; he’d come close to catching her midbite several times, but every time he asked if she wanted to order something, Lilly smiled her brightest and said no, thank you, she was watching her figure.

At ten minutes to one, the maids slurped the last of their sodas and bid Ed good-bye. Lilly swigged the last of her Coca-Cola—warm and flat by now—and carefully folded the square of wax paper to put back in her leather case. It would wrap tomorrow’s sandwich.

“See ya, Ed.” She gave a little salute, bangles clanking, and set the door’s bell ringing.

With the women in gray about twenty paces ahead, Lilly straightened her shoulders, refreshed her grip on the case’s handle, and took a determined step. Fortune could not be far away.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Lilies in Moonlight 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
StellaMize More than 1 year ago
Lilies in Moonlight by Allison Pittman "I've never felt like anybody loved me. I never knew my father, and I think mama always blamed me for running him off. He didn't want no baby." She said the last two words in her mother's thin, clipped tone. "And when she talked about God, well, it's nothing like what you have to say. She just said that God wants me to have long hair and long skirts and to be good. But I...I don't know how to be good. Not good enough. Never good enough." ~Lilly Margolis Lilly is our beautiful heroine, a flapper girl trying to find her place in a changing world. After leaving the clutches of her emotionally unavailable mother in Pennsylvania, she finds herself at the home of Betty Ruth Cullen, the sweet-loving matriarch of our story. Even though Betty Ruth suffers from dementia, she embraces Lilly completely and the two develop a close friendship. Cullen Burnside is the only child and heir of the Burnside fortune. His passion is baseball, earning him the nickname "Moon" during his high school years. "It's a baseball term," Cullen said, almost in rescue. "When you hit a ball high and long, it hangs in the air. Seems like forever. Looks just like that." He pointed the remains of his cone to the sky. "Guys call it a moon shot." But when his baseball career doesn't work out, he enlists in the army. The harrowing effects of the war leave him emotionally and physically scarred. Lilly and Cullen are at a crossroads in their lives. Both bearing the scars of a past they wish they could change. When their paths intercept, something miraculous happens....healing. Both learn to accept their mistakes and embrace forgiveness fully and completely. I enjoyed this story from beginning to end. I have always loved the early 1900s, especially the Roaring 20s. There was so much change going on in the world and such an exciting time for women. I guess that is why this book grabbed my attention from the first page and wouldn't let go long after turning the last page. Ms. Pittman definitely captured the essence of the roaring 20s and brought it to life on the page. I loved each character and the relationships they developed with each other. I have to say, though, that Moonsie was my very favorite. I loved him instantly. Lilly will definitely make her way into your heart just as she did the Burnsides and remain there long after closing the book. She's feisty, flirty and forward but downright lovable. I also loved that we got see her vulnerable side. All of these elements were so visual in the writing and at times moved me to tears. Such wonderful writing and beautiful characters make this book one of my all time favorites.
mrsinserra More than 1 year ago
This is a great, classic, no bodice ripping romance novel. Lilies in Moonlight, is just the perfect, sweet and romantic tale, of two lost souls who heal each other through their love and devotion. Lilies, take place in the 1920’s and combines two things that people at that time were fond of, baseball and flappers. I have never read a romance novel that took place in that time period and did not just revolve around speakeasies. I found this story completely refreshing and unique. Lilies, made me cry at a few parts, just like any good romance does. Too bad I was in the airport when I was crying, embarrassing my husband. There are both happy and sad parts in this book and you really get to see quite a bit of character development in the two main characters. I fell in love with their story. It is a bit predictable, but what good romance isn’t? There are also elements that I would not have expected, like the verbal abuse that Lilly has taken her entire life from her mother. The reader can easily see why she is the hurt, lost soul that she is. You cannot help but want to reach out and hug her and tell her that she is not what her mother says she is. Cullen is also lost. He has failed at his passion, baseball, and was severely injured when he went off to war. This obviously makes him very self conscience about his looks since he is scarred. He is also tied to his mother who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. He is not your typical hero and Lilly is not your typical heroine. This book does not follow the norm of one wounded soul being saved by a strong hero or heroine, or a bad boy being saved/redeemed by the girl. Lilly and Cullen need each other to find peace, but they must overcome their demons in order to do so. I highly recommend this book to anyone grades 7 through adult. Even though this was primarily written for an adult audience, there is absolutely nothing that would make this a bad book for school aged kids. This book is cleaner than most YA books nowadays. There is no sex, swearing, or violence. There is some illegal drinking, since that is how the two main characters come together, but it is not excessive and there is a positive outcome. Drinking is not shown in a positive light. I received this book as an ARC. I do not get paid to review books; I do so in order to assist you in recognizing books that you might enjoy and also to assist parents and teachers in recommending appropriate books for your kids to read. Please read more of my reviews on my blog: sarahereads(dot)wordpress(dot)com
Rachel-The-Reader More than 1 year ago
This was a great book. I love historical fiction books and this was a pretty fun one. It takes place in the 1920's and has all of the fun of black and white movies and flappers. Lilly was the kind of girl who strived for what she wanted and usually got it. She was the epitome of beauty and success. Yet she didn't have what truly makes a person whole and successful, Jesus. This book starts out with Lilly trying to sell perfumes and such, but can't seem to get a break, until she comes to the door of Betty Ruth Burnside. Instantly you fall in love with the adorable old woman just as Lilly does. As the story progresses Lilly ends up staying with the Burnsides and she learns what it's like to have a mother truly love her, because lo and behold, her own mother despises her. Not only is this a romance between Lilly and Cullen, Betty Ruth's son, but it is also about Lilly finding healing with her mother. Cullen is quite the gentleman and it is easy to like him, even though he is a scarred war veteran. This book is also about Cullen finding healing; the kind of healing that comes from Jesus. The love of Jesus is very apparent throughout this book. This book is truly all about healing. It was very well written and it keeps your attention and suspense throughout the whole thing. I recieved this book through Waterbrook-Multnomah Publishers through their Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review.
JamieLittle More than 1 year ago
I don't know much about the "roaring 20's", but after reading Lilies in Moonlight ¿I think I'd like to learn more about it; it was a time full of war, baseball, flappers and so much more. This book tells a beautiful story that incorporates aspects of the culture of the 1920's in a way that makes the reader feel as though they are there with the characters. From Cullen Burnside's extravagant home to the tiny clapboard house Lily grew up in, Allison Pittman fills the books with details from many different lifestyles in this time period. The writing is superb and I love that the story is written from the viewpoint of both Lily and Cullen; it makes the story deeper and richer. When I finished reading this book, I was a little sad that there wasn't more to the story. I'd really love to know how the story continues. Overall, this is a wonderful story that is well-written and a joy to read. Disclaimer: A complimentary copy of this book was provided for this review. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to post a positive review.
EmBar1 More than 1 year ago
Overall, I would say this book is mediocre. It was somewhat slow at the beginning, but I really enjoyed the last part of the book. Lily is a young woman trying to find herself and she is running from her problems. She does not have a good relationship with her mom, which is why she has runaway. Cullen is a young man who is also trying to discover himself and who is hiding from his past. His father died young, which has left Cullen to help care for his delusional mother. They come together and eventually fall in love. Along the way, their love is tested. They both must overcome individual hurdles that are stumping their growth as a person. I really enjoyed the last part of the book, but the beginning was quite slow. It was a good book, but one I would not highly recommend. I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. All opinions are exclusively mine.
DeliaLatham More than 1 year ago
Fun, fun, fun! Lilly Margolis and Cullen Burnside are about as opposite as two people could possibly be. He's the tortured, scarred, reclusive hero. She's the carefree, beautiful, unfettered flapper who drops into his world and turns it upside down. While Lilly upends Cullen's life, he and his sweet, gracious, ever-more-senile mother set hers to rights. Cozily ensconced in their palatial home, she finds much more than a world of more wealth than she's ever dreamed of. Lilly learns about family and faith.and what love really means. When push comes to shove, it's a road trip across the country with a car full of varied personalities that brings some answers and clears the way for love to work its magic.if the war hero is brave enough, and the girl forgiving enough. I loved this storyline. Fun, entertaining, touching, and absolutely believable. Add well-written to the mix, and Allison Pittman definitely hit one out of the ballpark with Lilies in Moonlight. Very highly recommended!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
honeybee7896 More than 1 year ago
I can't say enough good things about this book. Once I got started on reading I could not put it down, no kidding. Even when I was suffering from a migraine I decided to take a bath and take this book with me (actually, that happened twice). When we were having a rainy, nasty day...I picked this book up and started reading. Next thing I know it was after my boys bedtime and I finished Mrs. Burnside, an older lady with dementia. After a party Lily finds herself in the backyard of Mrs. Burnside, passed out and injured. Lily meets Cullen (Mrs. Burnside's son) and begin a stormy "relationship". Cullen has his own demons but his are more obvious. I say relationship because they aren't a couple but because Lily is living in his house they find themselves running into each other a lot. With Mrs. Burnside's oblivious help these two people find hope and a chance for new beginnings.
Ravenswood_Reviews More than 1 year ago
"LILIES IN MOONLIGHT" BY ALLISON PITTMAN It's the roaring twenties and Lilly Margolis literally stumbles into what could be true love. With her charm, wit, and love of life she changes the lives of two people that had thought their happiness at an end. This story was delightful and intriguing, a beautiful tale of love and how one person could change your life forever. -Kitty Bullard / Great Minds Think Aloud Book Club
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MyFavoriteFinds More than 1 year ago
Lilies in Moonlight, by Allison Pittman, is set in the Roaring Twenties-1925 to be exact. Lily Margolis, a flapper girl with a sweet heart but the wrong decisions, is searching for her way. She knows God loves her-but she has also learned the hard side of God's law from her mother. Lily ran away from home after being told many times that her sins were so terrible and that God would never forgive her. As she makes her way selling cosmetics door to door, she stumbles upon the home of Cullen and Betty Ruth. She is taken in by Betty Ruth, who loves Lily because Betty Ruth only knows how to love people for who they are. As Lily takes residence in the Burnside home, she learns that Betty Ruth suffers from dementia, and that Cullen is an heir to a successful financial business. She also grows to love Cullen, despite his disappointing season in the Majors and a face and hand that were badly burned and scarred during his service in the war. Since both Lily and Cullen felt as if they were unlovable, they are a perfect match for each other. A roadtrip to Pittsburgh to see the World Series, Lily returning to her mother to forgive and ask for forgiveness, and some excitement along the way, all lead to Lily and Cullen's love becoming stronger. I felt that this book was a bit predictable. However, I haven't read a lot of 1920s historical fiction, and I really enjoyed it.
Kassie17 More than 1 year ago
"Lilies in the Moonlight" by Allison Pittman is novel about love and second chances. Set in the times after the war, Lily is a girl who, while trying to make money for rent and living, meets a family that shows her about acceptance, love, and what it means to do the right thing. It is a nice story that you will capture your heart and will teach you something more about life. I really enjoyed reading "Lilies in the Moonlight" and I would suggest it to other readers who are looking for a light and relaxing read. Pittman does a great job building the characters and setting the plot for the story. I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah.
AAR More than 1 year ago
RATING:4.5)LILIES IN MOONLIGHT by Allison Pittman is an interesting inspirational historical romance set in 1925 Florida. It is written with depth and details. The characters are engaging,charming and will capture your heart. It has flappers,family,baseball,cosmetics, wealth,love,mercy,grace,faith and romance. This story will lead the readers from wealthy homes to backwoods tent revival,through hard times,hard truths while a war-wounded man chases a heartbroken wild girl. You will enter their world and experience their hurts,heartbreak,disappointments,their faith,trust and finding true love. While this is a compelling story of love and faith it is also a fun story with hope,overcoming barriers and turning pain of your past into living life to its fullest. This story of Lily Margolis and Cullen Burnside will capture your heart and hold you spellbound while to enjoy their story of true love and faith. Flapper meets baseball/war-wounded,one has lost his jest for life while the other is just plain old lost. Together they will find a place of peace and happiness. A must read. This book was received for the purpose of review from Library Thing and the publisher and details can be found at Multnonah Books and My Book Addiction Reviews.
Donna_R More than 1 year ago
This is a story about a poor girl and a rich boy who appear to be different but actually have a lot in common. I loved this romantic, spiritual story and it kept me turning the pages. Lilly is fun and energetic. She's just what the Burnside's needed in their lives and they are just what she needed. The only part of the book that I was disappointed in was the end. I don't want to spoil the ending for anyone but I wish the characters at the very end had interacted a little more or that a little more would have been told about that relationship earlier in the book.
kdwhatley More than 1 year ago
It is the first by this author and won't be the last. I really enjoyed her pure and wholesome tale of a historical romance. The novel is a love story about Lilly, a flapper from the roaring 50's and Cullen, a baseball player who was injured in the war. Cullen is a Christian man of wealth where Lilly is a non believer who grew up poor and with a single mother who showed her no love. Cullen's mother Betty Ruth takes Lilly in and shows her love and acceptance Betty Ruth who is slipping into dementia is a most wonderful character and perfect example of a true woman of God. At first Lilly is untrusting and defensive of any help. She has been used by so many people in her past. Cullen is unsure of her motives and worried that she is out to hurt his mother. As time goes on, with a few very exciting adventures for the group a love and trust develops. Miles, the long time family chauffeur and Eugenie the maid provide lots of interesting thought in this book. I really liked the way they were portrayed during the era that was not so kind to people of lower social standing. Lilies in Moonlight have lots of scripture in it, and conversations about the bible and God. It was very refreshing and easy to read. Once I started I didn't want to put it down. If you are looking for a sweet easy read this book is for you. I look forward to reading more books by Allison Pittman.
TheAtypicalHousewife More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite parts about reading a book is being sucked within the pages! This book was no exception when it came to entertaining, and leaving you waiting to read the next page. This Christian fiction, romance novel was set back in the 1920's when a young lady named Lily has run away from her overbearing mother and ends up in Florida. Trying to forget her troubles which ultimately leads her to getting drunk, twisting her ankle, and landing in a WWI hero's back yard. This book is not just about two people falling it love, it's also about a woman reconnecting and accepting God, and connecting with family. Unlike some books I've read, this one was full of wonderful descriptions and really made you feel like you were back in the 1920's, a fly on the wall, experiencing the same experiences as Lily and Cullen. Although this book was slightly predictable, with no immense twists and turns, I found it very fun to read. I would definitely suggest this book for someone who is looking to be entertained, and enlightened. You won't be disappointed!! I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review.
MoiraM More than 1 year ago
This was simply the best inspirational romance novel I have ever read. I read quite a lot of books which cross many genres. However many of my favorites through the years have been inspirational romance, stories which show that love does not have to be torrid or unpleasing to God, that it can start and be centered on each partner's relationship with God and putting Him first in their lives and in their relationship. The characters in this story were so real to me. Betty Ruth reminded me quite a lot of my own mother who sadly began suffering from age-related dementia about eight years ago. She passed away on April 2nd of this year and I miss her dearly. This book reminded me to treasure every moment with those you love, especially your elders, because you don't know from one moment to the next if someone suffering from a neural impairment such as dementia or Alzheimer's disease will remember you or when it is their time to be called home to the Lord. So, remember to treasure your loved ones and say I love you as much as you can. Lily Margolis, the title character as it were, came from a very difficult upbringing and reminded extraordinarily of my childhood best friend who was raised in a similar home that seemed to lack any love or warmth. Her mom was very religious and treated Dana harshly at times, as well as blaming her for Dana's father leaving since he didn't want to be responsible for any children. Lily's background is nearly identical to my friend Dana's in that her father left her mother before she was born, a circumstance for which Lily's mom solely blames Lily. She also resents Lily for the hard life she herself has led, being a single mother in a time when such circumstances were not accepted at all by society. As soon as Lily was able she fled her mother's home trying to land her feet. She becomes a cosmetics saleswoman, similar to the well-known Avon Lady, and that is how she meets Betty Ruth. Betty Ruth is delighted with Lily and buys all of her products. Lily is a flapper during the "Roaring '20's" period of our American history and the evening after selling her entire inventory to Mrs. Burnside, she accompanies a friend to a very high-class party. After imbibing a bit too much alcohol and wandering off, Lily passes out in the Burnside's rear garden. She is found the next morning by the housekeeper who thinks she is dead.and calls on the dashing Cullen Burnside to help. To see what ensues you'll have to read this terrific book for yourself! This was one of those books that the reader finds themselves thoroughly engaged in and does not want the story to end. I sincerely hope there are sequels to this novel because I didn't like saying farewell, however fond, to Betty Ruth, Cullen, and Lily most of all.
Carla25 More than 1 year ago
I devoured this enchanting book in two days! It has something for everybody: romance, baseball, war, religion, family, etc. This sweet story follows a flapper named Lilly in her quest to find happiness. She finds happiness and love in an old widow named Betty Ruth and finds something much more in Betty Ruth's war-torn son, Cullen. This family teaches Lilly about forgiveness and family while Lilly teaches them about friendship. The thing that really stands out to me about this book is the lyrical way it is written. Allison Pittman uses beautiful language and wit to create a heartwarming story that enchants the reader and leaves them as satisfied as Thanksgiving dinner! I highly recommend this book for anyone and Ilook forward to reading more from Allison Pittman. I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
elffamilyblog More than 1 year ago
Never judge a book by it's cover. Well, I have to admit, part of me did. When I chose to read Lilies in Moonlight, the storyline itself was enticing, but the cover art left a lot to be desired...well, at least in my mind. Thankfully, I ignored the cover and dove right in and boy was I glad I did. Lilies in Moonlight sucked me and kept me reading whenever I could find a spare minute. When I wasn't reading, I was thinking about the book. Lilly and her free-spirited, flapper attitude had me from the get go and of course, Cullen with his dark and crabby attitude made me want to know his story. While some of the story felt predictable, the overall story was well written, well thought out, and very well researched. Pitman has done excellent job bringing to life the roaring 20's and the bygone era of prohibition, bootlegging, and baseball. Pittman's characters and attitude reflect, what I can only assume was, an accurate portrayal of attitudes on Christianity, flappers, war veterans, and slavery in the 20's. In addition, if you pay close attention and/or have read any of Pittman's other novels, you will find that there is a character that has continually made an appearance. While the cover art did injustice to the book, the book itself is well worth the read. Readers new to Pittman will have found a new author to love.
MissCara More than 1 year ago
This is a book about a girl named Lilly (a flapper), a woman named Betty Ruth (an elderly woman suffering from dementia) and her son Cullen (a veteran who suffered war injuries and ex-major league baseball player). These characters come together through a chance encounter and quickly learn more about themselves, and each other. One of the things that really charmed me about this book was the chapter headings, all the sudden I felt a little like I was in Thoroughly Modern Millie (one of my favorite flapper films, starring Julie Andrews). They read like the dialogue in a silent movie, perfect for the turbulent 20's in which this novel is set. This is a time period which I find fascinating, and for that reason alone I was drawn to this novel. I am never happier than when I am watching Nick and Nora fight crime while drinking a dry martini or Julie Andrews dance her way up the floors in a faulty elevator, wearing a drop waisted gown. This was a pleasant book, but it didn't grab me. There were bits and pieces that I enjoyed, the concept was interesting and fresh, but I simply would not be drawn in. However, I did find great connection with several minor characters throughout the book. The story focuses on three main characters for the majority of the book, only bringing Lilly, the female lead, into focus and context near the end of the novel. Only then did I begin to understand and appreciate her character instead of wondering where she was coming from constantly. As a writer, I know that it is a difficult feat to balance knowing and recording the thoughts of two characters. I thought that Allison Pittman managed this well (with Lilly and Cullen). I always felt that I knew who was "thinking" and had a sense of the place that was their mind, even their world, based on the words that they used. Although this wasn't my favorite book that I've reviewed for Waterbrook/Multnomah, I do think that it would make a perfectly decent vacation read. The story was fast-paced enough (especially as you near the conclusion) to keep the pages turning. If you're interested in the 1920's, so much the better.
Army_Wife20 More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! It had really neat characters in the story. My favorite character was the heroine, Lily Margolis. She is my favorite because in some ways, she is like me. In the beginning of the book, she sells cosmetics called Dalliance Cosmetics and I sell Mary Kay! She hasn't been the perfect Christian and I definitely haven't been a picture perfect Christian either! I can relate to Lily's whole "love" situation in the story, not knowing if the man you love loves you back. She had "a thing" for Cullen Burnside the whole book, and he for her, but he wouldn't show it. I would recommend this book to anyone! Lilies in Moonlight is a good, uplifting Christian romance.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hi! I just got a book from Multnomah's Blogging for Books program- "Lillies in Moonlight" by Allison Pittman. Before I get started, I have to say that I received this book for free from the publisher. Anywho, now, this is a really good book- it's set in (I think) about the 1920's- the age of the flapper:) Actually, the story is focused on a young flapper girl, Lilly Margolis, and war veteran, Cullen Burnside. After a night of craziness, Lilly twists her ankle and finds herself in the backyard of a wealthy family, the Burnsides. As she gets to know the family, she finds that she is attracted to Cullen. But each have a painful past- and when Cullen insists that she return home to her past hurt, their budding romance seems to die. They go, but what will each find at the end of the trail? This book is very good- I think it's part of a series, because there were parts that seemed to reference past characters that I didn't quite get, but this fact didn't diminish this book. The 1920's is not a period that is written about a lot in historical fiction, and I find that I am falling in love with that decade. I would definitely recommend this to the person who loves history, romance, and a good dose of fun:) I give this book five out of five stars:)
rtwins More than 1 year ago
Welcome to the Roaring Twenties ! It is October, 1925. Women are cutting their hair, drinking, smoking, riding in cars with men, wearing short dresses covered with fringe, and dancing in nightclubs. Twenty year old, Lilly Margolis, has lived with her single mother, in a little town outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as a protected caged bird. Her puritan upbringing does not prepare her for the flapper lifestyle. Lilly packs her bags and moves to Pensacola, Florida where she finds a job as a door to door cosmetics sales woman for Dalliance Cosmetics. Lilies in Moonlight is her favorite cream from the collection. In the evenings, she frequents nightclubs, partaking in all that she was forbidden to do while at home. One morning, she finds herself in the parlor of sweet, wealthy, Betty Ruth Burnside, a Christian widow suffering from senility. She purchases Lilly's entire stock and invites her to stay for lunch. Lilly is also introduced to her son, thirty year old Cullen, a former Pittsburgh Pirate, and disabled veteran of The Great War, WW I, who is smitten with Lilly's beauty. The next morning, Cullen finds Lilly in their garden with a broken ankle, passed out drunk, with her flapper dress hiked, revealing more than Cullen should see. Betty Ruth takes pity on her and allows her to remain in the home. Betty Ruth grows closer to this wayward girl. Cullen struggles with his Christian values and faith as Lilly throws herself at him, tempting, teasing, and enticing, at times cruelly, to get him to love her. When Cullen writes to Lilly's mother, she replies with three words. Send her home. Betty Ruth believes that a trip to Pittsburgh will bring healing to both Cullen and Lilly. During an over night stop in Kentucky, they attend an old-fashioned camp meeting revival, and Lilly reveals her past with all its hurt. I loved Lilies In Moonlight by Allison Pittman, which I read in one evening. Although this book does stand alone, there is a reappearing of a reporter who was also present in Stealing Home. The author is very realistic, in a clean way, in her description of Lilly's lifestyle. As a lover of Pirates baseball, Pittsburgh, and history, I found this story a great read. Oh, and yes, I agree with Betty Ruth ... A trip to Pittsburgh might heal just about anything!
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1925 Lilly Margolis is a flapper who, after being tossed to the street by her mother, ekes out a living selling makeup to the affluent. Even for the fun lover, last night was a doozy when she awakens in a stranger's backyard with a sprained ankle and a headache. Widow Betty Ruth Burnside takes the unflappable Lilly into her home. Her son Cullen wants the wastrel gone as he assumes she will swindle his mom out of money. He has enough on his plate with his mom suffering from dementia and he disfigured physically and tormented by the traumas of the Great War in France. However to his chagrin, he is attracted to his mom's guest, an emotion he loathes. As he suffers with battle fatigue from the war and caring for his mom and she has remorse over her past, he decides to take her home. This is a wonderful historical romance with the focus on the Roaring Twenties through baseball and nightclubs. The support cast is solid though their roles limited as the lead couple see 1925 from different polar perspectives. Readers will enjoy this delightful Americana character driven story line as the flapper and the veteran find healing through love. Harriet Klausner