Reclaiming Lily

( 37 )


A Mother's Love. A Sister's Promise.
Will Two Women Find the Path to Save a Young Woman's Life?

When an insidious genetic disease strikes her family, Harvard graduate Dr. Kai Chang must alert Lily, the sister Kai left on orphanage steps years earlier. Standing in her way are the Powells, Lily's adoptive parents. Gloria Powell, a shy pastor's wife, distrusts Kai and thinks her presence will send their troubled seventeen-year-old over the ...

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Reclaiming Lily

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A Mother's Love. A Sister's Promise.
Will Two Women Find the Path to Save a Young Woman's Life?

When an insidious genetic disease strikes her family, Harvard graduate Dr. Kai Chang must alert Lily, the sister Kai left on orphanage steps years earlier. Standing in her way are the Powells, Lily's adoptive parents. Gloria Powell, a shy pastor's wife, distrusts Kai and thinks her presence will send their troubled seventeen-year-old over the precipice of teenaged angst. A Texas-sized tornado whirls when Kai summons the Powells to a Fort Worth hotel. Tempers and cultures collide. Can Kai and Gloria, separated by culture and faith but devoted to Lily, reconcile their differences and trust their dreams to God?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Texans Gloria and Andrew Powell adopt a Chinese girl, Lily (whom they rename Joy), who grows into a rebellious teenager. Meanwhile, Lily’s older sister, Chang Kai, moves to America for her medical training, knowing she must honor their mother’s last words: “Reclaim Lily.” Kai also knows that Lily may have inherited the kidney disease that killed the girls’ mother. She is the unwelcome bearer of bad news even as the Powells grapple with Joy’s defiance. Lacy lays out a nicely knotted plot that women readers who have adopted internationally can particularly relate to. But her execution misses the mark. The prose wears purple rouge (“The points of his shiny, star-shaped badge gleamed a chilling message”). Characterization is uneven; Andrew Powell is an infinitely patient minister, and Joy/Lily’s character development is unpersuasive. Readers seeking a wholesome read should know the story is strongly evangelical Christian; the come-to-Jesus plot moments may puzzle those who don’t need them. The portrayal of Chinese religious philosophy is also myopically evangelical Christian. All in all, this novel will be enjoyed most by those who share the author’s religious beliefs. (Oct.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780764209413
  • Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/1/2011
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 1,261,874
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Patti Lacy graduated from Baylor University with a BS in education and completed master's-level courses in English at Indiana State University. She taught at Heartland Community College until May 2006 when she resigned to pursue her passion of writing. The author of three previous novels, Patti is the mother of two grown children and lives with her husband in Normal, Illinois.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 37 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 37 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 9, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Reclaiming Lily

    I had a really hard time getting into this book. The first half of 'Reclaiming Lily' covered just one day and was very slow moving. It would alternate between the present day and the stories that Kai would tell about her life in China. However, about two-thirds into the book the story really got interesting, and I found myself rushing to reach the conclusion. The last twenty or so pages were especially moving, although abit abrupt, and left me guessing until the very end - literally until the last paragraph!

    The story of Kai's life in China was so vividly written. I have heard of China's one child policy, but this story drives home how difficult that policy really is. Kai's mother had three daughters before the policy was put in place, but shortly after it goes into effect she finds herself pregnant again. Fearing what the government might do, her husband demands that she get an abortion, but she refuses to kill her child. Knowing that she can't keep her baby, she makes the heart breaking decision to leave her baby (Lily) at an orphanage (because a healthy child that was left at an orphanage would be taken care of), with the hopes of one day reclaiming her. But it would not go as planned.

    When Lily was ten years old Pastor Andrew and Gloria Powell, an American couple, adopted her, changed her name to Joy and brought her home to Texas. Kai was there when they took her from the orphanage, watching from a distance horrified that her baby sister was being taken away and helpless to stop it.

    The Powells have raised Joy to believe in God, but lately she has been rebeling against them at ever turn. Joy turns against a God that she at one time claimed to believe in and not only that but she acts out in so many different ways, that they never know what to expect from her anymore.

    When Kai brings the news to them that Joy might have Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD), they are wary of Kai at first, but she soons endears herself to them. PKD is an hereditery disease, and Kai and Joy's mother had had it. The only treatment is dialysis or a kidney transplant and Kai wants her tested for it right away.

    I didn't like how long it took for me to get into the book and how when it got to the more crucial parts of the story it would jump ahead - sometimes by years. I felt that for a book that has 384 pages, it seemed rushed at the end, like the story was getting to long and so was just quickly finished.

    Overall, I found 'Reclaiming Lily' to be an enjoyable book, but not one that I would be quick to recommend and likely won't be a book that I will read again.

    *** I received a complimentary copy of this book through Litfuse to review. I was asked to give my honest opinion of the book - which I have done. ***

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2012

    very good

    having an adopted daughter named Lily I was interested in the book...thought she is not from China. This was a very interesting book...enjoyed the emphasis on telling kids the truth all along...and learned a lot about China and their culture. Very enjoyable

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2014

    Amazing story...but

    Initially didn't like the book...had some confusing parts I thought...but once I pushed passed the hard paragraphs the story unfolded more clearly. I would have liked to have given more stars but there were too many holes that should have been filled in...and the jump to the surprise ending left me on empty. This is a very unique and precious story, but just needed more. Review by CherishD

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2012

    Could not put it down!

    Loved this book. As on adoptive mom to 2 children from China, that story line in the book had me hooked. I also loved the ending.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 23, 2012

    An intriguing story of East meets West

    "Reclaiming Lily" is a gut wrenching tale of two families who love and claim the same little girl as their daughter.

    A Texas Pastor and his wife adopt a young Chinese girl, believing their family will finally be complete. They name her Joy-the thing that has been missing in their lives.
    Joy, whose name is actually Lily, already has a family, but due to horrible circumstances, was left at the orphanage. Lily's older sister, Kai, has vowed to someday bring her home. When she witnesses the Powells taking her from the orphanage, she knows it will be many years before they will meet again.

    Patti Lacy has once again written a story with real fleshed-out characters struggling with life's tough questions. If God is a good God, why does he allow bad things to happen? Infertility, abandonment, prejudice, tornadoes, starvation, sickness, death. Why do miracles happen sometimes, but not all the time? How does God use bad things to further his perfect plan?

    The sweet little girl from China that the Powells adopted seven years earlier is now an angry and rebellious teenager, and they are at their wits end in dealing with her. Into their lives walks Dr. Kai Chang, a Boston specialist and Lily's (Joy's) sister. She has worked hard her entire life with the sole purpose of finding and reclaiming Lily, to let her know that she was not forgotten. She has something very important to discuss with them.

    Gloria is fearful that this Chinese sister will take her daughter from her, but Kai has no intention of that. She is fulfilling a promise she made to her mother that she would find Lily (Joy) and let her know that she was wanted and loved.

    Dr. Kai Chang is a renal specialist dealing with PKD. A disease that destroys the kidneys and leads to death. Their mother died of PKD and it is passed through the genes. She is fearful that Lily might already be carrying the disease in her body.

    I truly enjoyed "Reclaiming Lily." The author did a wonderful job of getting into the mind of this Chinese doctor as well as showing the American mother's desperate need for her adopted daughter's acceptance and love. It was definitely an East meets West story and how we often perceive those we don't understand out of mindless fear. For me the first chapter or so was hard to get into but overall I truly enjoyed the story.
    (I was given a free copy of Reclaiming Lily in exchange for writing an honest review.)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2012

    Good read

    This was a good read for a free book. It was long and harder to read in the beginning but got better. About page 182 it kept going back to 178. I think I missed some pages even though I kept selecting specific pages to go to.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 27, 2012

    more from this reviewer


    This is a very touching book. It deals with some of the harder issues of adoption that arise especially from adopting from a foreign country. What have the children been through, what are the health and mental issues the children might have? Are there family members that might come after the kids at a later date and if so what are their purposes- to help the adoptive people or to reclaim family members?
    In Reclaiming Lily the adoptive family are really struggling with their adoptive daughter with health issues as well as with her wondering where she comes from and why she was not wanted. The Pastor and his wife are trying to handle it the best way that they can with pray, understanding and just trying to show the daughter all the love that they can.
    On the other side of the story the sister of the adoptive daughter is trying to find her. She has been looking as she was one of the sister that was left to take care of all the problems that arose with the family being torn apart in China. As the story flows from Lily and her current problems, the sister tells the story as to what happened and what decisions were made before the family adopt "Lily". She shows the hard decisions that her and the other sisters had to make as there world was torn apart at such an early age.
    It is a very good story and shows that very hard life decisions can be made with all good intentions and yet issues can arise. I would recommend this story to people that have adopted as it does show the positive side of things as well as the reality that we all have a history and that history is not always beautiful and easily handled.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2014

    Slow at first, but glad that I read the book.

    For me this started out slow and I couldn't get into the book, but I was bound to finish it.
    It is a good book. I am glad that I did read the whole thing.

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  • Posted March 20, 2014



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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2013

    Wanted to but couldn't

    Wanted to love, but didn't even finish. Boring. Unreal.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2012


    Darkdream flew through the air, a determined look in her eyes. 'You seem eager to get your body back.' Lightcloud noted. Darkdream smiled and nodded. She flew over a sparkling lake, 'Almost there!' Darkdream thought. A few minutes later, Darkdream dropped to the ground and found herself in a beautiful forest. "Wow!" She meowed. Her shadowy wings disappeared and she began padding through the forest. Birds were chirping and the sun was shining through the trees. 'This is beautiful!' Lightcloud said. Darkdream squinted and saw the outline of a large tree, "We're here!" She purred. She ran over to the tree. It was a large oak tree with a hollow opening which appeared to lead to a cave. She smiled and padded into the trunk. Within it was a cave. Darkdream trotted through the long cave untill she found herself at a sparkling pool of water. She leaned down and lapped some of it up. Her eyes closed and she fell asleep. Her eyes opened and she was in a large starry clearing. She was then alarmed to find herself in her own body. She looked to her left and saw Lightcloud with the same alarmed look on her face. They looked at each other and purred. "Greetings Lightcloud and Darkdream." A voice said. A pretty white she-cat appeared. "My name is Moonstar." She meowed. Darkdream's eyes widened, "You are in charge of wishes and guiding cats to StarClan!" Darkdream exclaimed. Moonstar purred and nodded. "Indeed I am." She meowed. "And... you're here to grant us a wish?" Lightcloud meowed. Moonstar nodded, "Yes. Now, what is your wish?" She asked. Darkdream didn't hesitate to answer, "I wish we were back to our original bodies!" She meowed. Moonstar's eyes began to glow, "It shall be done.." She meowed. A flash filled the air and the two jet-black she-cats were at the pool again, in their own bodies. "It worked!" Lightcloud exclaimed. Darkdream nodded and smiled, "Now, lts head back to camp!" She announced. ~Thirty minutes later~ The two she-cats padded along a lake. Suddenly, Darkdream stopped walking. "Are you okay?" Lightcloud asked. Darkdream shook her head, "I smell badger!" She hissed. A looming figure then rose up behind Lightcloud, "Lightcloud, watch out!!" Darkdream yowled. Lightcloud spun around, but it was too late. The badger raised a paw and slashed at Lightcloud's neck. She colapsed to the ground, blood pouring from her neck, "LIGHTCLOUD!!!!" Darkdream shrieked. She unsheathed her long red claws and leaped onto the badger. She was much stronger in her original body, so she took the badger down easily. Darkdream raced over to her fallen companion and picked her up by the scruff. She then summoned her shadowy wings and flew back to camp as fast as she could.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2012



    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 15, 2011

    Woven like a grass tatami mat!

    Once again, Patti Lacy writes a book that shows she is a writer's writer. She never takes on small challenges, and in her latest novel, Reclaiming Lily, she mines the rich veins of story involving a family whose foreign adoption involves intrigue and heart-wrenching drama.
    The layers to this story come down one atop the other, turning this way and that until they're woven tighter than a grass tatami mat. There's the adoption from China seen both from the side of the woman whose heart has long ached for a child, and through the eyes of the child's older sister who hoped to reclaim her sibling from the orphanage and bring her back to her birth family. Finally, it's seen through the eyes of the teenager who remembers the loss, abandonment, fear, hatred, and displacement she struggled through.
    Reclaiming Lily speaks to the tragedies of civil unrest, culture clashes, self-mutilation, teenage rebellion, and of the devastating effects of genetic disease. Ultimately, it's a story that weaves the faith factor in so realistically, I couldn't help but be moved.
    Ms. Lacy brings about a huge twist in the plot eventually that provides a superb "Ah-ha!" moment, and the ending is both dramatic and satisfying. It's definitely women's fiction worth reading. It will stay with you.

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  • Posted December 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Serious story, hitting real life and death issues

    Joy - a teenager in rebellion, Gloria - her insecure adoptive mother, and Kia - a mysterious birth sister come together for a emotional story in Reclaiming Lily. The themes of the book revolve around China, adoption, cutting, rebellion, trust, and PKD (polycystic kidney disease). Also, some questions are continually asked/implied, such as, ¿Who is this Christian God and what does He want with me?¿ (as Kia might say).

    To say I ¿enjoyed¿ Reclaiming Lily seems inappropriate. This book is not an ¿easy, feel good¿ read. It is a serious story, hitting serious life and death issues. The book was written well, but did have a rhythm that I had to get use to, like following the story in and out of flashbacks. The characters felt real and full with changes as life happened. God was a big part of the story, but intertwined in their lives, actions, and thoughts, as He should be. Oh, and are you confused who the Lily is that is mentioned in the title, well... read the book! :)

    This was my first book by Patti Lacy, but it will not be the last! I would encourage you to check out this book, Reclaiming Lily.

    Disclosure: I received book free from Bethany House Book Reviewers¿ program. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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  • Posted December 6, 2011

    Patty Lacy's Writing Never Ceases to Amaze!

    Patti Lacy has been one of my favorite writers since her first book, because her prose is like poetry. To me, the way she paints pictures with words makes her the Leonardo da Vinci of the writing world. Add to that this moving story about sisters separated by oceans and a family torn apart by the ravages of an inherited disease, and you¿ll never view life in the same context again. In Reclaiming Lily, Harvard graduate, Dr. Kai Chang, needs to warn Lily, the sister she left on the steps of a Chinese orphanage years earlier, about a devastating disease that runs in their family. But Lily had been adopted by an American couple, the Powells. Gloria Powell distrusts Kai, and fears her presence will send their troubled seventeen-year-old daughter over the edge. Can Kai and Gloria put aside their differences, and work together for Lily¿s sake? I can¿t say enough about how excellent Reclaiming Lily is. You¿ll need to keep the tissues nearby for this one!

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  • Posted November 17, 2011

    Fantastic story!

    Dr. Kai Chang has devoted her life to two causes: diagnosing the mysterious illness which caused her mother's death and reclaiming the sister lost to adoption by an American family. But when Kai finds the cause of her mother's death to be a terrible genetic disease, she realizes her sister is also at risk.

    In contacting Lily's adoptive parents to warn them of the danger, Kai realizes more than the miles between her new home in Boston and the Powell's in Texas stands between them. In the midst of a violent Texas tornado, Kai tries desperately to reveal the secrets of the past and bring healing to the future.

    I knew from page one that I wouldn't be able to put this book down. The characters are moving and powerfully written. The struggles of each family member, biological and adoptive, really made me think back to my own high school years, in which my parents brought a teen boy into our family. Tumultuous does not even begin to describe it, and yet author Patti Lacy captures the sorrows, frustrations, joys and rewards of such a situation.

    I highly recommend Reclaiming Lily, not only to friends and family of adopted children, but to all.

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  • Posted October 30, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    This one will tear at your heart

    Gloria and Andrew, residents from Texas, anxious to become first time parents travel to China to adopt a little girl whom they named Joy. As they meet and take their daughter to their awaiting vehicle they are being watched from a distance by a girl on her bicycle named Kai. Years later Kai is insistant on locating Joy whom is her sister Lily to inform her of their families genetic disease history. What Kai finds when she is introduced to their adoptive parents is a cold and unwelcoming mother. Gloria is frightened that Kai will take Joy away from them. Kai confronted the hostility and brought them into her world, one of a tortuous past in China. Joy now a teenager is having trouble fitting in with her peers. Can Gloria listen and follow her heart to trust Kai? Can Kai fulfill a dying mother's wish?

    This novel has excellent dialogue and scenery and is a tear at your heart kind of book. I did not have trouble getting into the storyline but felt that more character development was needed. Going from the history to the present was excellent. The overall message was inspiring and I was challenged in my faith. This is an entertaining novel I will recommend! Thank You to Bethany House Publishers for providing this complimentary copy for me for my review.

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  • Posted October 27, 2011

    A Bold, Beautiful Novel

    Works of fiction usually captivate readers with their primary story line. Patti Lacy's Reclaiming Lily certainly presents a story that is unforgettable in its themes of sacrifice and faith. The novel is a page-turner that delights its readers with unexpected twists that weave rich layers worthy of literary discussion. While Kai is Patti's main focus, I personally learned from her character, Gloria. Gloria and her pastor-husband adopted Kai's sister, Joy, from China years before the main story begins. Though Gloria and Andrew are exemplary Christian parents, Joy has become a rebellious teenager. Culture differences play a role in Joy's disdain of authority, but I was mesmerized by Gloria's unintentional blindness to the damage her overprotection was heaping upon Joy. Even if the culture issue were stripped from this story, the message stands clear and strong: parenting a teenager with fear at the helm can erode the heart of the "safe" child. Too much safety binds the child from the freedom to follow God's pathway through the dangers and trials that form the child's faith. This message, handled deftly and believably, is alone worth far more than the price of the book. In this novel and her prior novels, Patti is an expert at using tragedy as a catalyst to shift characters' hearts and minds. She accomplishes the shifts in subtle increments. Her characters' step-by-step changes are remarkably believable in a callous world where we sometimes wonder if anyone will ever change for the better. Patti offers hope that change is still possible even in our super-expressway, information-glutted modern world. I also admire Patti for being willing to step out on the frontier of faith. With Kai's "Healing Right Hand" and her subsequent spiritual enlightening under sedation in the operating room, Patti walks out onto thin air where the unseen meets the seen and declares, "Our God is real, and He is here." Some readers may question Patti's stretch, but I applaud it. This foggy territory is the very ground where God reveals Himself in unique, personal ways to those who are desperate enough to yearn over the borderline where faith meets a startlingly tangible God. Reclaiming Lily is so well written that even the secondary characters and subplots are life-changing. It's a delightful read that accelerates into the overnight hours in the hands of anyone who enjoys a good story. More importantly, it houses power to steer God-seekers beyond the curtain of safety to an all-encompassing, eternal joy.

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  • Posted October 17, 2011

    Excellence in women's fiction

    Reclaiming Lily captures the storm of emotions that ensue when a biological sister battles adoptive parents for a troubled teen. Author Patti Lacy is an expert at writing about chaos without losing her readers. She weaves together the parents' visit to China and the Chinese family's history into the present-day life of a Texas couple and a Boston physician. The characters' internal journeys are accurately portrayed with incredible depth - a young physician from China does not think like a pastor's wife from Fort Worth. Twists, turns, and potholes, including medical and spiritual crises, form a journey as challenging as the roughest road in China. And the surprise ending brings a tearful sigh of satisfaction.

    I'd read Meredith Efken's Lucky Baby, also about adopting from China, so I was worried about reading the same thing. While both books are excellently written, the authors have different styles and take the topic in totally different directions. Both are highly recommended!

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  • Posted October 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Beautifully penned women's fiction!

    Years ago a Chinese family had to give up their baby to an orphanage with every intent of reclaiming her once they could take care of her. When that day came it was one day too late and she was being adopted by an American family. 7 years later her sister, Kai, is seeking out Lily's American family to give them the news that their mother had a hereditary disease that Lily could be carrying. She finds the perfect little American family isn't so perfect and maybe just maybe they need her after all.

    There are many points in the story where Lily is connecting with Kai and in turn she develops a better relationship with her American parents as well. There is a turning point in the story when we find that Kai can't be the saviour she was hoping to be but someone else can.

    This book was intriguing and even though it was not a mystery I loved the twists and turns along the way. Patti Lacy has penned an incredible story that again reminds me that while women's fiction is not my favorite genre, when she writes it she crafts incredible stories that make them favorites on my bookshelves!

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