Hidden Storms

Hidden Storms

by Nancy Shew Bolton

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Hidden Storms by Nancy Shew Bolton

Lilli Clarke. They call her the marked girl. Beginning at her left shoulder, a pink birthmark tracks up her throat just past her jaw, like a finger pointing to her brain. Abandoned by her family, she is ostracized by everyone but her grandmother and cousin Bert, Six years of dust storms have left sixteen-year-old Lilli close to death with dust pneumonia. Now she must leave the only real home she’s ever had, or risk death when the next storm hits.

Lilli is sent to her aunt and cousins in Florida to recover. The possibility of a different life presents itself, yet circumstances snatch it away, and she flees to New York City. Unable to find a safe place, she yearns for the storm ravaged home she left. All doors appear to be closed to her, and she resigns herself to the lonely fate of a marked girl. Once again, she is close to death, this time with no one to help her. Will this storm prevail, or is there a new answer for Lilli?

Product Details

BN ID: 2940151910590
Publisher: Prism Book Group
Publication date: 05/07/2015
Sold by: Smashwords
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 299 KB

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Hidden Storms 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
penelopem More than 1 year ago
Young Lilli Clarke believes she is cursed and the cause of many misfortunes--including dust storms. Cruel and suspicious people have told her the birthmark on her shoulder and neck is the "Mark of Cain." Though her grandmother and Bert love her dearly, Lilli's unfortunate experiences only seem to reinforce the negative opinion she has of herself. She does not believe even God could love her. The story highlights how far-reaching hurtful remarks can be as Lilli wanders on her sad, introspective journey from the Dust Bowl, to Florida, to New York where her situation becomes desperate. I recommend this remarkable tale. It was one I couldn't put down.
ReadersFavorite1 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite Everyone is born with some sort of irregularity. We are all different and God made us that way. Unfortunately, some irregularities are very visual and, in some people's eyes, might suggest that the person is cursed, or a creature of the devil. Lilli is born with a large birthmark that curves up her neck and is difficult to hide. People stare at her, avoid her and tell her that she is marked by the devil. Even the pastor says that she's cursed. It's the 1930s, and she lives in Kansas, where the once prosperous farms are turned into dust bowls and the worst storms, the most frequent storms, are the dust storms that make Lilli very sick. She suffers from dust pneumonia and if she doesn't leave Kansas, she may very well die. In Hidden Storms by Nancy Shew Bolton, the people in their tight little community are relieved that Lilli is leaving. They blame her for everything that has gone wrong in their community: the dust storms, the ruined crops, the lost farms, starvation. Only Gram and Bert accept her as she is. With such a stigma attached to Lilli and her birthmark, she struggles over the changes that she faces when going to live with wealthy cousins in Florida, and being blamed for a disaster that affects their livelihood, and then venturing north to New York and wondering if the hurricane that wreaks havoc along the eastern coast is because she has arrived. It is a difficult journey for anyone to take, an even more difficult journey for a seventeen-year-old girl, suddenly alone in the world and too frightened to return home where she fears she will inflict more pain on the only two people she loves and the only two people whom she knows love her. Nancy Shew Bolton has written a compelling story set in the Depression years, when life was difficult at the best of times and sometimes it was easier to find someone to blame. The author has taken great care to create an historical piece that is both believable and realistic. The story is told almost like a memoir, like Lilli is telling her story, but the plot evolves eloquently as the tension heightens. Great character and scene descriptions. The reader feels compassion for the protagonist, Lilli. This is a classic story about a young girl's battle to accept herself as she really is, in a time (the 1930s) when prejudices were very prevalent and often life-altering. Well done!
LisaLickel0 More than 1 year ago
The obvious storms of the Dust Bowl era in US history, the burden of a dysfunctional family and emotionally frail mother, topped by a prominent, distracting mark, Lilli has always believed the worst of herself and coincidental events, despite a loving grandmother and neighbor. The depths of superstition and despair brings out the depravity of people, and Bolton shows us no mercy. Lilli winds her way through too many unfortunate events starting with family members who take her in and try to help, and ending broken and living on the streets of a merciless New York City. Lilli is broken before realizing she's always been loved, most of all by the Father who never leaves us, and a neighbor who never gives up.  Lovely tale. Deeply emotional. Satisfying.
AnnE42 More than 1 year ago
This was a very touching read about a young lady who has been told all of her life that because of her birthmark she in incapable of being loved and that all she brings on others around her is hurt and misfortune.  The author pictures so clearly her journey from the dust bowl drought in the 1930's to the streets of New York.  I couldn't help but hurt with her as she was rejected and made to feel so unloved so many times.  The story is also a beautiful story of her finding those who loved her and guided her in finding God's love and the freedom it brought in her life and the door it opened to finding that the love she was so desperately seeking had been there all along.  I really did enjoy this one and highly recommend it.  
VPCaine More than 1 year ago
Lilli Clarke, sixteen years old, and marked with an apparent skin abnormality that causes her family and even church members to shun her, lies gravely ill with dust pneumonia. The dust bowl and depression has Kansas in its grip and the only ones who love her, Gram and her adopted cousin, Bert, must send her away. It seems that everywhere Lilli goes she brings bad luck with her just like the pastor and her father told her she would. The relatives she travels to live with in Florida think she’s brought them problems in their sponge business and send her to New York to work in a clothing shop. Through unfortunate circumstances, Lilli never gets there and she finds herself cold, alone, and starving on the street. Stumbling into a church she discovers she has hope, love, and forgiveness and her joyous heart lets her discover her own self-worth, and she begins to wonder if Bert’s constant encouragement could mean more than she thought. This story told almost entirely in Lilli’s narrative is well done and touches on a dark economic period for our nation and certainly the mid-west. There’s always a ray of hope for the courageous Lilli as she triumphs over those whose wrong and hurtful words shake her self-esteem. This is the second story I’ve read by Nancy Shew Bolton and I highly recommend it.