Lilly's Way

Author: Cory, Kim Delmar

Subjects: Family Relationships; Historical Adventure; Lumbering

Age: 9, 10, 11, 12

Grade: 4, 5, 6

Order code: 3636

Price: $14.99
Website price: $10.00

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 3636S

Lilly's Way Cover

Muskegon, Michigan, 1891. Twelve-year old Lilly works in her mother’s inn along with teenage brother Gaston and teenage sister Lu. The family has been fatherless since just before Lilly’s birth. Father deserted them. The inn was a gift to Lilly’s parents from his wealthy parents early in the marriage to help settle their son’s gambling, irresponsible nature. It didn’t work, but it has provided shelter and a modest income for the family. Now, money is tight and changes have to be made.

Their mother, Beth wants to make the inn into a resort by sprucing it up and marketing some of its specialties, particularly orchard fresh foods and tours. Gaston wants to join a lumbering outfit to make extra money. Lu, artistic and a wonderful seamstress, works part-time at the Muskegon paper and wants to look fashionable and marry well. Lilly, more than anything else, wants to know that her father loves her; and to attend college and become a writer.

Rich and powerful businesswoman Grandmére Claire Marie never approved of her son’s marriage and broke ties with the family when he left it. In town for a Chamber of Commerce meeting, a chance sighting of Lilly’s flaming red hair, unmistakably the same as her son’s, revives her thoughts of the family and the past. Her own red hair is not lost on Lilly, who sees her across the street and immediately knows who she is.

Later, when Gaston is in an accident during a logger’s contest with $1,000 prize money, Lilly runs into town to Grandmére to fetch a doctor because she is sure a good one will respond to her grandmother’s call. They arrive at the accident site to find Gaston already in the care of Dr. King. On the way, Grandmother has begun to heal the family rift by accepting Lilly as her grandchild. When Lilly tells Beth Grandmother’s words, Beth realizes that she and her grandmother really never took the time to listen to each other.

Duncan Christie arrives to woo Beth. Gaston appears to have won the $1,000, to be used on the inn. And Lilly determines that Dr. King is the right man for her mother, particularly after she overhears that Duncan is an embezzler. He has been courting Beth because one of her orchards is supposed to contain bank robber’s gold. Meanwhile, Grandmére has been quietly maneuvering to help the family. The $1,000 Gaston got from the logging company was from her, as was a well-meaning letter to Beth. As the family begins to clear the orchard of dead trees, they find a willow filled with gold coins. Thoughts now turn to building a proper dock for a ferry landing, indoor plumbing, college, and telephones.

The novel closes with Lilly coming to terms with herself about her father, who has been in town and has left at his mother’s mansion letters for the children and one for his mother, who personally delivers the children’s and apologizes for the missed years. Lilly now reads that he loves her. She needed to know that, but now, more importantly, she realizes that she has always been her mother’s daughter, and prepares to get on with the things she has to do.

Lilly’s Way is at once a beautiful novel of family values and an accurate historical picture of the juxtaposition of Michigan’s lumbering and tourist industries.

Kim Delmar Cory is a resident of Michigan.

Muskegon, Michigan, 1891. Twelve-year old Lilly works in her mother’s inn along with teenage brother Gaston and teenage sister Lu. The family has been fatherless since just before Lilly’s birth. Father deserted them. The inn was a gift to Lilly’s parents from his wealthy parents early in the marriage to help settle their son’s gambling, irresponsible nature. It didn’t work, but it has provided shelter and a modest income for the family. Now, money is tight and changes have to be made.

Their mother, Beth wants to make the inn into a resort by sprucing it up and marketing some of its specialties, particularly orchard fresh foods and tours. Gaston wants to join a lumbering outfit to make extra money. Lu, artistic and a wonderful seamstress, works part-time at the Muskegon paper and wants to look fashionable and marry well. Lilly, more than anything else, wants to know that her father loves her; and to attend college and become a writer.

Rich and powerful businesswoman Grandmére Claire Marie never approved of her son’s marriage and broke ties with the family when he left it. In town for a Chamber of Commerce meeting, a chance sighting of Lilly’s flaming red hair, unmistakably the same as her son’s, revives her thoughts of the family and the past. Her own red hair is not lost on Lilly, who sees her across the street and immediately knows who she is.

Later, when Gaston is in an accident during a logger’s contest with $1,000 prize money, Lilly runs into town to Grandmére to fetch a doctor because she is sure a good one will respond to her grandmother’s call. They arrive at the accident site to find Gaston already in the care of Dr. King. On the way, Grandmother has begun to heal the family rift by accepting Lilly as her grandchild. When Lilly tells Beth Grandmother’s words, Beth realizes that she and her grandmother really never took the time to listen to each other.

Duncan Christie arrives to woo Beth. Gaston appears to have won the $1,000, to be used on the inn. And Lilly determines that Dr. King is the right man for her mother, particularly after she overhears that Duncan is an embezzler. He has been courting Beth because one of her orchards is supposed to contain bank robber’s gold. Meanwhile, Grandmére has been quietly maneuvering to help the family. The $1,000 Gaston got from the logging company was from her, as was a well-meaning letter to Beth. As the family begins to clear the orchard of dead trees, they find a willow filled with gold coins. Thoughts now turn to building a proper dock for a ferry landing, indoor plumbing, college, and telephones.

The novel closes with Lilly coming to terms with herself about her father, who has been in town and has left at his mother’s mansion letters for the children and one for his mother, who personally delivers the children’s and apologizes for the missed years. Lilly now reads that he loves her. She needed to know that, but now, more importantly, she realizes that she has always been her mother’s daughter, and prepares to get on with the things she has to do.

Lilly’s Way is at once a beautiful novel of family values and an accurate historical picture of the juxtaposition of Michigan’s lumbering and tourist industries.

Kim Delmar Cory is a resident of Michigan.

Lilly's Way Cover

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