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Class set order code: 3637S
Lilly lives and works with her three siblings at her mother’s inn. She dreams of becoming a writer, but in 1891, when her mother decides to turn the inn into a resort, all Lilly has time to do is work. Her father left before she was born, and Lilly feels both lost and trapped because of the family members she misses and the ones she must deal with daily. Can she find her way to happiness?
It’s 1891, and twelve-year-old Lilly works in her mother’s inn near the shores of Lake Michigan, along with her older sister Lu and brothers Gaston and Leo. Their father left before Lilly’s birth; Lilly has never known him. The inn was a gift to her mother and father 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, however, money is tight, and they must do something to change the situation.
Lilly’s mother has decided that the way forward is to make the inn into a resort, and the children work hard to help her achieve that goal. The oldest two work outside the inn as well, using their talents to supplement the family income. Lilly, too young to get a job, feels stuck at home, trapped doing endless chores and other tasks. As she toils at her work, she dreams of attending college and becoming a writer. But more than anything else, she dreams of her father. She wants desperately to know that he loves her.
Lilly’s grandmother, rich and powerful Grandmére Claire Marie, never approved of her son’s marriage, and she broke ties with the family when he left it. But one day she and Lilly happen to see each other. Their red hair is an unmistakable family trait.
So when Gaston is injured in a logger’s contest with a cash prize, Lilly decides to run into town to Grandmére for help. It is an appeal that changes their dynamic forever and sets off a series of unexpected relationships and events, including a rumor of hidden gold on the grounds of the inn, a secret gift, and news of Lilly’s father. Can she learn what she needs to know about him? Can she dare to hope?
Lilly’s Way is at once a rich and complex novel about family values and an accurate historical picture of the juxtaposition of Michigan’s lumber and tourist industries.