International adoptions seem to be everywhere these days, with the adoption of Chinese baby girls seeming to take the forefront in the public eye. But, beyond the understanding that these little girls are left to the care of Chinese orphanages, we know so little about the stories behind those little lives or just how God has worked in His oft unseen way to bring life and salvation where hope seems lost.
Such a backdrop forms the foundation for Patti Lacy’s novel Reclaiming Lily. Lily has been left in a Chinese orphanage, but circumstances are not what they seem. Her Chinese family longs for her. Aches for her to be restored for them. But culture and tragedy seem to be continually working against them. At age ten, Lily is adopted by Texan pastor Andrew Powell and his wife Gloria, and the Chang family wonders if they will ever see their beloved Fourth Daughter again.
Time passes and Second Daughter, born Chang Kaiping but now using the name Dr. Kai to accommodate her American patients, has poured every resource into attaining a position that will allow her to seek out and reclaim her long-lost sister. She has also become a prominent specialist in polycystic kidney disease, the genetic disease she believes killed her mother and could at any time afflict her or her sisters…including Lily.
But, in order to help Lily, now known as Joy, Kai must win the confidence and trust of Andrew and Gloria Powell. Culture and faith form a huge gulf between Kai and the Powells – a gulf only a miracle can span.
As I read the first chapters of Reclaiming Lily, I struggled with confusion. Patti Lacy’s descriptive writing style, combined with the unfamiliar Chinese setting, made it difficult to truly grasp what was going on. But, as I continued to push through those first chapters, I discovered an amazing and compelling story. Lacy has skillfully woven a story of God’s powerful ability to transform lives and work miracles in the most ordinary ways.
For me, the most compelling aspect of Reclaming Lily was Lacy’s presentation of Kai being sought and called by God. The story clearly expresses how God seeks us and calls us, even when we are powerless to seek Him.
The one thing I would have liked to see added to Reclaiming Lily is more historical background regarding China’s Cultural Revolution. Factual information could have been woven into the story, and it would have helped with the clarity of the first few chapters.
Reclaiming Lily is a beautiful story that I intend to reread and pass on.
This book was sent to me by Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.