Friday, August 26, 2011

Why Does It Have To Be "In With The New And Out With The Old"?

So who of us isn't interested in upgrading? I'm perfectly comfortable with new cars, new clothes, new houses, new computer programs, and new and improved products of varying kinds. From what I can tell, over 50% of the society are upgrading their spouses as well. But that's another discussion. (lol)

The same seems to hold true for books. OK, I am just as prone to want the next new novel an author is writing, and I get just as excited when the new addition to a series comes onto the shelf or the ebook publisher. But I have been discovering some of the books that authors have written 3-10 years previously, some of which have turned out to be really good and I, for one, am just a little distressed that they seem to Perhaps this is a characteristic of my naturally generous nature (Ewww) or it might just be driven by the realization that I am not among the "new and improved" humans anymore. Whatever the cause, I have been deliberately seeking out some of the older, sometimes forgotten earlier works by authors. As a fan of second-hand book stores, this is easier with print books. But discovering ebooks that have been around for awhile isn't all that difficult, espe
cially when searching through clearance sale stashes online.

Morgan Ashbury is an author I discovered some months ago and I have come to really enjoy all of her writing. Lily in Bloom is a novel that was released in 2007 so has been around for a while. Yet its core issue is just as contemporary as any found in romance fiction.

It is a May/December story of a 43 year old woman who finds herself divorced and living on a rural property left her by her uncle and one that is quite valuable. Lily Martin had a mother who hated her, an ex-husband who still thought he could control her, and children who treated her as a servant and in an overt disrespectful way. The truth was that she had allowed this, all in the name of pleasing a mother who would never be pleased, trying in the worst way to find love and acceptance.

Enter Ryan Kincaid, a man over a decade younger than Lily, and
one she had first met when he was 16 and skinny dipping in her neighbor's pool. (Lily didn't think Ryan saw her watching him.) He was beautiful then; he is magnificent now. And unbeknownst to her, Ryan has been in love with her for nearly as long. He is single and now so is she. All during the years of his university experience and his decade of traveling around the world, he matured into a man who is comfortable in his own skin and knows that loving an older woman is no different than an older man marrying a much younger woman. And as their affair grows more intense and Lily allows Ryan to help her see herself and her relatives through a different set of inner lenses, she begins to allow herself to grow and "bloom."

It is a woman that will have readers cheering Lily on as she takes on her disrespectful children, her controlling and intrusive ex-husband, and her mean and nasty mother. And readers will appreciate the deep kindness and sensitivity of a man who accepts Lily's love as a precious treasure, an experience she had never had previously.

Speaking of treasures, some of the older works of our favorite authors are just that: treasures. Yes, they mature and grow in their writing style and their list of interests and subject matter changes and grows with time. Even so, we owe it to them and to ourselves to appreciate their work, even if it has been sitting on shelves for years.
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