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4.16  ·  Rating details ·  82 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Lily is a girl who discovers she has the ability to see how others will die simply by touching them. Only she doesn't want this gift, and takes extreme measure to protect herself from it. When her mother--because every fairy tale has to have a wicked (step)mother--sells Lily's services to an evangelical preacher and his wildly popular travelling tent revival, Lily is torn ...more
Paperback, 262 pages
Published October 1st 2016 by Lethe Press
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Average rating 4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  82 ratings  ·  20 reviews

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May 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Through his fairy tale MTF examines belief and its collateral damage. I would have liked a more in depth exploration of why we 'have' to believe and the relationship between belief and truth and the payback gained by belief (any kind even if you choose 'not to believe'). This story remained in the topsoil as regards to this. Still it is a good story, with a 'baddie', some 'goodies' and a great Baba Yaga and an honourable mention for Mr Scratch of course.

My second Michael Thomas Ford which I
Jean Roberta
Oct 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
“On the morning of her thirteenth birthday, Lily kissed her father and knew he would be dead by nightfall.”

Thus begins the coming-of-age story of Lily, who has always lived happily in a seaside village with her mother and her fisherman father until his death changes her life. Like other central characters in fairy tales, she is given magical gifts (from her late father) and tested by an antagonist, the witch Baba Yaga from Russian folklore.

When Lily is unable to foresee the death of the witch, s
A Voracious Reader (a.k.a. Carol)

Book source ~ Gifted

On the morning of her thirteenth birthday Lily touched her father and saw his death. Thinking it was a bad dream, she realizes it’s a curse when he dies that very day. Her mother whisks her away from the village she grew up in to the outside world that doesn’t have any magic. Joining a traveling tent revival the evangelical preacher uses Lily’s gift for his own gain. In the meantime, Baba Yaga has taken an interest in Lily. Which is surely not a good thing. How will Lily g
Jun 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Yet another book where I cannot easily come down on one side cleanly. Did I like it? Did I dislike it? I could say yes to both of those questions and not be lying.

If there’s one thing this book does crushingly well, it’s atmosphere. The illustrations are amazing, haunting even, but even without them, the whole thing feels like a starkly black and white inked drawing. The world is dark and painful to inhabit. Comparisons to fairy tales are obviously intended, and earned as well. Each character is
Sep 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An exceptionally entertaining novel. Magical, dark, and yet whimsical too.
Jun 15, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: ladies
Staven Andersen's illustrations are absolutely fantastic- creepy and whimsical and detailed. I'm devastated that I can't find any online presence for him.

Onto the story- I don't really know how to feel about Lily- it wasn't bad! The atmosphere was good, with ghosts and Baba Yaga and creepy clowns and old school Revival preachers. The story was familiar, but well told. The ending was sweet, with some bitterness as well. Baba Yaga's chapters were excellent, and I loved Lily separating herself and
Dec 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Lily is a girl who discovers she has the ability to see how others will die simply by touching them. Only she doesn't want this gift, and takes extreme measure to protect herself from it. When her mother--because every fairy tale has to have a wicked (step)mother--sells Lily's services to an evangelical preacher and his wildly popular travelling tent revival, Lily is torn away from the idyllic place she's always known as home and thrust into a world of greed and manipulation that threatens to de ...more
Emily Park
May 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wiscon41
I met the author of this book at WisCon 41, where he very kindly let my friend and I buy his book at a very discounted rate because we didn't have enough cash. He even signed our books for us :)

I love stories that are inspired by old-school fairy tales (the atmospheric types that are dark and twisted and don't always end with a happy ending). This book checked all of those boxes for me. It left me feeling enchanted and also unsettled. I loved the style of the prose: simple and straightforward, b
Jerry L. Wheeler
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In Lily, Michael Thomas Ford takes the fairy tale back to its darker roots. What struck me most about Lily was how familiar it all felt. Ford taps in to some mighty well-used archetypes but mashes them up to create a story unique in its own right. Take a bit of Old Scratch, some P.T. Barnum, a dash of evangelical hypocrisy, stir it all up in a cauldron by the light of a midnight moon, and you have a hearty fairytale stew. Discomfort food. And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the incredible ...more
Jul 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbtqa
This was very meh. Some interesting ideas but I found it dull and slow to read despite its short length. I get the sense that it's trying to do dark fairy tale in the style of Carter etc but comes down too much on the side of being written from the perspective of a child, who was frankly quite a boring character despite her power. The illustrations are very good, though.
May 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobook
This was one of the longest books I’ve forced myself to “sit through” to get it over.
I enjoy fairy tale retellings, but I want the retellings to be re-showings. Lily didn’t pop off the pages and stir any emotions nor connections.
Pyper Down could have been a mismatch narrator, as it sounded like all words and no conviction.
A very disappointing audiobook.
Ry Herman
Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
A charmingly told dark fairy tale. This is a thoughtful book with beautiful prose. Not all of it hangs together perfectly (in particular, a deus ex machina near the ending was a bit jarring), but on the whole, this was an engrossing read.
Shannon Biersack
Apr 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
First off, the book itself is so beautiful. The story kept me on my toes, I couldn’t put the it down. Beautiful illustrations. I won’t add any spoilers, but this is definitely one of my favorite books now.
Sassafras Lowrey
Jun 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If you love fairy tales you must read this book. It is dark and haunting and captivating with an ending that will stay with you long after that final page.
Jan 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just before losing her father, Lily learns of her strange power: whenever she touches someone, she sees that person’s death. These are the circumstances that set this tale of love and loss - of grief, betrayal, and self-discovery - in motion.

Her father’s death sweeps Lily from the magical seaside village she’s always known. Traveling with her mother, she finds herself in the tent revival of Reverend Silas Everyman. Beneath its veneer of salvation, the tent revival is an unsettling place where r
Andy Coleman
Dec 11, 2016 rated it really liked it

I loved this book! It's a classic-style fairy tale: a dark and magical story set against a backdrop of the modern age. The characters are vivid but remain complex, which is why I found myself really liking Baba Yaga. And if Little James doesn't bring to mind Li'l Gideon from Gravity Falls, he will now!

The story is touching - sad and happy both. There really isn't any more I can say without getting into spoilers, but you'll enjoy the journey and fall in love with Lily.

Tony Liñan
Feb 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Great book, ending felt rushed, but ties up the entire story! Enjoyed it overall! :)
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
How is it possible for such a dark, sometimes violent tale to be hopeful and inspiring? It requires a great gift to create such a thing, which Mr. Ford apparently has. Lily is not a blazing page-turner, but a thoughtful and engrossing study of human nature that pulls from old folk tales, collective nostalgia and modern constructs of love and identity. The artwork by Staven Andersen is the perfect pairing to the words, at once grotesque and beautiful.
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Michael Thomas Ford is the author of more than 75 books in genres ranging from humor to horror, literary fiction to nonfiction. His work for adult readers includes the best-selling novels What We Remember, The Road Home, Changing Tides, Full Circle, Looking for It and Last Summer, and his five essay collections in the "Trials of My Queer Life" series. His novel Lily was a Tiptree Award Longlist ti ...more

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