Book Reviews

Book Review: Lily by Rose Tremain

Happy Monday bookish people! Today I am bringing you a book review for Lily by Rose Tremain. This is a mystery/historical fiction book with a beautiful cover that sounded so good to me, I read the blurb and I was desperate to read it and I have to say I was disappointed.

In this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little about each of them. Now, usually I say here I will try not to include spoilers but that’s not easy for this book so I will be giving spoilers to this book in this book review. If you don’t want to be spoiled I would recommend reading the book before you read this review.


Lily Plot:

Rating: 2 out of 5.

The blurb of this book sold it to me as a story of a young woman who gets into a romance with a policeman, after having murdered someone in her troubled past. I thought it would be an exciting cat and mouse style chase while she tries to not be discovered. Instead what I got was 150 pages before I even found out what the murder was and where it happened and soon after the reader learns that although the policeman believes it was murder, he wasn’t even investigating it. It took all the (already very limited) suspense out of the novel. For me there was too much description in this book, it details almost every aspect of Lily’s life, all throughout her childhood at the children’s orphanage and the treatment she suffered there and then her employment at the wig emporium. As a reader I didn’t need most of this, some of the chapters about Bridget her friend and her fate, and the abuse she suffered were relevant especially because it shows the reader why the murder happened. But the rest was too much unnecessary information. There was also a plot point about her trying to find out who her mother was and why she was left in the park in the snow, this is never completed. It seems to just get forgotten about in the book.

Lily Character:

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Lily is the main character, and I didn’t feel anything for her. I understood that you were meant to have an emotional connection to her because of her backstory but I didn’t get that from the story. I wanted to see more of the policeman, Sam Trench, he barely featured and definitely not in the ways the synopsis suggested he would be.

Lily Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This book did manage to get the feel of a Victorian novel, dark and sensory and this was put across in the writing, which was good but the dialogue wasn’t as good as I expected.

Lily Overall:

Rating: 2 out of 5.

I gave this book two stars because, as I am sure my review shows, this book wasn’t what I thought it would be and I was very disappointed.


Nobody knows yet that she is a murderer…

Abandoned at the gates of a London park one winter’s night in 1850, baby Lily Mortimer is saved by a young police constable and taken to the London Foundling Hospital. Lily is fostered by an affectionate farming family in rural Suffolk, enjoying a brief childhood idyll before she is returned to the Hospital, where she is punished for her rebellious spirit. Released into the harsh world of Victorian London, Lily becomes a favoured employee at Belle Prettywood’s Wig Emporium, but all the while she is hiding a dreadful secret…

Across the years, policeman Sam Trench keeps watch over the young woman he once saved. When Sam meets Lily again, there is an instant attraction between them and Lily is convinced that Sam holds the key to her happiness – but might he also be the one to uncover her crime and so condemn her to death?