I'll admit it: I didn't have high expectations for author Sherry Boas's Lily Trilogy (Until Lily, Wherever Lily Goes, and Life Entwined with Lily's). They looked like self-published novels that were, well, less than a standard I usually set.

{I don't admit this to reveal that I'm a book snob. I admit it to stress--to authors as much as to readers--how important editing is in the publishing process.}


What I found was not fiction with "Catholic" slapped on the front as though it would sell books. What I found was more than a trio of stories that shoved "pro-life" down my throat as though I didn't already agree. What I found was not a series that was forced or fake or full of doctrine.

We're introduced, in Until Lily, to the story and the main character, Lily. She's a young lady with Down syndrome, and she has an impact on people in ways that, honestly, aren't that surprising when you stop to think about it.

But how many of us actually do stop to think about the impact that kid with Down's has on the lady at church? How many of us consider people with Down's at all, except to say "Hi" at the grocery and try to treat them as people not as pets?

The story continues in Wherever Lily Goes, and it grapples with topics that I could have never seen coming. We meet new characters and we learn more about some of the people who were just mentions in the first book.

And then there's Life Entwined with Lily's. In some ways, this was my favorite of the series, but it doesn't make sense until you read the other two books. Though each of these books do stand alone, they really click together in a way that I consider well done.

I liked that the books don't have a "magic solution" at the end. A happy ending is okay with me, but these books keep it real. Living with Down's--and living with the other challenges these books present--isn't always easy. Heck, it's RARELY easy.

And yet it can be fun. It can be joy-filled. It can be about more than just US.

There are definitely twists and surprises in store--both in the initial novel (it left my mouth hanging open) and throughout the series (I was heard exclaiming out loud at least once).

The Lily Trilogy deserves the praise it's gotten. It's well-done and I feel confident passing these books on to friends and family members.

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Copyright 2013, Sarah Reinhard