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text 2016-03-26 16:27
Seven things about The Administration series
Mind Fuck - Manna Francis
Quid Pro Quo - Manna Francis
Games & Players - Manna Francis
Control - Manna Francis
Quis Custodiet - Manna Francis
First Against the Wall - Manna Francis
For Certain Values of Family - Manna Francis
Blood & Circuses - Manna Francis

1. Mind Fuck: A brilliant, stand alone book. Dystopian, erotica, gay and bisexual. Introduces Toreth (my favourite) and Warrick (the very near runner up).

 

2. Quid Pro Quo: Oh, look it's a series now, and maybe somewhat a misstep considering the rest of the series, but it and the shorts after are important for the characters and their development. Really, you need to read this in order to get to...

 

3. Games & Players: Hey, we're back to what really matters, that is to say there's more Warrick and Torreth. And then there's Carnac, who you love to hate except when you forget the love part. But honestly, we all end up thanking Carnac in the end. Truly.

 

4. Control: Oh, look we're back to character development and it's weighty in substance. Try counting the ways the title could reference to the content.

 

5. Quis Custodiet: This is the one that fades from memory, mostly because Control was so much better. At 33 I understand the characters a bit better than I did at 31, and so the ending isn't *as* bad as it was the first time I read it.

 

6. First Against the Wall: My. Favourite. It's all about showing the love, and suffering, but mostly all about the love. And suffering. Carnac's back. And you'll thank him again. I promise. Sort of.

 

7. For Certain Values of Family: It's in the top three with Mind Fuck and First Against the Wall. The series just keeps getting better and it's lovely to know that all those earlier books actually lead up to a payoff. Of sorts. Because this is not the end...

 

+ Book 8: Blood & Circuses. I need to start that.

 

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review 2016-03-26 15:52
All caught up!
For Certain Values of Family - Manna Francis

Oh, the horror.

 

Now I get to pick up the new book and read more of Toreth and Warrick. Words I've never read before (in this sequence of these two characters).

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review 2015-10-10 17:21
The difference phases of love experienced by Down Syndrome Lily (powerfull)
Life Entwined with Lily's: The Third in a Trilogy (The Lily Trilogy) - Sherry Boas

 

Life Entwined with Lily's is the last installment in the Lily Trilogy penned by experienced fiction author and journalist Sherry Boas.

 

In the first book, Until Lily, Ms. Boas introduces the reader to the trilogy's main character, Lily Eagan, born with Down syndrome. After her mother Jennifer dies, Lily and her siblings are cared for by Beverly Greeley, Jennifer’s only sister. Narrated from Aunt Bev’s point of view, we learn how the lives of the Eagan children and the Greeleys are changed forever.

 

In the second book, Wherever Lily Goes, Lily is living at a group home in Seattle mourning the death of Aunt Bev. Her sister Terry lives in Minnesota with her husband Jake Lovely and their three daughters: Laura, Katie, and Beth, an extremely disturbed and troublesome teenager. Through Terry's narrative, we learn about the Lovelys’ relocation to Seattle to give Lily a family and a home. Terry also recounts Lily's dilemmas, developmental issues, and unique family dynamics, including Lily's special bond with her dad, Pablo.

 

In Life Entwined with Lily's, the trilogy’s masterpiece, we get to know a more grown-up Lily, a young woman who dreams of marriage and motherhood. On her way to visit her dad in California, Lily meets Frank Stillwell and it’s love at first sight. Lily and Frank get married and live in a guest house in the Lovely's backyard. As the story unfolds, the reader will rejoice at Lily's marriage and be pleasantly surprised at her excellent mothering skills. But Lily's life will have its share of trials too.

 

The book is narrated by Beth, whose style is a sweet and sour mix of deep concern toward others and a search for self-worthiness. With this character, the author brings to our attention some of the issues facing adolescents: peer pressure, drug and alcohol abuse, sexual promiscuity, and abortion. It also explores how wrong decisions and actions can affect a teen’s self-esteem.

 

After reading the trilogy, Beth became my favorite character. The author discloses Beth's darkest secret, haunting remorse, and how her tormented soul finally found peace. She emerges as a strong and notably caring young woman.

 

Writing a trilogy is an enormous amount of work and a great challenge for an author. It requires a skillful hand to maintain each character's uniqueness throughout the story. Ms. Boas takes it a step further with the Lily Trilogy, the chronological story of Lily and her significant influence on others. She writes from three completely different points of view without distorting her characters’ idiosyncrasies.

 

Although they were written as part of a trilogy, each book could be read individually. However, to fully appreciate Lily's transformation, the trilogy should be read in its entirety.

 

I highly recommend the Lily Trilogy to readers who delight themselves in fiction based on real-life events and Catholic values. It not only tells a good story, but it could also bring hope to people dealing with a shameful past by demonstrating that all wounds are healed through God's redeeming love.

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review 2015-10-10 17:18
Down Syndrome Lily keeps influencing those around her
Wherever Lily Goes - Sherry Boas

 

Wherever Lily Goes is the second installment in the Lily Trilogy, penned by experienced journalist and fiction author Sherry Boas.

 

In the first book, Until Lily, Ms. Boas introduces the reader to the trilogy's main character, Lily Eagan, born out of wedlock with Down syndrome. She and her two adopted siblings, brother Jimmy and sister Terry, are sent to live with Aunt Bev and Uncle Jack Greeley after the death of their mother Jennifer. Narrated from Aunt Bev’s point of view, we learn how the Eagan children’s and the Greeley’s lives are changed forever.

 

In Wherever Lily Goes, Lily is living at a group home in Seattle mourning the death of Aunt Bev. Her sister Terry is married to Jake Lovely and lives in Minnesota with their three daughters: Laura, Katie, and Beth, an extremely disturbed, troublesome teenager.

 

One night during dinner Terry expresses her concern about Lily, and Jake suggests that the family relocate to Seattle hoping to solve two family issues: Lily's loneliness and Beth's self-destructive behavior and bad companions.

 

The Lovely family gets a new beginning, and both Beth's relationship with her family and her academic performance improve. Lily moves in with them and has a positive effect on the family--- to the extent of inspiring Terry and Jake to pursue having another baby.

 

As the story unfolds, the reader will enjoy the development of a tender and deep relationship between Lily and her Mexican dad, who she met after Aunt Bev's death.

 

My admiration for the author's storytelling skills continues to grow. In Until Lily, Aunt Bev's tone changes from antipathy to unconditional love toward Lily. In the sequel, Terry's humane narration speaks about Lily's dilemmas, developmental issues, and unique family dynamics.

 

This book will keep the reader engaged and motivated to get to know Lily better and learn about the life-changing effects she has on others.

 

I highly recommend this book to readers looking for an inspirational story on how to cope with the many challenges associated with raising a family while dealing with the needs of a loved one who has Down syndrome.

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review 2015-10-10 17:15
A powerful story about a Down Syndrome girl named Lily!
Until Lily: The First in a Trilogy - Sherry Boas

 

Until Lily is the first installment of the Lily Trilogy, penned by professional journalist and fiction author Sherry Boas.

 

Apostates Beverly and Jack Greeley enjoy their childless, healthy, and wealthy life. Bev's sister, Jennifer Eagan, is a devout Catholic, hard-working, single mom with three kids; Jimmy and Terry, who were adopted, and Lily, born out of wedlock with Down Syndrome. After Jen loses her battle to cancer, her children go to live with Uncle Jack and Aunt Bev, their court appointed legal guardians. Jack, however, finds the new and burdensome responsibility of caring for the children to be unbearable and abandons the family. Nevertheless, as the story unfolds, Bev's attitude toward Lily changes completely as she discovers that caring for her “daughter” was the most rewarding experience of her life!

 

Although at first I thought to write only one review highlighting the best of the trilogy, I decided to focus on each book's uniqueness based on the situations and thematic surrounding Lily.

 

While reading the trilogy, I was amazed at the author's competence to narrate Lily's story from three completely different points of view without losing each character's individuality and emphasizing pivoting events related to their interaction with Lily.

 

Until Lily tells Lily's story from Aunt Bev's point of view, from unfit and resentful aunt to appreciative and thankful „mother.“ Suffering from advanced Parkinson, she reflects upon her life before Lily and how different her senior years could have been if it wasn't for Lily's humanitarian personality. The reader will witness Lily's transformation from a small, strong-willed child to a grown, loving and compassionate woman caring for her mother.

 

I highly recommend this book to parents dealing with the challenges of raising children with Down Syndrome and to those considering ending a pregnancy as they question their ability to take on such a huge responsibility. The first installment creates awareness about Down Syndrome and shows the blessing of caring for these children.

 

 

Warning: You will need several boxes of tissues to carry you through the entire trilogy!

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