During the summer of 1944, Lily is left alone with her grandmother after her father enlists in the army. At the family's summer cottage in Rockaway, New York, Lily befriends Alfred, a Hungarian refugee, who spends the summer with neighbors. Each child deals with their own sorrows, missing their family members, with the backdrop of events of WWII.
Lily hascharacter problems, like lying and stealing, but her storyis engrossing. The book soon drawsyou intoher internal struggles, as well as the sorrows of Alfred and Lily, and the warm, compassionate friendship they share. Lilyis a sinner, buther problems arerealistic—after all, she is dealing with a mother's death, a beloved father's absence, an active imagination and the general emotions of youth.
Alfred's friendship influences Lily for the good, as she sees the harm her lying can do and as hisintegrity rubs off on her. It is also a delight to see the warm, loving relationship between Lily and her father and the growing understanding and love for her grandmother.
Altogether, Lily's Crossing is a satisfying read with numerous rich layers, and it passes that test of any great children's book: it is enjoyable for an adult as well.
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