Rating: 4 stars

For eleven-year-old Esme, ballet is everything—until her four-year-old sister, Lily, vanishes without a trace and nothing is certain anymore. People Esme has known her whole life suddenly become suspects, each new one hitting closer to home than the last.

Unable to cope, Esme escapes the nightmare that is her new reality when she receives an invitation to join an elite ballet academy in San Francisco. Desperate to leave behind her chaotic, broken family and the mystery surrounding Lily’s disappearance, Esme accepts.

Eight years later, Esme is up for her big break: her first principal role in Paris. But a call from her older sister shatters the protective world she has built for herself, forcing her to revisit the tragedy she’s run from for so long. Will her family finally have the answers they’ve been waiting for? And can Esme confront the pain that shaped her childhood, or will the darkness follow her into the spotlight?

I really enjoyed reading this book immensely for many reasons. I wanted to know how Lily’s absence impacted her family and how Esme used ballet to cope with her younger sister being gone. I also wanted to find out what happened to Lily, who ended up taking her and why. Wanting to find out the answers to all these conundrums made this book a quick page-turner for me.

I was also interested in learning more about ballet from Esme’s perspective. She was a very interesting character, and I found her perspective in A Lily in the Light endearing. It was interesting to see how Lily’s disappearance impacted her life and how she ended up using her pain in her ballet performances. As a reader, you could tell that Esme was traumatized by her little sister’s disappearance and I found reading about her trauma interesting.

I also enjoyed reading this book because it had a happy ending. I’m not going into specifics about what happened other than saying that everything ends up being okay and I get answers to some of the questions I had while reading this book. It made me so happy that I found myself feeling emotional when reading A Lily in the Light because I was happy for the family. They had dealt with such a heavy loss when their child was missing that I was glad things turned out good for them in the end.

What was missing from this novel that I wouldn’t have minded seeing is a little of the story told from Lily’s perspective while she’s held captive. Not specifically everything that happens to her during that time, but just a little so that as a reader I could see what she was going through. Mostly because before her disappearance, she was one of my favorite characters in A Lily in the Light, so I wanted to see her more in the story since the book centered around her anyway.

Overall enjoyed this read and was sad when I finished it. I recommend this book to readers who love mysteries, ballet, and coming-of-age stories. It makes me want to read other books by this author to see if I enjoy them just as much as I did this one.