Locked Out Lily is a beautifully atmospheric, dark and tense tale of family and friendship. A story of facing up to your fears, and having the courage to accept changes even when these are difficult and painful.
Lily’s life has changed due to a chronic illness which means she needs regular hospital treatments. She resents that further change will be brought into her life by the arrival of a new baby, feeling that she is being replaced. When her Mum goes into hospital to have the baby, she asks Lily’s Granny to look after her. However, Lily does not want to stay at her Granny’s house and sneaks out at night …
She returns to her home only to find that there are strangers there – strangers who look exactly like her parents, but with coal-black eyes, and they have a new baby. Lily finds herself an outcast in her own home, but is determined to evict her replacement parents, and bring her real parents back. Luckily, Lily finds help from the most unlikely of friends: a mouse, a crow, a mole and a snake …
Will these new friends be able to help Lily face up to her fears, and accept the changes that have happened in her life? Will she have the strength and courage to defeat the insidious intruders and regain her home?
I adored the blending of deliciously dark, creepy folk tales with a modern reality. The replacement family is perfectly portrayed: menacing, detached and ever so chilling – definite shivers down my spine! The other fantastical element within this magical realism adventure is the animals that Lily needs to help her overcome The Replacements. I really enjoyed how Lily’s friendship with these animals develops, each being able to offer her help and giving her the courage to believe in herself, to find courage, strength and acceptance in her reality.
The illustrations are simply stunning and complement the evocative story-telling perfectly.
Locked Out Lily is a stunning, heart-warming tale, woven with a blend of fantasy, realism and allegory: enthralling, tense and utterly brilliant!
Thank you to NetGalley and the Publishers for an e-ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.