Read Where The Lilies Bloom by Vera Cleaver Bill Cleaver Online


Mary Call vows to keep her orphaned family together after their father's death, even though she's only fourteen years old. And it's a tough vow to keep, what with protecting her sister from the "villain" who wants to marry her, keeping her younger siblings from being taken away by the state, and providing food and shelter for everyone. But Mary Call can do it, if anyone caMary Call vows to keep her orphaned family together after their father's death, even though she's only fourteen years old. And it's a tough vow to keep, what with protecting her sister from the "villain" who wants to marry her, keeping her younger siblings from being taken away by the state, and providing food and shelter for everyone. But Mary Call can do it, if anyone can....

Title : Where The Lilies Bloom
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780451141392
Format Type : Mass Market Paperback
Number of Pages : 175 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Where The Lilies Bloom Reviews

  • HeavyReader
    2018-09-22 10:41

    I can't believe I have been on GoodReads for over a year and just remembered this book! I read it so many times when I was in middle school-it was one of my favorites!I loved books like this one that were about kids who had to make it in the world alone because their parents are absent for some reason. (In this book, the parents were absent because they were DEAD!) I think I was drawn to that plot line because I just wanted my parents to leave me along. (Not that I wanted them dead. I didn't particularly want them dead. I just wanted them to leave me along.) But anyway...There was a movie (maybe a made for TV movie) based on this book. I remember watching the movie, and I still remember rather vividly the scene where the older guy who wanted to marry the quiet, shy, maybe mentally slow older sister (played by the actress who went on to play Bailey on WKRP in Cincinnati) was really sick with some sort of lung ailment. The kids put him in a bathtub while he still wore his grimy looking long johns and poured steaming hot smothered onions over him. This scene led to a inside joke in my family that I am not even going to try to explain.

  • Linda Lipko
    2018-10-15 08:01

    Written in 1969, this incredible YA book received numerous awards including a National Book Award finalist, New York Times Outstanding Book of the Year, School Library Journal Best Book, Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, and the ALA Notable Children’s Book.This is a touching, moving, realistic portrayal of poverty in the Trail Valley of the Appalachian Great Smokey Mountains of NE North Carolina.Mary Call was 14 when her father died, leaving her with unrealistic promises to fulfill and three siblings to raise.Unrealistically as stubborn as her father’s short-sighted, unyielding demands, Mary valiantly attempts adherence to his edicts of keeping the family together while never accepting assistance from anyone, never allowing her “dimwitted” sister to marry the local man who loved her, to hide his death, to bury him in the mountain and to at all times maintain self reliance .Never stooping to over sentiment, this marvelous book is a shining treasure, chocked full of trials, travails and the reality of stubborn misguided loyalty vs the reality of what can and cannot be accomplished against the odds of nature, unrelenting poverty and the terrible burden placed on the shoulders of a mother and fatherless child.As a means of survival, the Call family become wildcrafters harvesting and selling medicinal plants found in the mountains. While this brought a modicum of relief, when an exceedingly harsh winter arrives, Mary Call realizes that while her bravery and courage has enabled the family to survive for a short period of time, forces outside her control mandate that she become more malleable.It is at this point in the story that the authors wonderfully weave the portrayal of Mary Call who, in order to survive, must shift her paradigm to incorporate the fact that while stubbornness is necessary, to survive one must accept the assistance of others and must pave the destiny of her family by opening to the possibility that her father’s well-intentioned, but misguided rules cannot be followed.Found in 1,001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up, this is a gem to savor and re-read time and time again.

  • Tahleen
    2018-09-20 08:05

    I read this for a book report assignment over the summer before sixth grade. I liked the setting for the book, very rustic; plus, I love mountains and all that. And looking back on it I really like how strong a character Mary Call is. She does whatever is necessary to keep her family together and healthy. Another book I might have to revisit one day.

  • Suzanne Moore
    2018-10-17 15:03

    I saw this movie years ago (1970s?) and never realized it was based on a book until I taught middle school and found the book. Of course I had to read it with students, since I loved the movie so much! I think part of the attraction was the setting, the Appalachian Mountains, but in the movie I fell in love with Mary Call. Mary Call is a 14 yr-old girl who is left to care for her siblings after her parents die. Before her father passed on he made Mary Call promise to keep the family together and not to accept charity. Most importantly, not to let Devola, her older sister, marry Kiser Pease. In order to abide by her father's wishes the children have to keep his death a secret and bury him themselves. They have a poor existence on the mountain, but they are proud and determined. Mary Call finds her mother's old wildcrafting book and organizes the family into starting their own wildcrafting business. The money they earn from selling herbs and roots to the local pharmacist helps to make ends meet, but soon winter sets in and puts an end to this seasonal work. In the end, Mary Call learns to accept help from outsiders and that Kiser isn't so bad after all. The book gave breathtaking descriptions of the mountains and I learned a lot about the plants of that region. I wish I could survive on the environment and relish in the beauty of "heaven on earth." I would try roughing it if I could, but I'm sure I'd miss technology.

  • Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
    2018-09-24 07:50

    What a story!Mary Call is thrust into the position of provider for the three siblings after her father sickens and dies. She and her brother covertly bury him on their property, and they must keep up the pretense that he is still in the sickroom with outsiders. Mary Call is a strong fourteen-year-old, and she courageously schemes and plots to secure the land and home and food for her family while railing against her chief adversary, Kaiser Pease. You won't run across a stronger girl character than Mary Call, I think, and you won't find a more compelling story than Where the Lilies Bloom.

  • drowningmermaid
    2018-10-12 08:54

    This was required reading in grade school. The descriptions of poverty were evocative, but somewhat long-winded. What I remember most is that the TEACHER despised the book, and gave us as little work from it as possible. Validation for my feeling of dull.What I found the most irritating was the resolution: the retarded older sister suddenly becomes well enough to see the need of her family and take charge.

  • Meredith
    2018-10-05 13:42

    I got the book and it smelled like poo. I thought it was just the book,so I got a new one and that smelled like poo too. So I actually opened the book and read it, then I realized what it was. This book is a piece of poo.

  • Beth
    2018-10-07 11:10

    I love Appalachian fiction, and this book ranks among one of my new favorites. The authors do an excellent job of depicting the proud, stubborn, and loyal people of the region through the main character Mary Call. Even though it's hard, she does what is required for the survival of her family, and she keeps her promises to her father at all costs. Her pride is almost her downfall, but Mary Call maintains her dignity. Even in the end, she and her siblings continued to forage for herbs and roots to provide for themselves. Appalachian fiction is always sad on some level because of the hardship, poverty, and lack of education that the region has experience historically. While things are getting better, the people of Appalachia, my people, have been playing catch up for years. I assume this novel is set in the 1950's based on the time it was written, use of cars, the description of the town, and the county's maintenance of the road after the blizzard. However, this story could have been anytime from the 1930's to the late 1960's. Time stood still for much of Appalachia during those years. Life was not much different for my mother's generation than it was for her mother or her grandmother.I loved this book and would recommend it to any of my 6th grade students as well as my friends.

  • Kristi
    2018-09-27 15:55

    I have a memory of this book burned into my mind from grade school. It must have been my favorite book (though I'd forgotten the plot completely), but I could remember the picture on the cover and it's exact location in my school library. I have memories of me going to it's location and just staring at the cover. So I decided now, in my 40's, to re-read the book. For 3/4 of the book, I kept thinking, "what did I see in this book? It's so dumb." The parents of 4 Appalation children are both dead, they aren't telling anyone that the father died for fear of being taken away and separated. So they pretend he's still alive, and they try to survive on their own. But by the time I finished the book, I changed my opinion. I found the biggest lesson in the book (possible spoiler warning) is that people aren't always who you think they are. People you fear, might not be that bad after all. It reminded me of Pride and Prejudice in that way. Mary Call's extreme pride prevented her from seeing growth and change in her sister, and a deeply hidden sense of kindness in the one they thought to be their enemy. So, for the lessons it teaches, I will call it a classic.

  • Rhapsody
    2018-10-06 09:03

    I read this when I was a kid. Probably I loved it so much because it had such a strong female protagonist. I honestly can't remember the details of when and where, but you have a group of siblings who for whatever reason have no parents but are still living in their small house in an isolated area. The land lord wants to marry the oldest daughter, who's beautiful but a bit simple. The second oldest girl is the one in charge, and you get to see her struggle to keep her family together and continue paying the landlord rent. The end was great; people really changed, but in a realistic fashion that gave a sense of closure and hope.

  • Erin O'Riordan
    2018-10-12 08:48

    I originally read this in grade school - some time around the sixth grade - and I remembered liking it very much. I misremembered some of the details - I'd thought Roy Luther was a coal miner rather than a sharecropper. I enjoyed reading it again as an adult, although I now realize the quality of the writing isn't as good as it possibly could be. Still, this is a fascinating story of a 14-year-old Appalachian girl in North Carolina trying to keep her siblings together after their father becomes gravely ill. It's also a nice depiction of wildcrafting.

  • Melinda
    2018-09-25 15:48

    This one probably deserves 3.5 stars. It was a re-read for me; I remember reading it as a kid and seeing the movie. I like the strong central female character who IS NOT an ignorant hillbilly. The descriptions of rural poverty and the beauty of the NC mountains were very good. Interesting descriptions of wildcrafting as the kids try to support themselves by harvesting medicinal herbs, roots and bark. Kids who have been through tough times will find an accurate mirror to their own experience here and a worthwhile reading experience.

  • Valerie
    2018-10-01 12:50

    I got this while attending a book fair and they gave away a bunch of books that had been donated, there were at least ten thousand. I got this book after seeing the movie many years ago. I hate to say it, i likeed the movie better. But overall it was a good book and I felt some pity towards Mary Call, knowing what it was like to be in that situation but me doing a thousand times worse than what she did. I also felt some comptent towards Romey and Devola especially who were either carefree or whining. I recomend this to people who like reading about sharp tongued sarcastic girls

  • Karen
    2018-10-08 15:45

    A well told story of what it was like to be mountain people in the deep south, sharecropping and how they deal with life after a family tragedy of major loss. Judging from the references, this could take place anytime from post WWII to the mid 1960s. It doesn't really reference any significant point in time or history. It's a judgement call but that takes nothing away from the story.

  • Tereza
    2018-09-23 10:42

    so what's the moral? that weird creep with rotten teeth who owns your land may turn out to be a nice guy so don't blow his head off? I'm so done with this book.(it wasn't that horrible actually, I just had to finish it on a deadline and that didn' help at all)

  • Nimi
    2018-09-27 15:50

    i hated it

  • Michelle
    2018-10-07 11:52

    We need to press forward in our struggles and not give up. Spring will always follow the darkest winters.

  • Paula
    2018-09-29 14:10

    This was one of my favorites when I was a young teen. Interesting how the story has changed since then :)

  • Michael Fitzgerald
    2018-09-30 08:05

    The authors have created a wonderful first-person narrator - the writing style is distinctive. The story is engaging and holds the reader's attention all the way through to the end. There's quite a bit in the premise of this book that is also found in Cynthia Voigt's 1981 book Homecoming - both books feature a strong teenage girl forced to take charge of her siblings (including a sister who may or may not be retarded in some way) and to hide the truth of the family's lack of adults. In Homecoming, the kids are on the road down the east coast, but here they never leave the family home, such as it is, in the mountains of North Carolina.I see there is a sequel (Trial Valley) - I can't imagine it being as good as this, but hopefully it's not a disaster.The 1974 movie version takes some liberties, but it is still excellent.

  • Alyson Kent
    2018-09-19 09:41

    Still a favorite. And I had forgotten it takes place in the mountains of NC, which is where my family hails from. So that gave it a little more of a personal, relatable feel for me.

  • Jill
    2018-10-04 12:54

    As a historical piece, this raises issues and questions that aren't part of the childhood I experienced. The hardships experienced by the family were sometimes hard for me to read about. I appreciated the characterization of compassion in the storekeeper particularly.

  • Shelley
    2018-09-28 10:10

    I read this book when I was in the 5th or 6th grade and had forgotten how great it is. I certainly did not appreciate it like I did when I read it this time. It was a touching book about life and growing up and being so poor you don't know where you are going to get your next meal but ultimately about family sticking together.Mary Call is a 14 year old girl who lives in the Appalachian Mountains at the foot of two mountains- Old Joshua and Sugar Boy. Mary Call has an older sister Devola who has a slight mental handicap it seems. Mary Call calls her "cloudy-headed". She also has two younger siblings- Romey and Ima Dean. They live with their father, Roy Luther who, at the start of the book, is quite ill already and suffers what appears to be a stroke that leaves him in even worse shape. Mary Call already works hard to provide for her family and she picks herbs to sell in town. She manages to get the house and land signed over to the family so they are no longer indebted to the man that wants to marry Devola.As Roy Luther's health gets worse, he makes Mary Call promise him some things. She must NOT tell any other adults that he has died. The children must bury him themselves on Old Joshua. She must not let Devola marry the man that owned they land they lived on. Mary Call agrees to these things. When Roy Luther does die Mary Call does the best she can to keep her family going. Ultimately, they lose the house, live in a cave but in the end, she begins to make decisions for herself and her brother and sisters instead of just relying on the things her father believed and wanted her to do. She allows Devola to marry Kiser Pease and he in turn, takes all of the children in and provides them with a home and safety.The story was sweet and hard and sad all at once. Mary Call was proud and hard working and so determined to take care of the other children. She did not want to go into foster care and tried her best to make sure she honored her father's requests. She reminded me of some people I have known in my life that come from backgrounds similar to Mary Call's. They are strong willed, proud people who go through life doing what they have to do to take care of their families. I would reccommend this for 4th grade and up. Some of it is not going to be appreciated by younger children but I think they will still get the general idea behind what is going on.

  • Carlyna
    2018-10-03 09:46

    I happened upon this book at the library. Logan and I went so that I could have a "good" experience there and want to go back. I'm not much for libraries! The books I went there to get were checked out which was annoying, but then I came up with a plan. I would go to the teens section and pick out a book at random. So I strolled down the isles and saw this book. I liked the title so I thought, why not? This is a great book for young readers. It kept my interest and was a fast read. Success! The library isn't so bad afterall. Since I can't summarize this book very well I've just copied and pasted a summary I found online. Note - the book is worth reading!"Mary Call Luther struggles to keep her family together in North Carolina's Great Smokey Mountains after the deaths of her parents. As he lay dying, her father made her promise to look after her batty but sweet older sister Devola and younger sisters Romey and Ima Dean. She also had to fufill several conditions. First, she was not to call a preacher or an undertaker when he died. She was to wrap him in a sheet and bury him on the mountain. Second, she was to always take pride in the name of Luther and instill that pride in her sisters. Third, she was to do her utmost to keep the family together and not accept charity. Fourth, she was always to keep Devola with her and treat her kindly and never, under any circumstances allow her to marry their hillbilly neighbor Kiser Pease. Though Mary Call does her utmost to fulfill her promises, hardships settled on thick and fast. People insisted on seeing her father and seemed suspicious of his absence. Money was tight, and the Luthers had to work long hours in the mountains to get any money at all. Winter came with vengeance, and the roof of the house partially collapsed from the weight of the snow. Finally, the Luthers were told they had two weeks to leave their home. At this point, Mary Call finally admitted that she could not continue to battle and found help from a surprising source." Katherine Brooks, Resident Scholar

  • Lily Smith
    2018-10-19 12:47

    Lily Smith A3 March 3, 2017★★★★The exciting book, Where the Lilies Bloom, by Vera Cleaver had lots of emotional ups and downs that took you on the mental roller coaster of a lifetime. It tugged on all the heart strings, and got you connected to every single one of the characters. Even if it is a bad connection, it was there. This book had a lot packed into it for a book with only 224 pages, it had a surprising amount of details in it also. There are two literary elements that I quickly saw when I was getting through this book. The first one was the setting, the setting was in the woods and not a city type of place. It was more a country property where the main characters lived. The subject that pointed out the most was the house of shack that they lived in, it was like poverty level how they lived yet they survived. It is a very interesting setting because it is very hard for them to live like everyday people in that kind of a house, The feelings that occur are sadness and sympathy. But a quote from the book says, “I have never forgotten what he said - that this land was fair land, the fairest of them all. This is where the lilies bloom.” What this is basically saying is that Mary Call loves the place where she lives no matter what kind of roof she has. The Second literary element was the point of view. The main character, Mary Call, was the main character and the story was told through her eyes, and every experience was through her perception of the experience. What is unique about it is that she is the one taking care of everything for her family, and she is this kind of adult figure in a household where the oldest won’t take responsibility for anything. This kind of book with a strong female as the main character is a very unique book. These are the books that interest readers even more because they are different than the ditzy female characters in a lot of books. I highly recommend this book to anyone that has an interest in reading.

  • CCIP Middle School
    2018-10-15 10:47

    Where the Lilies Bloom (Vera & Bill Cleaver, 1969) is the story of Mary Call Luther, a 14 year old Appalachian girl, who struggles to keep her family alive and unharmed in the face of unthinkable hardship. After the death of their mother, Mary Call and her three siblings are raised by their proud yet kind-hearted father until he too becomes unceasingly ill. Mary Call takes on the role of family leader, family protector, and the progenitor of the Luther family's values and pride.Armed with the inherited knowledge to forage for valuable edible and medicinal plants and roots, and the resilience earned from being the daughter of a share-cropper, Mary Call helps her family to thrive against all odds. This is a story of family loyalty and pride, strength and perseverance, and a glimpse at the tough-as-nails character of a culturally distinct people.Where the Lilies Bloom is a personal narrative novel, spanning approximately 175 pages. The story is told in the common speech of the 14 year old protagonist, which makes for a relatively easy read. The challenge for the reader is in the use of regionalisms, or descriptions that are culturally or historically distinct. This is an emotionally intense story with which most readers can either empathize or identify on some level - abject poverty, abandonment or loss of parent, family loyalty, a struggle to thrive. While the Lexile (920) and ATOS (6.0) ratings suggest an audience of late elementary or early middle school students, this range can be extended to include readers in late middle school and high school. While the overall complexity of the writing might not challenge the more advanced readers, the emotional intensity of the story encourages empathy, introspection, and a deep consideration of the human condition.-Jane Hoff

  • Lily Dunn
    2018-10-11 12:45

    I gave this book three stars, because while an enjoyable read,it was very slow. The plot was good, the characters well written, and the setting really complimented it. I enjoyed the humor, but at times it wasn't needed, the way the book was paced wasn't fantastic. I especially liked the whole setting of the Appalachain Mountains, a beautiful and dangerous place that makes the Luther children struggle to survive. Each of the Luthers are strong willed, but a little hot headed. They each have a special place in the story that moves it along and eventually help solve all the problems the children encounter. Mary Call Luther is responsible for her family after her father's death, which she tries to hide from her town, a little mountain residence in the Appalachain Mountains. Together with her siblings Devola, Romey, and Ima Dean, Mary Call gets them into wild crafting in order to earn some money. When their land lord, Keiser Pease gets sick, the Luthers help him get better. In return, he gives them the land they live on for their own. During the harsh winter that follows, Pease's sister comes to town and tells the Luthers that they are living on her land, not Kiser's and that they must move. To remedy this, Kiser pays for the land and ends up marrying Devola to compensate. This is a book about what it takes to keep loyal to family, keep promises and living in the harsh conditions the mountain people do. Mary Call and her siblings demonstrate that anyone can do something if they put their mind to it.

  • Jordan Anderson
    2018-09-22 10:01

    I know that "Where the Lilies Bloom" is quite a ways from my normal reading material. But when you're a creative writing student on his last quarter until his BA, sometimes you get stuck with assignments that involve reading old-school, and more modern day classics.Generally speaking, I don't enjoy assigned texts. Aside from "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "The Great Gatsby" (which I fell in love with many years AFTER high school), most things that the literary geniuses think are great works of art tend to bore the hell out of me. That, and they aren't very memorable. Like even now, I can't think of any other major novels I was forced to read throughout my adolescence and high school careers. I wouldn't go as far as to say "Where the Lilies Bloom" is forgettable, and I did enjoy about 95% of it, it just seems far too weak and mediocre to be held in high esteem. Was it written well? Yes. Was the story (for the most part) enjoyable? Yes. But maybe because it's meant for a far less mature audience, or the themes presented in here are more relatable to 14 year old girls of the 1960's, because either way, when it comes to some of the other, more common reading lists, this one just failed to really excite me. That and an absolutely rushed ending that basically made all of Mary Call's struggles seem completely worthless and pointless.

  • Clarissa G. 5
    2018-10-17 12:06

    Where the Lilies bloom by Vera Cleaver is about the Luther family struggling to survive without their recently deceased father. His daughter Mary Call Luther promises to look after her family, and has to go through many obstacles to achieve her goal.Mary Call Luther has to be by-far one of the best heroines I have read about so far. She brushes off insults coolly, and has her family at heart, going so far so to keep her family together. She is a great role model, and she really leaves an impression on you. In fact, this whole book leaves an impression on the reader. Its humor was absolutely 'on point', as well as the writing style and details. Also, I very much enjoyed the pictures, help me get a better picture of what everything was like. It was a tad to short for my liking, I prefer longer books. I also wished the ending could've been more clear. maybe it's just me but, I could not wrap my head around it. In conclusion, this book was a fun quick read,(even though i would prefer it to be longer) and the character development was just fantastic. Even though at some points i would get confused. Nevertheless, the theme for this book is ask for help when you need it. I rate this book 5/5 stars.

  • Carrie
    2018-10-11 08:09

    When Roy Luther dies his four children become orphans. Mary Call, who is 14, obeys her father’s wishes and becomes the new mouth piece taking on the responsibility of raising her siblings. Not only is the daily task of making ends meet hard, but so is hiding the fact that Roy Luther is dead. If the Luther’s Appalachian neighbors and town’s folk found out, the children would be separated and sent off to group homes. Can they work together gathering mountain herbs to sell while hiding their secret, or has their father asked too much of his young daughter? I was completely captured by this story. I couldn’t put it down. Last night I woke in the middle of the night thinking about it, wanting to sneak downstairs to finish it. Ever since I was young I have always loved stories about the Appalachian people, mostly the girls and their will to survive. To me they are the true heroines. Poor as dirt but they rise above the best they know how to. I remember watching the movie when I was young and loved it. I was trilled when I found it was based on a book. I loved the book even more. I will read and reread this book. Loved it!

  • Grace
    2018-09-19 14:51

    This was way less epic than I remember it being--I was surprised by how little time it spanned, but Mary Call was still wondrously tough so I still mostly loved it (Katniss of The Hunger Games so reminds me of her, and K. could totally have used her wildcrafting skills). I liked how the end wasn't about Mary Call giving up her own toughness or being saved by someone else (like Grandfather Boxcar Children), but realizing how much she'd underestimated the people around her.p.s. In my memory I always saw Mary Call as young Jodie Foster and was convinced the actress who played her in the movie looked like Jodie, so I was totally surprised when I looked at the movie cover on imdb and saw the actress looked nothing like her.