Book Review (and a Giveaway!): The Elusive Truth of Lily Temple by Joanna Davidson Politano

Posted April 9, 2024 by meezcarrie in 5 stars, Book Review, Christian, giveaway, historical, Joanna Davidson Politano, romance / 46 Comments

The Elusive Truth of Lily Temple book review

The Elusive Truth of Lily Temple by Joanna Davidson PolitanoTHE ELUSIVE TRUTH OF LILY TEMPLE by Joanna Davidson Politano
GENRE: Historical Edwardian Romance (Christian)
RELEASE DATE: April 9, 2024
PAGES: 398

Peter Driscoll, an underground investigator to the wealthy, has never met anyone like Lily Temple. The beautiful silent-film actress spins fairy tales and plays frivolous roles in front of the cine-camera, but beneath the costumes and stage makeup is a woman with a quick wit–and a murky past.

Peter has been tasked with locating the legendary Briarwood Teardrop, an exquisite sapphire, which Lily wears beneath her gown. In order to stay close to her and hopefully unravel the mystery of her story–and the sapphire–Peter employs Lily’s help on a case, which leads to a useful partnership. But as they are investigating together, Peter is also investigating Lily. The closer he gets to the truth, the more danger they face. And the closer he gets to Lily, the clearer it is that he needs her even more than she needs him.

Award-winning author Joanna Davidson Politano whisks you away to Edwardian England in 1903 for a whimsical and layered tale that treads the crooked line between real and make-believe.

“Can’t you feel him calling out to you from every story that wraps itself around your heart?”

I went into The Elusive Truth of Lily Temple by Joanna Davidson Politano, drawn by the premise of a secret private investigator, a mysterious silent film star, and a legendary missing sapphire. But what I actually experienced in the reading of this story was infinitely more beautiful and soul stirring. Oh, the plot was as delightful as I expected it to be and I couldn’t tear myself away from Lily and Peter and their sweet romance or the intriguing stories and cases told between them. Or the fascinating aspects of early silent film and the genius that was George Albert Smith’s contribution to the industry. But that’s not what I will remember most about this novel years from now. What will draw me back time and again is how Politano exquisitely demonstrates the power of stories and how they point us to THE Story.

Because there was a great deal of truth in fiction – the sort too important to just be spoken outright. What heroism looked like. What it meant to love authentically. And more than anything, who the rescuer of our souls was. That was the truest story. The largest… He has written eternity in our hearts, and in every story we tell.

Fairy tales. Romance. Adventure. Missing treasure. Shipwrecks. Illusions. The Elusive Truth of Lily Temple has it all. And every bit of it acts as the most beautiful of arrows to the Gardener, the one who pursues us even through death itself so that we may have abundant life here and eternal life there. There was more than one occasion when I felt tears misting my eyes and a lump in my throat at how tenderly Politano expresses these parallels. And my own passion for how stories (some, in spite of themselves) ultimately reflect THE Story welled up in my heart until I very nearly hugged my kindle in a fit of dramatics that would have made Lily proud.

Bottom Line: Fiction fans, this is our book! The Elusive Truth of Lily Temple by Joanna Davidson Politano is a gorgeously-written love letter to the way fiction shapes our hearts and expresses truth like nothing else can. One which gently reminds us that “the hero on a quest, the hardship, the crisis and rescue… They’re all just a reflection” of the greatest Story ever written – and it uses each of those elements to make the point. I adored Lily in all her quirky endearingness (yes I made up that word) and her brokenness, Peter in his quiet steadiness and his unsung heroism, and the banter between them. And I alternated between grinning through their story and holding my breath as they climbed vines and dangled from chandeliers and ran for their lives. Needless to say, I was fully entertained by this delightful tale but I was also touched by the fact that, in trying to discover the elusive truth of Lily Temple, we discover some truth about ourselves too. This one will linger with me for quite some time to come, and I couldn’t be happier about it!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 5 stars / loved it!

KissingBook Level: 3 / may forget to breathe on occasion

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Joanna Davidson Politano

Joanna Davidson Politano is the award-winning author of Lady Jayne Disappears, A Rumored Fortune, Finding Lady Enderly, The Love Note, A Midnight Dance, and The Lost Melody. She loves tales that capture the colorful, exquisite details in ordinary lives and is eager to hear anyone’s story. She lives with her husband and their children in a house in the woods near Lake Michigan. You can find her online at

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The Elusive Truth of Lily Temple giveaway

Revell is offering a print copy of The Elusive Truth of Lily Temple by Joanna Davidson Politano to TWO of my readers! (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

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What about you? What makes you want to read The Elusive Truth of Lily Temple by Joanna Davidson Politano?

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46 responses to “Book Review (and a Giveaway!): The Elusive Truth of Lily Temple by Joanna Davidson Politano

  1. Kay Garrett

    WOW! What a fabulous sounding story. On my TBR list and I can’t wait for the opportunity to read and review this one.

  2. Donna Irvin

    I want to read it because your review makes me think I MUST read it! To see how the story relates to THE STORY…..

  3. Roxanne C.

    This sounds like an amazing historical romance written in such a way as to touch the reader’s heart and soul.

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