​"Tragedy spares no one; it just courts each of us differently. One way or another, it finds a path into our hearts, and there we do battle with the intruder." 
                                                                ~ Gwen Plano
"I just sobbed!"   *   "I was spellbound!"   *   "This book is gold!"   *   "I could not put this book down!"
Lilly found herself in quite the predicament. Five children, all under age 8 with the baby barely 2, all fatherless, at his choosing. Why did he willingly, permanently, leave her? Was the possibility of baby number 6, and number 7 by a neighbor woman, too much to handle? This sets Lilly on a path of endless despair; suffering great loss. Is Lilly a survivor or does she crumble under the pressure? She soon finds her youngest child’s diaries and this propels her into action to right the wrongs that life has delivered her.  

538 is a book of sadness and despair and family dysfunction. It reveals a woman, happy and full of life who births five children to only be left alone abruptly; and later birth another three. The grip of life keeps a tight rein on Lilly as she suffers great loss. Does Lilly make it through or does she deteriorate? 

It's probably the best account ever written of a dysfunctional family - - which although it's like none other and is so dramatic - - any reader will relate to it. You'll find bits and pieces of your own parents in this book.  ~CD

How low can life get?  There were times I had to put the book down to give myself an emotional break. Depressing? Well, some would say that. Would life cut this family a break, or would things get so dire that they would implode? Can't tell you, read this book to find out. But steel yourself for some of the situations they deal with. I was riveted to this book.  ~Rhonda

​Easily the most compelling and interesting family story I've ever read that tackles how it feels to grow up in a severely dysfunctional family. The father, an irresponsible alcoholic - and mother, all consumed by having to work hard just to make ends meet, exposes the children to self-care with their hopes and dreams being a mixture of profound truths, wonderful imagination, and utter stupidity. ~Tom P



Eventually seven children were going to have to grow up without a physical father; the eighth child would grow up without an emotional father. They would never know the warmth of a male shoulder to cry on, the warmth of having a daddy to talk to or to tuck them in at night. Some would remember him, but most were too young. The babies, would never realize the lines in his face or the sound of his voice. The eldest would carry the last memories in his broken heart forever. The youngest would carry a scared little girl. This would affect them all with every endeavor that would come before them. This was not what Lilly had wanted for her children that she loved more than life itself.