It’s sometimes rare that a sequel, whether for a book, a film, or a TV series ever matches the original. You anticipate that it will; hope that it will, and then…it doesn’t and it sullies it somewhat for the original.
Among The Lilies is the exception.
It’s Stuntdouble’s (Bad Girls) sequel to “What God Had Brought Together…” and if you haven’t read that, I would highly recommend you do (a review is available on this site).
Among The Lilies carries on right where What God Has Brought Together left off.
Nikki and Helen are in Helen’s hometown in Scotland. Newlyweds that should be enjoying their nuptials and Helen is more than willing to engage, except that Nikki is somewhat reluctant; they are in Helen’s father’s house. And he’s a minister.
With that, Stuntdouble then sets about giving us a look into Helen’s past and childhood, as Nikki learns more about the woman she loves. It’s done with wonderful descriptive images and humour that has you laughing out loud.
Now, this is all starting to sound rather too good to be true and a little too picture perfect. And we can’t have Nikki and Helen without some angst, surely? Fear not, for Stuntdouble provides it. Trish opens her big mouth over the past (for reasons you’ll discover) and Helen’s insecurity skyrockets. Nikki’s continued ‘reluctance’ to ‘consummate’ their relationship, consumes Helen’s thoughts to the point of paranoia and involves a trip to a certain kind of store, for inspiration!
Helen is unaware that Nikki is on a noble quest to save a certain Scottish village and Nikki is unaware that her missus is convinced she’s inadequate in the bedroom department! Lots of fodder for misunderstanding!
Stuntdouble also gives us a tremendous subplot involving Trish and Claire, to the point where Trish almost steals the show. Just like a like a film with big named stars playing the leading roles, it’s the supporting actor that usually runs off with the Oscar. And an Oscar winning performance it is by Trish. I defy anyone not to find themselves rooting for Trish to win the girl.
But Stuntdouble never lets us forget who the leading ladies are in this line up. Nikki and Helen’s relationship still carries all the feeling, emotion, tenderness, understanding (and misunderstanding) that we have come to know from these two, mixed with Stuntdouble’s penchant for humour that has you practically crying with laughter, to moments that leave you stunned and well…practically just crying.
Stuntdouble’s writing appears effortless – these isn’t a sentence that doesn’t need to be there – and when something seems that effortless, you know a lot of hard work and talent has gone into producing it.
And the last chapter, although short, is stunningly poetic and beautifully written (as is the whole story really) in my opinion. If you’re not left with a lump in your throat come “The End” then just assume you’ve had a heart bypass!
I know this review doesn’t do this story justice, so I would urge you to read it for yourself.
Sequels don’t come any better than this!
(You can find “Among The Lilies” on the Bad Girls Riot site per the link)