Kathy walks through a cemetery after a funeral and notices a woman mourning at a tiny gravestone. The stone bears a single date and a name: Tilly. The sight deeply affects Kathy and her husband Dan. After a week of insomnia, Kathy dreams her backyard is full of nameless children that she shoos away. Only one remains: a little girl who seems strangely familiar. The rest of the story follows Kathy’s dream journey with the girl and her husband’s real life journey to find the woman they saw mourning at the tiny headstone.
Frank E. Peretti originally created Tilly as a radio drama for Focus on the Family before translating this heartbreaking supernatural story into a novel. This book explores the pain, guilt, and trauma of abortion with a gentle, compassionate tone. Written in 1986, Tilly may feel melodramatic to today’s readers, but remains a tearful tale of brokenness and redemption.
Best for: Adult and older teen fans of Peretti’s signature brand of supernatural
Discern: Repeated discussions about abortion, though not graphic; unusual supernatural elements left for readers to interpret; main themes of guilt, repentance, and forgiveness.
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