I've been working on a novel for several years now, and I'm in the final cutting stage. I hope to start marketing it by the end of the year. But I've never been able to settle on a title I like.
The basic premise of the book is this: A woman named Lily is in a loveless marriage to a moderately wealthy man. When she was a teenager, she fell deeply in love with a boy in high school, but the relationship ended tragically and she swore off love. She married Max because he could help her pay for the care her mother needed after developing Alzheimers. When Lily reaches her mid-forties, a sequence of events makes her dissatisfied with her life. She begins to want more than the stale relationship she has, and she meets a charismatic young man who seems drawn to her, but who has his own mysterious and painful past. However, her husband Max becomes critically ill, and her conscience balks at the idea of divorcing him in those circumstances. The resolution of the book involves her struggle to figure out the right thing to do for all involved and then to do it.
So here are my possible titles:
Lily in the Valley (an allusion to Ps. 23 and the valley of the shadow of death)
Lily Pierre (her maiden name)
Lily and Thistle (thistle is a symbol for another character in the book)
The Ashes of Desire (This is taken from a passage in which Lily thinks: "Love. For so many people, the purpose of life came down to that. And what happened when love ended in tragedy, leaving only ashes where once there was desire?")
If you were shopping for a novel and you saw books with these titles laid out on the New Releases table at Borders (or wherever), would you pick them up? What would you expect? Which title intrigues you the most or seems best to fit with the synopsis above? (Note: This is intended to be serious fiction, not a romance novel.)