Sometimes random eBooks from the library turn out to be pretty damn good. I really liked The Precious One, and managed to find another book by Marisa de los Santos this weekend at a book fair, so hopefully it’s just as good as this sweet little story.
Eustacia “Taisy” Cleary and her twin brother have been estranged from their father for about 18 years — ever since he kicked them (and their mother) out when they were teenagers. Now the old man might be dying, and Taisy gets roped into returning home one last time. While there, she gets to know her half-sister (Willow) and her strange stepmother, Caro (Taisy also has a friend named Trillium and I promise the names are the stupidest thing about the book). Taisy also has an old boyfriend who lives nearby — someone she’s never forgot. Meanwhile, Willow has her own drama going on — she’s recently started high school after 16 years of homeschooling with her father, and has a lot of trouble fitting in.
The novel alternates between Willow & Taisy’s perspectives, and we see how their very strange father (incredibly intelligent, very private and cruel to his children) has affected their lives in different ways. Taisy becomes determined to find out why her father turned out the way he did. To be honest, the explanation we get towards the end of the book dropped this from a 5 star rating for me. I feel like the author copped out — either he should have had some real reason for being such an incredibly warped asshole, or she should have just not revealed anything at all. But I loved Taisy and Willow, and Willow’s issues at school completely roped me in.