After finishing Far from the Tree, I told myself, “Well, that was a ride.” But was it a good or bad one? Yes. There were things I loved, and things I hated. Sometimes I thought the characters were amazing, sometimes horrible (really horrible, and not necessarily where you might think that yourself). They were real and they were stereotypes. They are good and they are bad. In other words, human.
Robin Benway created a story of three biologically siblings (boy, girl, girl). And there are as many twists as turns. Their relationship to each other, themselves and their families unfolds as Happily Ever After becomes That’s Not all Folks, But all for Now.
At least, that is what I came away with after reading about Joaquin, Grace, and Maya. I am glad (not so spoiler spoiler) that Joaquin (the oldest and in foster care for almost 18 years) got his happily ever after (yeah parents) but not getting back with his girlfriend might be best. I am glad Grace (only child, adopted) found a (male) friend she can hold hands with, joke and maybe more, but did he have to be of Hispanic background like her brother? And (youngest of the trio, and the oldest within her adopted family) Maya? Well, she is fifteen and all the problems of a fifteen-year-old, so yes, I would put her in the trunk, too. (No, they don’t do that, but yes, it is suggested). You see, I came away with that these characters on the pages are people who have a life, want more life, want answers, want to know their choices are the right ones, want to know they are loved, and they can love.
I would not want their journey to be anything but human. A lot seems to go in in the alternating point of view chapters between the three, yet nothing happens. Or, more accurate, it is life that happens. We learn as the characters learn. Teens (at least 12 and up due to language, drug use and Grace’s pregnancy), will want to become friends with these three and adults will see some of themselves, their children and have a cozy summer (or a cozy by the fire in winter) read.