Monday, 4 May 2015

The Precious One

Author: Marisa de los Santos
Genre: Women's Fiction, Modern Fiction
Type: Hardcopy
Source: Local Public Library
Pages: 352
Publisher: William Morrow
First Published: March 24, 2015
First Line: "If I hadn't been alone in the house; if it hadn't been early morning, with that specific kind of fuzzy, early morning quiet and a sky the color of moonstones and raspberry jam outside my kitchen window; if I had gotten further than two sips of my bowl-sized mug of coffee; if he himself hadn't called but had sent a message via one of his usual minions; if his voice had been his voice and not a dried up flimsy paring off the big golden apple of his baritone; if he hadn't said "please", if it had been a different hour in a different day entirely, maybe -- just maybe -- I would have turned him down."

Book Description from GoodReadsFrom the bestselling author of Belong to Me, Love Walked In, and Falling Together comes a captivating novel about friendship, family, second chances, and the redemptive power of love

In all her life, Eustacia “Taisy” Cleary has given her heart to only three men: her first love, Ben Ransom; her twin brother, Marcus; and Wilson Cleary — professor, inventor, philanderer, self-made millionaire, brilliant man, breathtaking jerk: her father.

Seventeen years ago, Wilson ditched his first family for Caroline, a beautiful young sculptor. In all that time, Taisy’s family has seen Wilson, Caroline, and their daughter Willow only once.

Why then, is Wilson calling Taisy now, inviting her for an extended visit, encouraging her to meet her pretty sister — a teenager who views her with jealousy, mistrust, and grudging admiration? Why, now, does Wilson want Taisy to help him write his memoir?

Told in alternating voices — Taisy’s strong, unsparing observations and Willow’s naive, heartbreakingly earnest yearnings — The Precious One is an unforgettable novel of family secrets, lost love, and dangerous obsession, a captivating tale with the deep characterization, piercing emotional resonance, and heartfelt insight that are the hallmarks of Marisa de los Santos’s beloved works.

My Review: While it's been many years since I've picked up a book by de los Santos I still remember being utterly enthralled by her characters and plot in her previous Loved Walked In and Belong To Me.  I was captivated by her characters.  The Precious One is her new novel and with it comes some interesting characters.

The Precious One focuses on dysfunctional relationships and it engaged me pretty much throughout.  De los Santos takes on many relationship dynamics - parent/child, step-parent/step-child, first love, sibling relationships and even a very 'icky' one that I won't reveal.  It is narrated by sisters Taisy and Willow who each have their own unique voices but I wouldn't say it was as 'hard to put down' as her earlier books.  In fact, I'd say it was a little predictable - not so much that it bugged me but I wasn't shocked by the ending either. That said, there's a lot going on which held my interest and sensitive issues are at the forefront including an extremely dysfunctional blended family headed by Wilson, the patriarch.

Oh Wilson!  He was an easy character to hate.  He had a whole heap load of flaws, especially when dealing with his first family but also how he insisted on raising Willow. His lack of redeeming qualities (except perhaps his love for Willow and his wife) made him easy to hate.  He played the over-bearing father well but he had so many of these overpowering, self-centred tendencies that he became a caricature of the 'tyrant dad'.  I liked seeing how and why he became that way but would have loved to have gotten even more insight into his past through his eyes and the eyes of his sibling.  I felt like there was a lot more to his story that the reader wasn't privy to.

I definitely enjoyed this book and would chalk it up to a comfortable, easy read.  Sure, it engaged me and was perfect to curl up with but it wasn't quite up to par with her two earlier works that I adored.  Still it was an entertaining read and perfect for some down time in the summer.

My Rating: 4/5 stars

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