Recently, I had fallen behind on reviews.. you know… life happens and all that stuff. When I sat down one morning and thought it was time to catch up I absolutely knew this was the review I wanted to write first. I was so impressed and excited about this authors style of writing I was ready to gush gush gush, perform cart wheels and produce pom poms; but here, let me share with you this story… ~Sheila
Eustacia (Taisy) Cleary grew up with Wilson, a father that was beyond structured and strict, and never quite earned the title of daddy. Not only did he destroy the relationship she had with the only boy she ever loved, his selfish hard ways also led to the destruction of their family when he left Taisy, her twin brother Marcus, and their mother for a younger woman, and soon to follow a baby girl named Willow, who Taisy has never had a chance to get to know.
Now seventeen years later the dust of that destructive time has cleared and Taisy despite the damage to her self-esteem that her father had created, is doing well as a ghost writer. Her relationship with her brother and mom are very intact, and the boy, Ben, the one that broke her heart just as much as she broke his, is but a small flutter of regretful memory.
Then out of the blue, Wilson calls. He wants Taisy to come and stay with him for a couple of weeks and write his life story. He claims that everything she has ever wondered about him will be revealed, but it is she who he wants to do the research and writing. Against her better judgement, Taisy agrees to go, curious about the man who was so controlling, and his mysterious wife, as well as Willow, her sister who would now be 17 years old.
Willow, who has been home schooled until recently, and sheltered all her life by her parents is incredibly smart, beautiful, and freakishly naive about all things in the real world. She has never had a cell phone, a computer, or watch TV other than educational programming… and she is immediately mistrusting of Taisy’s presence in her home, trying, in Willow’s opinion to take back the family she was no longer a part of.
Taisy is about to get a life lesson in family, in friendship, and in lost love. There is so much more as to why Wilson has called on her, and all involved are about to move forward into a strange new present.
Let the gushing commence. This is the first book I have read by Marissa de los Santos and I absolutely had no idea going in what an experience her writing would be. I adored the long sentences of conversation (much the way I myself may talk) and the funny little comments in parenthesis … but it was so much more than the writing I enjoyed, it was also the amazing characters and story.
Once again I find myself in a sort of trend in books that somehow lead to someone coming back home to fix, repair, or learn something. And again I am blown away with what a useful synopsis this truly is. In Taisy’s case, she is only back in her home town for a task and then has every intention to return to her life. Taisy is the kind of protagonist I really like, a strong independent woman who is just cleaning up some past residue.
Willow is also an excellent voice to this book. Told in alternating chapters between Taisy and Willow, it is enjoyable to see life through this sheltered girls eyes. Her dialogue is not that of a teenager due to her upbringing but even that is fun (it felt a little like Jane Eyre dialogue). It was like Willow struggles between the sophisticated rich upbringing she has had and the desire to be a teenager and go through teenager stuff. This inner struggles is handled superbly.
I absolutely devoured this book and am now eyeballing another book I have waiting for me by this same author, Belong To Me.
If you have not read this author, I highly recommend her. She has a refreshing style that inspired me to really be myself in my own writing. It was wonderful!