Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Books I've Loved: Far From the Tree

Okay, so I loved this book.

It has everything I love in it.  Kids with real problems.  Found family - in this case, actual real family.  Damaged boys.  Lesbians.

It's about three siblings who have grown up apart.  Two were adopted into good families, the third has been in foster care his whole life and not all his families have been as great as the couple he's living with now.

The book follows these three as they discover each other exist, meet and deal with some major, life-changing events.

Grace has just had a baby she gave up for adoption, and naturally this brings up questions about her own birth family.  Maya's perfect family is falling apart and for the first time her sarcastic sense of humor isn't enough to pull her through.  Joaquin isn't used to being settled or loved or cherished, so when his foster parents ask to adopt him, he's not sure how to react.

Against the background of these individual issues, the three siblings find out about each other and meet for the first time.  As each deals with their personal crises, they begin to bond and discover that their problems are easier to deal with together.  

The characters in this story are beautifully drawn, each with their own set of rules, values and ways of dealing with the world.  Yet as soon as they meet, they start recognizing similarities.  I loved the way their first meetings were strained and awkward, yet they warmed to each other and learned quickly to rely on each other for support and friendship.  

Definitely one I'd recommend.  Strongly.

But don't just listen to me.  Here's the blurb:

Being the middle child has its ups and downs.

But for Grace, an only child who was adopted at birth, discovering that she is a middle child is a different ride altogether. After putting her own baby up for adoption, she goes looking for her biological family, including—

Maya, her loudmouthed younger bio sister, who has a lot to say about their newfound family ties. Having grown up the snarky brunette in a house full of chipper redheads, she’s quick to search for traces of herself among these not-quite-strangers. And when her adopted family’s long-buried problems begin to explode to the surface, Maya can’t help but wonder where exactly it is that she belongs.

And Joaquin, their stoic older bio brother, who has no interest in bonding over their shared biological mother. After seventeen years in the foster care system, he’s learned that there are no heroes, and secrets and fears are best kept close to the vest, where they can’t hurt anyone but him.

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