The Precious One - Marisa De Los Santos
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.
Marisa de los Santos is not a new to me author, in fact I remember reading one of her books called Belong To Me way back before I was a book reviewer simply because the cover with the rain boots was pretty. I really enjoyed the complexity of that story and as it turns out, the complexity of this story is why I loved it.
The story is written where we hear two voices: Taisy and Willow. They both share the same father but have very different mothers and very different lives. Taisy's parents divorced when she was in her major developing years, where you really need to know your parents love and want you. Parents get divorced and her father remarries a woman who is the polar opposite of her mother and her father has a new daughter, Willow. Willow is the prodigy- she is everything that Taisy and her brother are not. She's the golden child, she's does everything in her life to make her father proud of her not just because it's expected but probably because she knows first hand what happens if you don't- you end up like Taisy, seemingly outcast.
Their father, Wilson, suffers a pretty horrific heart attack (that Willow blames solely on herself) and in his recovery he essentially demands Taisy and her brother Ben to come see him for an "extended visit". Also in this recovery, Wilson decides it's best if Willow (who has been sheltered from everything her entire life) continues her education at an actual school versus at home. It's not funny, but some of the things that happen to Willow are kind of hilarious because we all know what school is like but for someone who has never experienced it, it's a pretty harrowing experience. She hates everything about it and clearly, all of the students don't like her.
I absolutely was absorbed into this story even though Wilson is an absolute ass. He just is. Sometimes I wonder if it's hard to really craft a character that nobody could like, how can you possibly think of all of the ways to make him absolutely despicable despite the fact that he clearly thinks he's done the best possible job? This author nails it. I really liked Willow and Taisy as well because it's clear they just did the best they could with what they were given and in a way, it's a great lesson in parenting, really. What too little love can do and what helicopter parenting can do, both crippling a child but in very different ways.
Overall? I loved this book. I absolutely loved it, Marisa de los Santos really needs to be one of my go to authors because she is such a talent. Adore her and this book.
If you are still struggling with a good book gift for someone, I highly suggest this one. You can find The Precious One on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Also connect with Marisa on Facebook and Twitter.