The Precious One by Marisa de los Santos is one of the She Reads Books of Spring and I was so excited to see it was one of our selections because I adore her books. She writes beautifully and her stories never fail to warm my heart and I know when I pick up one of her books I’m going to be fully immersed in another world that I will be sad to leave. I listened to the audio version which is narrated by Abby Craden and Arielle DeLisle and they do an amazing job of capturing the spirit of this novel. I’ve not listened to these two ladies before but I certainly will again as I found myself so captivated by their telling of this story.
As a young girl Eustacia “Taisy” Cleary always yearned for her father’s love and attention but didn’t get it. To top it off her father found himself a younger woman with whom he had a child. When she, her mother, and her brother Marcus move away the kids lose touch with him and really aren’t interested at all in forming any kind of a relationship with him anymore. Of course neither is he since he is much too busy with his daughter Willow, who Taisy and Marcus have dubbed ‘the precious one’.
Out of the blue Taisy’s father Wilson calls her and requests that she come for a visit. Upon arriving she finds that he wants her to write his memoir but really he has other motives that come to light as the novel progresses. Despite the relationship Taisy has had with her father she’s a girl who has only really loved three men in her life – her brother, her first love Ben, and her father and she finds that she can’t refuse him this. Needless to say she’s nervous about meeting her half sister Willow who has been shaped in her father’s mold to perfection and not only that but he’s always openly loved this girl. Something he didn’t have with Taisy. When she meets Willow it is as awkward as expected and Willow seems so angry with her. And jealous although Taisy can’t imagine why since it’s Willow who has always had their father’s undivided attention. As the days pass Taisy begins to learn more about this father she thought she knew and also, although slowly, a budding relationship seems to be forming with her sister.
This novel is told in the alternating voices of Taisy and Willow and it’s so well done. With Taisy we feel the strong woman that she is as she’s really had no choice but to be that way. And still we feel her vulnerability as she meets Ben again after many, many years. Then there is Willow who, having been so sheltered her whole life, is so very naive and unsuspecting of anything that could be evil and wrong. She’s young and experiencing a real school for the first time in her life and she’s completely out of her depth. Will she be able to survive the real world with so little preparation? Will she make friends? Will she find love or something more sinister?
I absolutely loved this book and even more so the audio and would highly recommend it to anyone who loves to read women’s fiction. The Precious One is a story of family, secrets, and love. It is a novel I won’t soon forget.
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