The Precious One by Marisa de los Santos
Published by William Morrow & Company
Taisy Cleary has spent her life loving a man who has never loved her back: Wilson Cleary, her father. It has been seventeen years since he left Taisy, her mother, and brother Marcus for Caroline, a much younger woman, and Taisy has seen him once in all of that time. Out of nowhere, Wilson calls Taisy and asks her to spend time with him and the teenage sister, Willow, Taisy doesn’t even know – a sister who hates Taisy on sight. For Willow’s part, she and her father have always had a perfect, loving, happy relationship, and the sight of Taisy in her home threatens everything she’s ever felt sure of about her family and her life. As the two sisters slowly get to know one another, each are forced to look at their family with new eyes and decide for themselves what they really want and gain the courage necessary to reach for it.
I was so thrilled to see that de los Santos, one of my favorite authors, had a new book out. I was even MORE thrilled upon finishing it and absolutely loving every word she put on these pages. It is rare for me to read a book with two main characters and feel equally pulled to both of them, but that is exactly what happened here. Taisy broke my heart in many ways, she was wounded and raw from her father’s cruel ways, his poor treatment of she, her mother and her brother something she could never come to grips with even after so many years. Yet somehow, she remained an eternal optimist, convinced that Wilson couldn’t possibly be as awful as a person as her brother knew him to be, always holding out hope that he would come to his senses and seek a relationship with her one day, yet he continued to disappoint her, time and time again.
And Willow, a girl who seems on the outside to have the perfect life – great relationships with both parents, was given every opportunity to learn and become the kind of adult who would make a difference in the world, a child who knew with absolute certainty that she was loved more than anything else in her parents’ life – and yet, she suffered crushing jealousy at just the mention of her sister’s name. The growth of her character was such a joy to watch – she went from being an incredibly judgmental, sheltered child with plenty of opinions about things she didn’t even understand, to a grown-up, someone who was able to see the world for what it is and understand that people are complicated and relationships even more so. She became a person who understood that it was okay to become her authentic self and that if her father truly loved her, he would support her in doing that.
Reading this book was such a pleasure for me, mostly because I just loved watching Taisy and Willow as their relationship evolved from strangers to sisters, the kind of sisters who looked out for one another, who protected each other, who supported each other no matter what.
Truly, there’s so much about The Precious One I loved and I am so happy I got to experience de los Santos’ lovely writing and character building one more time. This was a perfect read for me and I loved every second of it.