Marisa de los Santos’ beautiful writing, as in all of her novels, held me captive from the first page of her latest work, The Precious One. The charmingly descriptive prose and interesting plot line kept me riveted throughout most of the book. De los Santos has a one-of-a-kind voice and I always look forward to reading her books.
Each chapter of The Precious One is told in the alternating viewpoints of two half-sisters, Taisy and Willow. Separated not only by distance, but in age by nearly 20 years, and having vastly different life experiences, the sisters begin their story by having no more than the DNA of their father in common, and no relationship at all. The product of a happier second marriage, Willow has grown up being the object of affection of a doting father, and has no experience of the cruelty and cold indifference subjected upon her older sister by the very same man.
Although Taisy and her twin brother, Marcus, have been shunned by their father since their teen years, Taisy never stops craving his approval and love. Therefore, when he has a health scare and calls upon Taisy to stay in his home for an extended visit, she feels compelled to go, a decision that will change the course of her life. This single decision will in fact impact not only Taisy, but many others as well – especially Willow.
The Precious One is the story of a hesitant yet burgeoning relationship between two sisters, but it is also interspersed with romantic interests for both Taisy and Willow, and the mysterious history of their father, a man who has hidden a lifetime of secrets from all of his children. Taisy and Willow’s journey of self-discovery, as they learn to be sisters to one another while also coming to new understandings about themselves and their father, is a tumultuous ride. The story is uniquely told, but loses some of its spark just when it hits the climax. After some pretty amazing build-up, the final chapters were a bit of a letdown. As a reader, I was expecting and craving something more. Nonetheless, the book is more than worth reading, even though the ending wasn’t quite what I hoped it would be.
Alysia lives in Metro Detroit with her husband and four children. She writes about family life, parenting issues, and other things of interest to her on her blog, Michigal.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by HarperCollins Publishers. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.