I picked this up a few months ago, when it was on special on the Kindle store. It was 99p, and I liked the look of it, so it sat patiently in my kindle library until the day that I decided I wanted to read it, because my phone was in my hand, and I was too lazy to go get the actual hard copy book I was reading at the time.
It was so good, though, I actually got up to get my kindle, so that I could have a proper reading experience (the phone screen is very small!), and had it finished within a few hours.
A contemporary novel about three adopted siblings who find each other at just the right moment.
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.
I wasn’t expecting a massive amount from this book, to be honest. It was a 99p buy on a whim one day, which I expected to use to pad out some afternoon or evening when I was bored and had little else to do. There are many such books on my kindle, patiently biding their time until I read them, and I don’t think I’m massively excited to try any of them out.
I was so wrong not to be excited to read this. It is wonderful.
It’s an exploration of what family is, and whether you’re born into your family or you find it, about the ties that bind us, both by blood and by choice.
With three very different bio siblings who find each other at just the time they needed each other, this book had a gorgeous mix of love and hatred, pain and pleasure, joy, love, and hurt. Joaquin, Maya, and Grace, who all grew up in very different situations – Grace adopted at birth and an only child, Maya the standout brunette in a family of redheads, and Joaquin having been in and out of the foster care system for seventeen years – meet at a time of turmoil for all three of them.
It could be a little trite to think that their difficulties arrive at the same time as they met their siblings, but I never felt that when I was reading this. The ties that bind us to our siblings, whether by nature or nurture, and family bonds were so delicately explored in this book I couldn’t help but love it.
With a serious heft of feeling behind it, I finished this book emotionally wrung out, but delighted with how much I had enjoyed it, and how little I had expected it.
Not counting re-reads, which get stars for sheer nostalgia reasons, Far From The Tree is my first five-star read of 2018, and it deserves every one of them. I thoroughly recommend this book.