The Precious One by Marisa de los Santos, review by Kris Stephens
The Precious Ones is told from the points of view of two sisters: Taisy, a thirty-five year old ghostwriter who's been estranged from her father since she was eighteen, and Willow, her sixteen year old half-sister who is the daughter of the woman their father left Taisy's mother for. After their father, Wilson, has a heart attack, he calls Taisy and asks her to come stay with his family for a while, so that she can write his memoir for him (it's worth noting that this is how he phrases it to her; come stay with my family. Wilson has cut off this previous relationship with his first family completely). Taisy takes this opportunity to start researching the verboten beginnings of her father's life in order to discover what could have made the man the impersonal, cold individual he is today.
At the same time, Willow, the second, protected, cherished daughter, is entering public high school after being home-schooled. She struggles to fit in, becomes entangled in a relationship with her English teacher, and can't figure out how to fit Taisy, the 'failed experiment' into her life (who, ultimately, is the biggest contender for Wilson's attention). At the same time, both are dealing with relationships; Taisy is hoping to rekindle a romance with Ben, the one who got away (another Wilson induced tragedy) and Willow is becoming closer and closer to her teacher, as Luka, her one friend in the school (the cute swim-team boy).
There were a lot of really interesting things going on in the book. de los Santos does a great job of making the reader interested in why Wilson, a candidate for 'worst excuse for a human being in the world' award, behaves the way he does. We see him through the eyes of his daughters, who are certainly not flawless themselves, and are faced with that one universal thought that no matter how horrible a person may be, they're still family.
This book takes the idea of family and redefines it as it goes, and it does so smoothly.
This book will probably appeal a lot to fans of Chick Lit for the emphasis on relationships, but it'll also appeal to people who like more complicated story lines and complicated relationships. Or if you like dysfunctional relationships and horrible people.