I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Far from the Tree by Robin Benway
on October 3, 2017
Also by this author: Audrey, Wait!, Emmy & Oliver
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Reading Challenges: 2017 Diverse Reads Book Challenge
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 was not prepared for the emotional sucker punch that was Far from the Tree. I can’t remember the last time a book made me cry in the first chapter, but this one did. I boohooed. It was probably just the Mom in me. It really struck a cord. This book really surprised me, in a good way. I cried and laughed and loved the characters.
I went into Far from the Tree a little bit blind. I had forgotten what the story was mostly about. At its core the story is about family in all its many forms. The story is told from the 3 siblings different perspectives. I don’t always enjoy books told from multiple POVs, but this one was done so well. They had all lived such different lives. They each brought a lot to the story.
I liked all three characters a lot. I think I was the most invested in Grace’s story. That first chapter in the book ripped my heart out. It was so raw and powerful. As a mom to two young children I couldn’t imagine the heartache Grace had to endure. Robin Benway did an amazing job of capturing those emotions. I also liked Joaquin a lot. I wanted to hug him and tell him he was loved. Maya was a bit of a brat, but she was still an okay character.
I loved seeing the siblings bond and get to know each other. Their interactions and relationship felt realistic. Each character had their own issues and obstacles to overcome. I liked how they slowly felt comfortable enuogh to confide in their each other. There is a lot going on in the book, teen pregnancy, divorce, anger management, alcoholism, and more. All of those issues in one book could be a disaster for other authors, but Robin Benway handles all of them with deft.
Far from the Tree was a book full of laughter and tears for me. I loved the unique family themes. There’s probably an issue or character that everyone can relate to in this book. I highly recommend it.