From the New York Times best-selling author of Belong to Me, Love Walked In, and Falling Together comes a captivating novel about friendship, family, second chances, and the redemptive power of love.
In all her life, Eustacia "Taisy" Cleary has given her heart to only three men: her first love, Ben Ransom; her twin brother, Marcus; and Wilson Cleary - professor, inventor, philanderer, self-made millionaire, brilliant man, breathtaking jerk, her father.
Seventeen years ago Wilson ditched his first family for Caroline, a beautiful young sculptor. In all that time, Taisy's family has seen Wilson, Caroline, and their daughter, Willow, only once.
Why then is Wilson calling Taisy now, inviting her for an extended visit, encouraging her to meet her pretty sister - a teenager who views her with jealousy, mistrust, and grudging admiration? Why now does Wilson want Taisy to help him write his memoir?
Told in alternating voices - Taisy's strong, unsparing observations and Willow's naive, heartbreakingly earnest yearnings - The Precious One is an unforgettable novel of family secrets, lost love, and dangerous obsession, a captivating tale with the deep characterization, piercing emotional resonance, and heartfelt insight that are the hallmarks of Marisa de los Santos' beloved works.
©2015 Marisa de los Santos (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers
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Marisa de los Santos never disappoints. It always amazes me how much she makes me feel about the people in her books. She makes them seem so real. I can't wait for her next book!
"I'm so sad this is over"
I've read her other books already - now what? this story was so great - a few twists and turns, a love story but more than that. It's a life story - about all of us struggling to make sense of this crazy ride we're on
"Characters fell flat"
I really disliked the voice and character of Willow . And the ending was really stereotypical , couldn't wait for it to end ! But overall the voices weren't terrific.
I will read her next book because I so enjoyed her first two.
I thought the story was quite shallow, and I could not appreciate the characters as I did those in Belong to Me and Love Walked In.
The narrator's voice was so nasal, so whiny, so very unpleasant that it distracted from any pleasure I could derive from the author's work.
"excellent writing style"
De Santos provides characters to love and to hate with personalities worth getting to know. if you are looking for a love story/ feel-good read, this is the book and author for you.
"Kept Me Engaged."
I very much enjoyed the audiobook of The Precious One by Marisa de los Santos. Told in alternating voices of Taisy and her younger half sister Willow by two different narrators, it was well worth the credit spent at Audible.
It's about a messed up family, with an uncompromising and odd father - Wilson, who has cast out his first family - his wife, Marcus his son and Taisy his daughter. He is now married to Caroline and is the father of Willow, whom he loves very much.
Willow is seventeen, young and naive, gifted and somewhat snobbish with a definite dislike of Taisy. She has been home schooled up to this and as the story begins she is finding it a struggle to find her place at a local high school. Left alone by others, she welcomes the interest of her English teacher. She also strikes up a friendship with Luca, a boy in her class. I really enjoyed their work on Middlemarch - so much so that I might almost be persuaded to read it - I did fail to do so once. I followed Willow with interest and loved seeing the development of her character.
Taisy, asked by her father to come write his biography of his work accepts and faces into the place she was sent. I loved her, she was strong, independent and persistent. She is able to deal with the young Willow and her mother Caro, and I really liked her interactions with them all the way through the story.
Family dysfunction, creepiness, youth, secrets, love and forgiveness, second chances - all abound.
I only came to enjoy this book because of two bloggers who shared their enjoyment of this book. So pleased I sampled it for myself.
"Conflicting Emotions...Bad Voices"
I love Marisa de los Santos like a raging forest fire. When this title began, I had to sigh and it occurred to me that this may be the first one that was a miss. Then as the story went on, I realized it was the performance. The character that played Taisy was so breathless and odd sounding that I could barely listen. The voices of Wilson and Ben's father, which sounded exactly the same, were that of some withered-up corpse. Sorry, but that's the vision I got.
Ben's voice was bad as well. I didn't get any of the perfect specimen he was supposed to be - just a sort of sarcastic loser.
As the book went on, I was taken in by the story and was able to put the voices aside by imagining them differently in my head. The voice of Willow was great - but Mr Insley was another matter. Just awful. Since there were two voices already, reading Taisy and Willow, it would have done the book a great deal of service to hire a man to do all the men's voices. The stilted and odd performances really took me out of the story.
Aside from the voices, this is another winner from Marisa. The only criticism I have is that the character of Trillium was completely superfluous. I don't understand the point of her at all. She was such a cliche and could have been completely eliminated without doing the book any harm.
I loved reading about ALL the characters - even the one who was totally unsympathetic. All were believable, and their intersecting stories completely held my interest. Definitely worth reading.
"Why I never want to be a teenager again"
I have really mixed feelings about The Precious One. I love Marisa de los Santos writing. She uses rich, evocative prose that really reminds you that she's also a poet. On the other hand...I have a hard time putting my finger on it. The characters don't act in a way that I find "real". Without spoiling the plot for future readers, one of the two main characters is a teenager who has been home-schooled by a pompous, damaged academician. Since I work in a university, I've seen plenty of those. But I have my doubts about a teenager raised that way behaving the way she does. It just doesn't follow for me. There's an older sister who is amazingly forgiving, given what her father has done in her life, an old boyfriend who's amazingly forgiving. Somehow it just didn't ring true and I came away glad, first, that I'm not and never will be a teenager again, and, second, that I don't know any of these people. While with some books I want to stay friends with the characters, I was happy to let these people go on without me to lead their lives. Not people I want to know.
And someone needs to help the younger reader with the pronunciation of some words she's evidently never come across before. Nice voice but someone should've caught the mispronunciations.
I'm not sorry I read it. It was engaging in places, and the beauty of de los Santos' prose was worth the time.
Narrators told the story in true voices. Author writes very intelligently which I would expect with her being a Professor of English. she tells a rich sorry of family, love, relationships in their raw and loving reality. I will listen to this again...I don't usually like to listen more than once. Great story telling.
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