Monday, January 1, 2018

FAR FROM THE TREE by Robin Benway

Far from the Tree

As an adoptive parent, I'm always interested in new books that feature adoption. FAR FROM THE TREE by Robin Benway did not disappoint.

When three teens suddenly discover they are siblings, their lives are changed forever. Grace, Maya, and Joaquin are all living their respective lives when they learn that they share a biological mother.
Grace and Maya were both adopted by two separate families, while Joaquin has lived in a series of foster homes.  

Grace has experience with adoption from two perspectives - as an adopted daughter and recently as a teen mother making the decision to give up her own daughter for adoption. When Grace realized she was pregnant and that her boyfriend and his family wanted nothing to do with the baby, she decided the best thing for the tiny life she had been calling Peach was to find a couple who could give the baby the same positive life she had had with her own adoptive parents. Thankfully, her parents were understanding and supportive making her decision a little less traumatic when Peach was born.

Maya was adopted by a loving couple. When they discovered they were having their own biological child shortly after adopting Maya, things between them didn't change. Maya and Lauren grew up as any sisters, bickering but loving and defending each other every day. Family life only became rocky when their mother started drinking and their parents' marriage began to fall apart.

Joaquin entered the foster care system as a toddler. He doesn't remember anything about his earlier life. Moved from home to home, he did have some good experiences, but tragedy stuck creating a long-lasting scar that made trust difficult for Joaquin. He is now with a couple committed to being his "forever" family, but Joaquin has personal doubts that continue to stand in the way of his ability to trust in a positive future.

Finding out that they are biological siblings offers the three teens an opportunity to form bonds of their own. Getting to know one another and share their secrets takes true trust and ultimately tests their willingness to open their hearts to what it means to be family.

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