Title: Far from the tree
Author: Robin Benway
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release date: October 2017
Genre: YA contemporary
Since I’ve got so many requests about writing my reviews in English, I’ve decided to give it a try. I’m not writing all my reviews in English. But once in a while you’ll find an English written one here. 🙂 Please keep in mind that English is not my native speaking. But of course I’ll do the best I can!
I’m a big fan of Booktube lately. It’s not that I’m following a lot of different Booktubers, but I did subscribed myself for a few. A book that I’ve seen very often at the end of 2017 is Far from the tree written by Robin Benway. I was so curious to this story and the good thing about it is I gave it five stars!
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.
Before I jump in the book, I wanted to share the reason this book was so special to me before I even read it. I am also adopted. I’m born in India and got adopted when I was four months old to a Dutch couple. The fun thing is, I was adopted and came to the Netherlands exactly 24 years ago today! We celebrate this day every year because it’s kind of a second birthday. (I know you’re really jealous right now! :)) You can probably imagine that my interests for this book became very personal. It’s not that I’m reading stories about adoption all the time. Nothing like that. More reason so to check this one out.
Story about adoption
Far from the tree is a contemporary novel about three adopted siblings who find each other at just the right moment. The tree siblings doesn’t know each other but after Grace putting her own baby up for adoption, she goes looking for her biological family. It turns out that she has two siblings. A younger sister Maya who also got adopted and an older brother Joaquin who’s a foster child.
We read the story from the aspect of all three of them. I think that made this story so strong and powerful. The tree siblings are all dealing with their adoption in a different way. For me personal, it was very helpful to read it this way. When I was younger, I didn’t want to know anything about my background. But when I’ve got the age of Grace, Maya and Joaquin I became very curious and had lots of questions about my birthmother. So while reading I could relate myself to all three of them.
Hell of a tearjerker
Don’t expect a very exciting story with lots of plots. You won’t find them in this book. It’s a beautiful, thought-provoking tearjerker, a meditation about family and its different forms, as well as the fears we don’t share with those we love, and how what we don’t say is often more of a roadblock than the things we do.
I absolutely loved this story from the beginning to the very last page. Ofcourse you want to know if they’ll find their birthmother at the end. I think for most of you this book would feel as a very real reminder about the fears and anxieties adopted children and children in the foster care system face. For me it was a source of recognition. Go order this book right now. This story deserves to be read.
For those of you who wondering if I did find my birthmother, the answer is unfortunately no. I’ve searched for her for several years. It was a very heavy and emotional ride. In India things are nothing like here in the Netherlands or like in the US. After traveling to India and seeing things (the way they live there and some personal things) I accepted it and give it (her) a place in my heart. I know she did the best she could and wanted a better life for me and I can only admire that. <3