Far From the Tree by Robin Benway // Book Review



I tend to stay away from sappy stories as if I’m allergic to emotions. This is a point of contention as I struggle to relearn what it means to be vulnerable. Coming into this book, I initially thought it would be another Lifetime, low-hanging tragedy porn. It’s your pity party and I’m not invited.

Yet, I couldn’t be more wrong and I’m happy to admit it. The main cast consists of the most precious people who are irrational but ultimately human. They make mistakes and run around trying to fix it but end up making it worse. It’s laughable, the convoluted ways we try help others not realizing that we’re hurting ourselves in the process.

Grace, Maya, and Joaquin are biological siblings. After years apart, they find each other and explore how their lives have diverged with their adopted families. It’s brutally honest at times as topics of race and sexuality arise. Things aren’t always what they appear to be and sometimes the simple answers are the hardest to reconcile. Benway handles these themes thoughtfully giving an authentic quality to character interactions. There’s a natural flow to dialogue so we can easily see character motivations.

My main gripe is that everyone ends up partnered together. I understand that when you grow you also allow more people into your life, but this just seems too…fairytale ending. I don’t believe that romantic love is the singular solution especially if you don’t love yourself. It’s pretty obvious that this is meant to be a feel good book where no one has to suffer. Yet, it somewhat undermines the notion that family will always be there for you. I mean, the Grace’s new relationship is too forced. They suited each other as friends, so I didn’t see a need to insert an obligatory romance.

In the end, you can choose both your friends and family.


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Everything from the round sans-serif to the the perspective is amazing. One of the most dynamic covers I’ve seen.

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