Taisy Cleary has been estranged from her father for seventeen years after he called her a whore and proceeded to dispose of her entire family. Wilson Cleary goes to marry his mistress and their child Willow because the center of his universe. Over the nearly twenty years Taisy and her twin brother, Marcus, have done their best to forget the fact that they even have a father, let alone a little sister. Until one day out of the blue Wilson calls Taisy and invites her for a visit. He recently had some major health issues and is feeling his mortality. He wants Taisy to help ghostwrite his memoir while she gets to know her sister. For some reason unbeknownst to Taisy she complies and finds herself living in her father's pool-house trying to make sense of her past and her father's role in the bad choices she made. Meanwhile, her sister Willow is entering a new world herself. Her world is turned upside down with her father almost dying and then her long lost sister shows up out of nowhere. But what is worse is that after being home-schooled her whole life she is forced to go to school at the local private school. The world of "normal" teens is overwhelming for the girl who has never watched television and doesn't even have a cell phone. Will Taisy be able to mend her relationship with her father and make peace with her past? And will Willow be able to allow Taisy to be a big sister to her?
The Precious One is hyptonizing novel about a divided family full of secrets, a novel about friendship and forgiveness. A novel about lost love and love about to bloom. The book is told in alternating voices between Taisy and Willow. The stark differences between Taisy and Willow are brutally noticeable in those first few chapters. Taisy is laid back and easy going. Willow is uptight and looks down on her sister for her past mistakes. Of course what she knows has been poisoned by their opinionated and overbearing father. Willow's chapters get a bit easier to read as the novel goes on because it is obvious that Taisy has a positive influence on her. There are a few subplots that add to the drama of the story. Like Willow and her English teacher, Mr. Insley - which is utterly terrifying. And the subplot of Taisy and her high school sweetheart, Ben - which is incredibly romantic. The longer Taisy stays in the pool-house and works on Wilson's memories, the more she knows very little about her father's past. She digs up some secrets that while they are surprising, they are also a bit enlightening and give great insight into why Wilson is the way he is today. It is not an excuse, but an understanding. You put it all together and The Precious One is a novel that will hypnotize you into submission.
Bottom line - Marisa de los Santos is a master of character development and never has that been more evident than in The Precious One. Taisy and Willow are two of the most thought out, well developed characters I have read in a very long time. If you are looking for a good read you need to move The Precious One to the top of your list.