A fractured family leaves two sisters struggling for belonging. One gift could change everything.
Every summer, Jessie and Emma leave their suburban home in the Central Valley of California and fly north to Baymont. Nestled among Mendocino's golden hills, with ponies to love and endless acres to explore, Baymont should be a child's paradise. But Baymont belongs to Laurel, the girls' birth mother, whose heedless parenting and tainted judgement cast a long shadow over the sisters' summers---and their lives.
Caught in a web of allegiances, the girls learn again and again that every loyalty has its price, and that even forgiveness can take unexpected turns. Years later, when Laurel asks her elder daughter for the ultimate gift, Jessie must decide just how much to give in the name of love.
Luminous and poignant, Give is the story of one family's troubled quest to redeem the mistakes of the past and a stirring testament to the bonds of sisterhood.
Laurel is struggling under the weight of motherhood and the reader immediately sees how selfish she is. Len, meanwhile, is immediately a likable and sympathetic character.
Honestly though, I find the book description to be deceptive. It doesn't convey how much of this story is about Jessie and Emma's childhood. The first part of the book is about Laurel and Len, and how they end up separated, with the girls not knowing Laurel for years. After that, the point of views transition into that of the girls as they go through adolescence followed by adulthood. The next part follows snippets through the years, as they grow up.
This story heavily delves into motherhood, and the different ways people can show love.
It's as multi-layered as it gets, covering many years and many events. It includes divorce, step-parents, egg donorship, motherhood in general. It conveys the pain that stems from the rejection of a parent, the different things that truly make a mother, and heavily explores the meaning of biological parents in one's life. It covers alcoholism, polyamory, and more.
The author takes the reader through many different povs, including that of the children. This is one hell of a multi-layered read that to me, this would make an interesting book club read.