Arthur A. Levine
Two sisters discover what's truly worth living for in the new novel by the author of MARCELO IN THE REAL WORLD.
TWO SISTERS: Kate is bound for Stanford and an M.D. -- if her family will let her go. Mary wants only to stay home and paint. When their loving but repressive father dies, they must figure out how to support themselves and their mother, who is in a permanent vegetative state, and how to get along in all their uneasy sisterhood.
THREE YOUNG MEN: Then three men sway their lives: Kate's boyfriend Simon offers to marry her, providing much-needed stability. Mary is drawn to Marcos, though she fears his violent past. And Andy tempts Kate with more than romance, recognizing her ambition because it matches his own.
ONE AGONIZING CHOICE: Kate and Mary each find new possibilities and darknesses in their sudden freedom. But it's Mama's life that might divide them for good -- the question of *if* she lives, and what's worth living for.
IRISES is Francisco X. Stork's most provocative and courageous novel yet.
Why I Read This:
From the summary, I thought it would be a book I'd Enjoy.
The story was a quiet, down to earth approach at a look at two girls on the edge of womanhood. They learn what it takes to make tough decisions while staying true to themselves. After their father's death, Kate, the older sibling must face her choices. Are the selfish or are they what's best for everyone? Mary, who's been distant from everyone around her learns to take risks and let people in to her world. Both stories interweave seamlessly and even though the two of them are very different from in each other in what they want it's fascinating to see how a shared upbringing effects them in very similar ways.
I loved the way Irises was written. Even though it's one of those books where barely anything happens, it never feels dull or boring. The issues the two are dealing with are powerful enough to stand on their own and the author knows that, never trying to complicate anything but letting things fall into place on their own. My favourite part of the story was probably the role that faith played in it. Mary was an amazing character to me because she seemed unique in the YA world. There was never a crises of faith in her. She always knew where she stood and stuck to her beliefs, even feeling so uncomfortable as to wear a new dress to church (at Kate's request) in case she seems too material. This a voice I haven't seen much of in YA which has always surprised me because there is that voice in real life. I will have to make the effort to seek out more books like this in the future (suggestions, anyone?).
One warning I must give you if you read this book - both the beginning and ending are sad. I was heartbroken for these characters at what they had to go through and the realizations they made about their parents throughout. Their innocence is shattered, but in a way I think we can all relate to.
I look forward to reading more of Francisco X. Stork's novels in the future :)
Received an ARC from publisher at my request.
This post was part of my New Year's Signature Collection event.
Watch out for more guest posts, lists, reviews of January releases, author interviews, and more throughout January.