Book Review: Apple & Rain by Sarah Crossan

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A stunning portrayal of a broken family and the path to healing. Sarah Crossan’s Apple & Rain is a gorgeous story filled with raw, honest emotion and the meaning of truly unconditional love.

apple and rainWhen Apple’s mother returns after eleven years of absence, Apple feels almost whole again. In order to heal completely, her mother will have to answer one burning question: Why did she abandon her? But just like the stormy Christmas Eve when she left, her mother’s homecoming is bittersweet. It’s only when Apple meets her younger sister, Rain-someone more lost than she is- that she begins to see things for how they really are, allowing Apple to discover something that might help her to feel truly whole again.

From the author of the acclaimed The Weight of Water comes a beautifully-crafted, moving novel about family, betrayal, and the ultimate path to healing.

The story of Apple and her sister can be quite difficult to read at times — especially as an older reader, I think — to see them struggle through troubling situations. As an adult, I wanted to wrap Apple in my arms and bring her comfort, and show her that there is a better way for her. But to witness her slow path to this realization on her own was far more rewarding. Apple’s story is, ultimately, a successful one — but the path to get there is harrowing, and it’s a triumphant experience as the reader to see her get there.

Crossan has such a gift for telling raw, honest portrayals of families and the intricate dynamics between parental figures and their children; between siblings; between friends. (Her novel-in-verse The Weight of Water is another stunning example of her writing.) Her ability to deftly tell a difficult story, and keep her characters true to themselves — while experiencing genuine growth — is admirable, and makes for a purely enjoyable read.

Apple & Rain is a heartbreaking and beautiful story about love, redemption, and forgiveness. It is in stores now.

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