Thursday, 26 November 2020

Review: How to Grow a Family Tree by Eliza Henry Jones

Stella has always known that she was adopted, and she's cool with that. What she's not cool with, however, is her Dad's gambling addiction, which has forced the family to move out of their home and into Fairyland, a dilapidated old caravan park. A few days before the move, she receives a letter from her birth mother and suddenly, she finds herself wanting to know more about her biological family ...

How to Grow a Family Tree packs a huge range of topics and issues into its 327 pages. There's adoption, addiction, mental illness, rape, good old fashioned communication issues and, of course, one of Stella's oldest male friends is completely in love with her, only she can't see that. The difficulty with all of these story lines is that not one of them are fleshed out as much as they had the potential to be. I felt as though this one was trying so hard to tick all of the right boxes that it missed its potential. On the other hand, the book has some lovely themes about acceptance and not taking people at face value.

While this one may not have been the perfect read for me, I would still be keen to read some of Eliza Henry Jones' other novels in the future.

This book was read as part of the Aussie Author Reading Challenge 2020