You are hereBack to top
Author Erica C. Witsell
“A very unusual family saga written with unusual intelligence and compassion. Erica Witsell has a gift for depicting complex relationships.” —Phyllis Rose, author of Parallel Lives
Every summer, Jessie and Emma leave their suburban home in the Central Valley 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.
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.
“This is a gripping narrative about family, identity, and loyalty . . . Beautifully written!”—Kate Rademacher, author of Following the Red Bird
“At times subtle and at times cutting to the quick Give digs deep into the heart and soul of a family as connected as it is torn apart. Give pulls no punches, delivering an honest look into the lengths we will go for family.” —Amy Willoughby-Burle, author of The Lemonade Year
Erica Witsell has a bachelor's degree from Wesleyan University and a master's from UC Berkeley. Her writing has appeared in The Sun Magazine, and Brain, Child's online publication. Give is her debut novel. Erica lives in western North Carolina with her family, where she teaches English as a new language and writes a blog about motherhood. She loves mountains, languages, bicycling, and dance.
Give is the story of a modern, American family in all its glorious messiness: A hapless but well-intentioned father, two very different sisters, and a deeply flawed yet sympathetic mother. When the family babysitter transitions to the role of stepmother, allegiances are strained and fissures become deep chasms.
I have never read a more jaw-droppingly honest depiction of early motherhood. That's what caught my attention initially, but Give is also a beautiful rendering of sisterhood, family, and marriage. The characters are messy and human and real. They screw up in ways big and small, love fiercely and unwisely, and manage to let each other down despite genuine affection and good intentions. What if we try our best in our relationships but still manage to hurt each other?