'The Making of Us'
Author: Lisa Jewell
Published: Atria Books; Aug. 2012
Genre: Brit Chick Lit
Synopsis: Lydia, Dean and Robyn don’t know one another. Yet. Each is facing difficult challenges. Lydia is still wearing the scars from her traumatic childhood. Wealthy and successful, she leads a lonely and disjointed existence. Dean is a young, unemployed, single dad whose life is going nowhere. Robyn is eighteen. Gorgeous, popular and intelligent, she entered her first year of college confident of her dream to become a pediatrician. Now she’s failing her classes. Now she’s falling in love for the first time.
Lydia, Dean and Robyn live very different lives, but each of them, independently, has always felt that something was missing. What they don’t know is that a letter is about to arrive that will turn their lives upside down. It is a letter containing a secret—one that will bind them together and show them what love and family and friendship really mean.
My Take: I have been a big fan of Lisa Jewell since I first discovered her books in college. What I particularly enjoy is that characters within them appeared to have grown up along with me. My most recent read, After the Party by Lisa Jewell, (click title for my review) was so good I knew that I wanted to read more.
Jewell's latest novel, The Making of Us, tackles a pretty serious topic in such a way as though you feel the characters are real and you are experiencing it right along with them. The Making of Us centers around three people, unknown to each other, but intricately connected by the fact that they have the same sperm donor father whom they have never met.
Lydia is the first person we meet. She had a very troubled childhood after her mother passed away and she was forced to continue to live with a bitter father. Once she leaves her childhood home in Wales for London she becomes very rich through a product she created. However, money can not buy her happiness. She is lonely and lives a rather sad existence. One day she gets an anonymous letter letting her know her father is not who she thinks he was and she may in fact have siblings. Lydia wants to meet them and signs up for the Sibling Donor Registry.
Another sibling is Dean. He is a bit of a sad character as well. In his early twenties he has recently been hit with a few major blows that no one should ever have to deal with. The way he deals with them though is by smoking a bowl and just being generally without any desire to do anything. He has known for some time that his dad was a donor but never really wanted to do anything with this information. However, recent life events have made him wonder what it would be like to know these people so one drunken night he signs up on the registry as well.
The final sibling is Robyn. She is eighteen and everything in her life has always been perfect. She has always known her dad was a sperm donor but she always felt that made her special and she likes being special. However, soon she meets the love of her life and thoughts start creeping in, like, what if he is her brother?! So she must find out more information about these people.
Also, I can't forget the fact that we also get the perspective of the donor father. Why he did this in the past and what he feels know is fascinating. You might think that this could get confusing because you have all of these different points of view. And it was, sometimes. It was also a great way to tell this story so that you can see that this one decision can have so many different reactions on people's lives.
Personally, for book clubs, this would be the perfect story to really bring up some interesting topics. I highly recommend this book and look forward to what Lisa Jewell offers up next!
Cover Lust: It's a good cover. The woman on the front is clearly lost in thought.