When 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. – Goodreads
This is not a pretty or neat book. It’s painful, it’s rough, and I could not put it down. Apple and Rain is a heart breaking story of two sisters, Apple and Rain. Apple is in eighth grade, and is wondering why her mother ditched her all those years ago on Christmas Eve with her grandmother. Rain, is in a new country, surrounded by new people and really just wants stability. What they have in common is their very flaky mother, who is not really a good mom. Crossman throughout this novel never tries to make the reader believe that the mother will stop being self-centered and maybe start really loving her children. Nope, the mom is always about the mom. Pulling the kids out of school, throwing constant parties, meanwhile Apple and Rain are really trying to survive.
Apple was surviving or she was doing her version of surviving, as much as a 13 year old can. She lives with her grandmother, who Apple views as overbearing, she has a friend named Pilar who she is slowly growing apart from, she has a poetry unit in English class, in which Apple does every assignment twice, once for real and then the fake poem and Apple doesn’t know how she is actually going to survive. Then her mom comes back, eleven years later from America and Apple sees this as her lifeline. Her mom will make everything better and Apple can go on living.
Apple’s mom does not make everything better, if anything Apple’s mom makes everything worse. Apple quickly becomes a second mom to Rain, because her mother is beyond absent. I love that while Apple’s life is falling apart she is trying her hardest to keep her shit together. She is trying so hard because she is a fighter even when all she wants to do is go crying back to her Nan and get a hug.
This is an absolutely beautiful novel that broke my heart in various ways I was not expecting. The prose throughout Apple and Rain kept me turning the pages and reading it in a day. From friendships, to family, to heartache Crossan wrote everything I needed in a book and I wasn’t even aware I needed. I cannot wait to read the rest of Crossan’s backlist.