An Offering

Fiction - Drama
377 Pages
Reviewed on 06/20/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite

An Offering by Maura Lin is a historical literary novel that explores the lives of siblings Alice, Dora, and Edith from the Silent Generation, and Alice's children Lucy, Eleanor, and Mark from the Baby Boomer generation. The narrative focuses mostly on Alice and Lucy, starting with the turbulent experiences of Alice's youth, from being accosted by a young man in her youth and the impact of her sister Dora's departure. As a young adult, her entire world is rocked when she is the victim of a violent attack. Lin also details Lucy's struggles with identity, anorexia, and the aftermath of a nursing mistake. The story spans different time periods, shedding light on the family dynamics and personal challenges faced that resonate through every aspect of their lives.

I actually had to set An Offering down when author Maura Lin depicts a beautiful scene in a heartbreaking moment, capturing an intense and unexpected birth and the support and care provided by two others, in secrecy, and in that moment. That is not something I ever have to do but the tenderness of it made me afraid that if I kept reading, too many bad things will happen to take the feeling away. At this juncture the worst is past and Lin's writing continues to blossom as the story progresses. The scenes are in vignettes and punctuate chronological time but only as it applies to whose story we are in; whether it is Alice preparing a meal in 1978 or Eleanor receiving a letter in 2002, there is no confusion over where we are or who we are with. It's all well done, and well managed. Overall, this is a beautiful novel that slowly unfurls itself into a satisfying and well-deserved finale.

K.C. Finn

An Offering is a work of fiction in the interpersonal drama, family saga, and women’s fiction subgenres. It is best suited to mature adult readers owing to themes of sexual assault and recovery as well as other adult content. Penned by author Maura Lin, the novel is a careful study of the relationship and lives of a mother and daughter, Alice and Lucy, spanning almost a century of hardships, reconciliations, parallels, and finding hope in hopeless situations. As Lucy grows older and has children of her own, the strands of the tale come together to show a fuller understanding between the pair as adults and parents in their own right.

Author Maura Lin has crafted a novel that really tugs on the heartstrings, and fans of women-centric drama are going to have a lot to enjoy, emote with, and relate to in this dramatic but deeply realistic read. One of the things I enjoyed throughout the novel was the approach to the changing attitudes and times as history moves forward several decades, and yet there was a nostalgic and deeply human nod to the old adage that some things, unfortunately, never change. Learning to deal with the harsh facts of life is a common theme for Alice and Lucy, and I enjoyed the dialogue crafted around these difficult situations as it developed a very empathetic picture of figuring out personal and interpersonal conflicts. Overall, I would highly recommend An Offering to fans of accomplished emotional writing and compelling family drama, and I can’t wait to see what more this author has in store.