IT’S ONE OF US | J.T. Ellison
02.21.2023 | Mira Books
Rating: 4/5 stars
Olivia Bender designs exquisite home interiors that satisfy the most demanding clients. But her own deepest desire can’t be fulfilled by marble counters or the perfect rug. She desperately wants to be a mother. Fertility treatments and IVF keep failing. And just when she feels she’s at her lowest point, the police deliver shocking news to Olivia and her husband, Park. DNA results show that the prime suspect in a murder investigation is Park’s son. Despite their desire, the Benders don’t have any children. Then comes the confession. Many years ago, Park donated sperm to a clinic. He has no idea how many times it was sold—or how many children he has sired.
J.T. Ellison is an author I discovered many years ago when I first started my bookstagram account. I fell in love with her writing in Lie to Me and she has continued to be an auto-buy for me since.
Ellison kicks things off with a bang from the very start of this story revealing exactly what the synopsis touches on and allowing readers an intimate view into Olivia and Park Bender’s lives. Through alternating narratives, the reader is able to reflect on each side of the situation. As more details come about, Ellison introduces additional narrators to fully round out the story. While this may sound like a lot, each section is clearly labeled and Ellison has managed to give each narrator a distinct voice.
I really enjoyed how the past came into play through various elements of this story as more and more secrets started to come to light. This allowed the narrators to feel unreliable in a way that left the reader asking questions and wanting to keep reading for more details. I was so engrossed in the story that I didn’t see the ending playing out the way it did, which made me love the book even more.
TW: There are a variety of tough topics in this book with infertility at the forefront, but Ellison handles everything with care and grace, which makes sense when you get to the author’s note and she explains about her own battle with infertility. As always, I recommend checking out Storygraph for a full listing of trigger warnings.
A huge thank you to Mira Books for my gifted copy!