CBR10 BINGO: So Shiny!
I have been sitting on this review for a while. It is always more difficult for me to write reviews for books that really move me. This is a meaty book full of WORDS and IDEAS and large number of characters with story lines that need to be followed. I would classify this in what I think of as “epic”. It is deeply character driven and I was instantly invested in the characters. If an author can get me to do that early on, I’m in it the whole way. Most of the time, these books are also looong and take me a while to both read and digest but the payoff is super satisfying in the end. This is the kind of book that sticks with me.
I’m also a fan of fiction books that lean heavily on nature. I have no idea what that genre is called but I dig it and I’m always on the look out for books like that. The ONLY reason that this gem walked out of the library with me was because it was one of the ones that an astute re-shelver or Librarian highlighted by displaying it on the New Books shelf with a little flair. Thank you for that!
Overstory weaves together the lives of nine people and their relationships with trees. I don’t know of a more elegant way to put it. The trees are characters here in their own right. They aren’t animate but they somehow play a significant role in the lives of each of the characters. A young man inherits his family’s heirloom: photographs taken of a chestnut tree on their Iowa farm over the course of one hundred years. A childless couple plants a tree for every wedding anniversary. Sisters climb the tree that their father planted to remind him of where he came from. A Vietnam veteran drifter takes a reforesting job for money and awakens his love of nature. After a near death experience, a depressed and substance abusing college student begins to hear voices that lead her to the forest. A family plants a tree for every sibling that is born hoping to instill each child with their tree’s attributes. After falling from a tree as a teenager, a computer whiz creates a virtual reality where he can explore the natural world. A girl whose father teaches her about trees grows up to be a scientist that discovers that trees have a society all their own. Each is driven in their own way to help protect the last remaining virgin forests in the West.
I don’t want to give away too much about this book because the journey is worth a little mystery. I’m not doing it justice here, and I’m sorry for that. It is an incredible book and one of those rare ones that manages to be entertaining, enlightening, heart wrenching AND totally satisfying. It’s a little gut punch to psyche.
CBR10 BINGO: So Shiny!