This book took me by complete surprise. To start with, the first third or so is effectively a series of maybe-kind-of-if-you-squint linked short stories – and I loved them. I’ve written time and time again here how I’m not really a short story person but this part of the book changed me. They were just gorgeous. I loved the tree theme that carried through and how it was different and unique and beautiful to each and I was telling absolutely everyone how good it was and how they needed to pick it up immediately.
For the most part I stand by that now that I’ve finished, I just for some reason didn’t like the book quite as much by the time all the paths crossed. Go figure. I loved them as stand-alone characters and would have gladly watched all their stories unfold individually and this would have been one of my 100% all time favorite books. It’s still incredible, it just didn’t sing quite the same notes for me once everyone was on the same page.
It’s a book about tree huggers and how all these different characters came to be tree huggers. Some of them started out that way, some of them fell into it a little bit later in life. For the most part it all feels pretty natural. There are some standouts and there are the bits that lag (funny enough, the parts that took place in the overstory were some of the slowest for me). Overall, still one I’m going to recommend, just maybe not as highly as I did at first.