Friday, May 29, 2009

The Crying Tree

Imagine yourself in the early 1970's. A time when bell bottoms, mini skirts and platform shoes ruled the fashion world. The birth of Aerosmith, Kiss and the Ramones took center stage in the music world. A time of political awakening. Now imagine yourself knowing nothing about this and living in an isolated town in Oregon. You are living what appears to be the American dream – married, two kids (one boy, one girl), etc.... But, then tragedy strikes and what you love most in the world is taken from you. Your only son is brutally murdered in your home.

How do you cope? How do you go on living? What kind of a life do you have? Can there be justice? In The Crying Tree, we are witness to one family's struggle to survive. We share their grief and feel their desperation. We observe as they become bitter and frustrated with one another - they become strangers. There is forgiveness. There are secrets. There are sins of commission and sins of omission. When these are brought to the forefront, we see the unbreakable bonds of family surface.

Ms. Rakha is a wonderful story teller. She was able to hold my attention until the end. I wanted to know how things would work out. The characters were sympathetic including the murderer. This is a tragic novel; however, it is also one of love, forgiveness and redemption. I recommend to those searching for a new voice. A good book for book clubs.

Thank you Shelf Awareness and Random House for this copy.

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