Synopsis from author's website:
In the sprawling lake region of Canandaigua, New York—a place where some families have secrets they would do anything to keep—little Luke Ellis disappeared. Now, over a decade later, his teenage sister, Melanie, has vanished, abandoning her infant son. As the frantic search for Melanie ensues, Grant Shongo, a Seneca healer, finds himself caught up by a spirit that draws him into a world where nature and the spiritual realm are intertwined and nothing is as it seems. It is only with the help of his childhood love, Echo O'Connell, that the mystery of the Ellis children can be put to rest. But before the healing must come the forgiveness. Written in a magic realist vernacular, THE LANGUAGE OF TREES examines the tremulous bonds between parents and children, lovers and friends, and restless spirits—both living and not. It is a story that will make you believe that the spirits of those we love watch over us, that people can heal each other, and that if you can truly forgive yourself, the world will return to you all of your forgotten dreams.
I originally wrote the review for The Language of Trees two weeks ago, moments after I read the last page. For some reason, computer gnomes most likely, my review did not save, so here I am two weeks later...with a slightly different opinion. The gnomes did me a favor, they allowed me to step back and take a look at a book again. Unfortunately, I found The Language of Trees did not have staying power.
The first time around, I did enjoy this book and thought that it was a beautiful story with many of the Native American "magic" weaved throughout the story of this little town on Canandaigue Lake.
My biggest complaint about the book was that the words got in the way. The writing felt forced at times. There were some great ideas, but the too obvious "words of wisdom" were poorly positioned and didn't feel authentic. I had to wonder if the novel was over-edited, because at times there were passages that didn't flow, and were inconsistent where they were positioned.
There were times when the writing worked. It was as if Ilie Ruby was in the zone and her words spilled out of her effortlessly. Ms. Ruby must have been alone at her desk, in a quiet house when her imagination kicked in and she lost herself in her story. Again, it makes me wonder about the editing or rewrites. It makes me want to see the manuscript!
Some of my favorite moments in the book, had little sprinkles of Ilie Ruby's magical writing in it.
"Most beautiful thing is to see hope come back into a face."
"He thought her beautifully human."
"...she was gentle with the world but not afraid of it..."
I enjoyed the story of Grant and Echo, and the intertwining families of Canandaigua Lake. I especially enjoyed the relationship between Echo and Joseph - the only parent-child relationship in the whole story that is loving and functional, and it's also the only one that's not biological. The characters were alive, and the plot was interesting and magical, but I did not connect with the story enough for it to stick with me.
TLC Book Tour Stops for The Language of Trees
Ilie Ruby's website
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About the Book:
The Language of Trees by Ilie Ruby
Paperback: 368 pages
About the Author:
The Language of Trees Blog Tour Stops:
Tuesday, July 20th: I’m Booking It
Wednesday, July 21st: Café of Dreams
Thursday, July 22nd: Alison’s Book Marks
Monday, July 26th: Library Queue
Wednesday, July 28th: Fizzy Thoughts
Monday, August 2nd: Chaotic Compendiums
Wednesday, August 4th: Take Me Away
Thursday, August 5th: Booksie’s Blog
Monday, August 9th: Jenny Loves to Read
Tuesday, August 10th: Chefdruck Musings
Thursday, August 12th: Books Like Breathing