I thought to write a brilliant, coherent review of this shattering book but decided instead to go from the gut, having just finished it.
It has been a long, long time since I have been so utterly upended by a novel. Unmade and remade. And unmade again. Hard to find words other than those. Hmmmmm. Let me try this. This book is about trees. The words tree and truth come from the same Old English root. That, to me, is huge.
Overstory is a wake up call. Overstory should be required reading. Overstory is about trees/people/life, about balance and wisdom, chaos and ignorance; about persistence and understanding; and about the havoc caused by the acquisitiveness of the human species. Get. More. Stuff. It is about what can save us and what destroys us. And, in turn, what we save and destroy. It is about how life evolves. It is about love, it is always about love. Community and what we are willing to sacrifice, it is about that too.
It is a big book, just over 500 pages, and worth every second that I spent reading it, that I spent gasping, grinning, weeping, unable to read through the tears. It took me a few pages to find its heart. Holding the heavy tome in my lap, I may have been 50 pages in before I knew there was no turning back, that I was in deep. A little further on and I realized that I was changing, changing in ways that were both familiar and new, as though breaking from a chrysalis.
I don’t now what else to say. There are many, many reviews of this book available – it won The National Book Award – so if you want a synopsis of the story you can reach out to those. This is more about what it may do to you…