Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Language of Trees

Author: Ilie Ruby
Copyright July 2010
Harper Collins Imprint
Paperback $ 14.99
ISBN 9780061898648
368 pages

“Trees are the most trusting of all living creatures between they trust enough to put their roots down in one place, knowing they’ll be there for life.
-Author unknown”

Grant Songo is having difficulty finding out his purpose in life. He has moved back to his family cabin that he inherited after the death of his parents. This past year as a teacher was not successful and he was given a leave of absence allowing him time to heal from two broken marriages, the second one failed following three miscarriages.

Unfortunately, this cabin is the surrounding the lake where years ago a small boy drowned during the night when in a small boat with his sisters. However, Luke, the boy, continues to haunt the area and continues to intermingle with the community leaving dimes and small yellow paper airplanes in the town. Added to the mystery is that this area is in upstate New York near the Finger Lakes which were at one time inhabited by the Seneca and also are known to have their own spiritual ghosts.

The story of Luke and how his family continues to deal with their guilt and grief along with Grant’s guilt about his personal life, the return of Grant’s first wife are beautifully overlapping into this novel. Additionally in the story are literally a lone wolf, the haunted area, and most importantly the disappearance of Luke’s sister, Melanie. As each day, the community varies between searching for her and wondering if she ran away again while Lion, her long term lover, continues to care for their child and fearfully wondering if she is back using drugs. These are all beautifully interwoven into an entrancing tale while rooting the characters to this mysterious area of Canandaigua Lake.

THE LANGUAGE OF TREES is a debut novel by Ilie Ruby who has published numerous poems and short stories in a variety of literary and online magazines. With her three children and her husband, she currently lives near Boston.

The characters are believable. The choice of words is truly masterful and poetic. The multiple storylines perfectly overflow each other while intermixing and developing. The flaws of all the characters, as well as their personal abilities and gifts, are lovingly blended into this mystery with both real and remembered hauntings that are not as a horror or a thriller but as a way of caring and remembering. This is not a romantic love story, but a story of realistic love and caring for other people.

THE LANGUAGE OF TREES is a story of eloquence revealing the raw nature of humanity growing in trust with those who care and learning how to extend their own personal roots to become the trees of this community.

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