Book - 2019
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They come for the trees. It is 2038. As the rest of humanity struggles through the environmental collapse known as the Great Withering, scientist Jake Greenwood is working as an overqualified tour guide on Greenwood Island, a remote oasis of thousand-year-old trees. Jake had thought the island's connection to her family name just a coincidence, until someone from her past reappears with a book that might give her the family history she's long craved. From here, we gradually move backwards in time to the years before the First World War, encountering along the way the men and women who came before Jake: an injured carpenter facing the possibility of his own death, an eco-warrior trying to atone for the sins of her father's rapacious timber empire, a blind tycoon with a secret he will pay a terrible price to protect, and a Depression-era drifter who saves an abandoned infant from certain death, only to find himself the subject of a country-wide manhunt. At the very centre of the book is a tragedy that will bind the fates of two boys together, setting in motion events whose reverberations we see unfold over generations, as the novel moves forward into the future once more.
Publisher: Toronto : McClelland & Stewart, [2019]
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9780771024450
Branch Call Number: CHRISTI
Characteristics: 490 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm


From Library Staff

A tale of environment, industry, family, love, and survival—I absolutely loved it.

Also available in ebook and downloadable audiobook format. ------

It's 2034 and Jake Greenwood is a storyteller and a liar, an overqualified tour guide babysitting ultra-rich vacationers in one of the world's last remaining forests. It's 2008 and Liam Greenwood is a carpenter, fallen from a la... Read More »

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Oct 05, 2020

A wonderful read, I enjoy generational sagas. Makes you appreciate our forests and now I want to visit Cathedral Grove on Vancouver Island. In keeping with the book’s subject, it is printed on 100% post consumer waste. Highly recommend

Sep 13, 2020

A beautifully told family saga.

Sep 11, 2020

I would highly recommend this. It is a family saga that is immersive and beautifully told. It has stayed with me for the many weeks since I have read it.

Sep 08, 2020

Absolutely loved this amazing book. A timely, beautiful book based on complex characters and their love of trees. One of the best books out there.

Aug 23, 2020

It’s a rare book that can spur action, but I’m now looking into how I can help to preserve old growth forests. This book takes the reader from the lumber barron days to a dystopian future where the trees have largely disappeared due to blight and environmental changes. Having seen the stands of dead pine trees in eastern Oregon, it wasn’t hard to picture. This book is a reminder of the wealth we take for granted piggybacked on an engaging generational story.

Aug 22, 2020

Time, by its very nature inherently haunting, infuses Greenwood. Deftly, epically Christie shuttles the reader to and fro navigating a 130-year time span. Along the way the spatial geography traversed is expansionary, yet focused. Moment and location work hand in glove. The Crash, Great Depression, Dust Bowl, Great Withering which frame the book's chronicle, as is the case with much of history, rests on a foundation of voluminous archives. The fleeting personal experiences, the strands of which weave into the fabric of our lives defining who we are, unravel and dissipate with the fading of memory. This loss fashions a bereft society. Greenwood: an entrancing novel.

BPLpicks Jul 23, 2020

This is a beautifully written, immersive, generational saga that was a joy to read. Highly recommended.

IndyPL_CarriG Jun 22, 2020

A lovely and heart-wrenching family saga that begins in a future beset by a changing climate and travels back to the earlier days of the 1930's lumber industry. I found all of the characters compelling, and the way he wove the threads of plot together throughout the different timelines were both easy to follow and made for strong emotional resonance. A beautiful read.

Jun 04, 2020

The rest of the reviews really say it all but this was one of my favourite books so far this year. Very well-written in an interesting style broken down by character /year that correspond with the rings (age) on British Columbia's ancient old growth forests. This book sends a vital environmental message through the eyes of complicated, flawed characters who are members of different generations of one family. Engrossing. The only reason I didn't give it five stars was because of the inconclusive ending but that is just a personal bias. Highly recommend.

Apr 02, 2020

I loved this novel. At its core are trees - real ones and family trees. Our guide in this is a young woman who works as a guide on a tourist spot in British Columbia - an island where trees survive in a world where most have been wiped out by a virus. She's doing her best to survive and pay her massive student debt in this near-future world. But she's drawn into finding out more about her family, going back several generations and we're along for the ride. At the front of the book is an illustration of a tree's interior - its rings which correspond to the dates and people from our guide's family tree. The book is written the same way - it starts in the present with the tour guide (the outer layer on one side of the tree) and goes inwards to the core, the starting point of her family, and then works its way back to the present/ring on the other side. This novel has well developed characters, glimpses into past eras, and an intriguing look at what makes a family, secrets and all. Plus an important environmental message. And it's Canadian. If you like complicated family sagas and historical fiction with a bit of the future thrown in, try this.

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