Customer Reviews


122 Reviews
5 star:
 (58)
4 star:
 (38)
3 star:
 (19)
2 star:
 (5)
1 star:
 (2)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


98 of 101 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anger, sorrow, forgiveness and other emotions.
This is a stunning book of great depth and tenderness. A family move across the USA hoping to build a new existence, but the son is shot dead in his own home. Soon after the killer is arrested, but spends many years on death row. Mother, father and sister are distressed, angry, and look forward to the day he dies, when justice can be seen to be done and revenge...
Published on 12 Jan 2010 by R. Lawson

versus
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I think I was supposed to be more enamoured of this....
I bought this book based on the reviews on here and I can't say I am sorry that I did but neither can I say it completely gripped me. For me it was one of those reads that you vaguely enjoy on some level but it doesnt make you want to add the author to your list of must buy's.
The subject matter is emotive - the loss of a child is a terrible thing and the writer has...
Published on 30 Jan 2012 by Liz Wilkins


‹ Previous | 1 213 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

98 of 101 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anger, sorrow, forgiveness and other emotions., 12 Jan 2010
By 
R. Lawson "clavedoc" (Sheffield, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Crying Tree (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a stunning book of great depth and tenderness. A family move across the USA hoping to build a new existence, but the son is shot dead in his own home. Soon after the killer is arrested, but spends many years on death row. Mother, father and sister are distressed, angry, and look forward to the day he dies, when justice can be seen to be done and revenge taken.
The years that elapse between sentencing and the planned execution take a heavy toll on the family, and each deals with it in different ways. As the years go by the feelings within each family member shift bit by bit, as do the relationships between them.
In a nutshell, that's about it then, with the odd surprising revelation along the way. If you're looking for a book packed with action, this is not the book for you. If you are looking for a book with a variety of interesting characters who have depth and complexity, and who develop in an entirely convincing way then this is the right book for you.
Though there is much anger, frustration and loss recounted in the pages, there's also a haunting beauty. It asks penetrating questions about the nature of rules, of acceptance and authority, and what gives our life purpose.
Whilst struggling with difficult and weighty matters, the delightful prose remains delicate. Nowhere has the author allowed things to get bogged down, and a few carefully crafted images are often left to do the work other authors would require pages of description to accomplish. A novel that is thoughtful, literary and readable all at the same time.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I think I was supposed to be more enamoured of this...., 30 Jan 2012
By 
Liz Wilkins "Lizzy11268" (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Crying Tree (Paperback)
I bought this book based on the reviews on here and I can't say I am sorry that I did but neither can I say it completely gripped me. For me it was one of those reads that you vaguely enjoy on some level but it doesnt make you want to add the author to your list of must buy's.
The subject matter is emotive - the loss of a child is a terrible thing and the writer has done well in pulling you in to the family grief. However, I think my personal problem was that I didnt find the characters that likeable to begin with - the only one I really felt any empathy for was Bliss, the daughter left behind as the sole child of the family. HER grief and eventual need to move past it resonated with me. That character is the reason I give the book 3 stars and not 2.
Certainly I can understand why it has so many rave reviews - some people are going to "feel" this story more than others, it just didnt quite get there for me.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite simply a wonderful read, 21 Nov 2010
This review is from: The Crying Tree (Paperback)
This is the first time I have reviewed a book but I felt compelled to encourage others to read this. I thought it was beautifully written, moving and suspenseful. I enjoyed it so much I could hardly put it down but at the same time didn't want it to end. I loved it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A captivating page-turner, 3 May 2011
By 
Nicola F (Nic) (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Crying Tree (Paperback)
I actually purchased this book on a whim and I'm really happy that I did. It was almost Picoult-esque in its gritty subject matter, yet similarly had echoes of a book I read a couple of years ago by Amanda Eyre-Ward, also focusing on the same setting and was also a little bit reminiscent of some happenings in The Green Mile too. This is actually an incredibly well written novel on a tough subject matter, with strongly drawn characters and emotions that really kept me turning the pages.

A brief summary: teenager Shep was only fifteen years old when he was shot and killed during an apparent robbery at his family's home. Nineteen year old Daniel Robbins was charged with the brutal murder and languished on Oregon's death row - whilst Shep's family were left behind to pick up the pieces. His mother Irene especially has a hard time coming to terms with her son's death and facing up to being left behind and so begins her inner search; are her religious beliefs strong enough to overcome her hatred for her son's killer? Nineteen years later she might have her answers as the date of Robbin's execution is on the horizon...

As I've said, this is a well-written novel on a difficult subject. The only thing I have to say that irked me about this novel was the constant references to Christianity and the power of prayer, but being an atheist that is a matter of personal preference, and it wasn't heavy enough to put me off the book. Forgiveness and compassion is a strong underlying thread in the book and is handled very successfully.

I will also say though that there was some indication at the beginning of the book that things *quite* weren't what they appeared from some happenings that were vaguely alluded to, so to some degree this book was a little bit predictable. I worked out quite quickly what was going on and what had happened around the events in question and that matters didn't fully add up, but nevertheless, that didn't hinder my enjoyment of the book in any way, shape or form, but I did feel it warranted the deduction of a star from my rating.

From the title, you obviously realise this story won't exactly be a laugh a minute as well, but despite the somewhat predictability of the plot I was still genuinely surprised by how upset I got towards the end of this novel and how angered I was by some characters actions- the signs of a well written novel.

I wouldn't hesitate in recommending this book to others- it's a very strong, worthwhile read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An emotional Read, 30 Jan 2011
This review is from: The Crying Tree (Paperback)
This book is fantastic! It takes you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions and you find yourself really empathising with the characters, even the ones in the wrong!!
I couldn't put it down and found myself sneaking off to read a few pages whenever I got the chance!
Definately recommended read!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars emotional, 8 July 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Crying Tree (Paperback)
What a wonderfully dramatic,emotional and beautifully written story. this is a superb debut novel and i am looking forward to the next one.the subject matter could have been over sentimental but the balance was spot on due to the wonderful characterisations.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sensitive exploration of a situation where there can be no winners, 28 Feb 2011
By 
davidT "Omnivore" (Hildesheim, Germany) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Crying Tree (Paperback)
There's a saying, "If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans."
There's not a lot of laughing in this book, but given that Nate Stanley's aim in heading from Illinois to Oregon is to sort out what he sees as a problem likely to divide his family, it's difficult to see how it could have gone more catastrophically wrong. A murder, a legal case which drags on for nearly two decades, and the remnants of a family unable to communicate with each other.
In a way, all the characters in the story are derailed from what they might have expected of life, and the interest of the narrative is in how (or whether) they manage to make something of what's left.
Nate appears least likely, since he's obsessed with the events which led to his son's death, unable to move on. His daughter Bliss sets herself single-mindedly to becoming a state prosecutor, determined that no one should ever get away with what her brother's killer seems to have done. Her mother, Irene, is brought lowest, before she picks herself up and sets out on what forms the main part of the story, although even that leads to a further derailment when the truth about her son's murder finally comes to light.
Outside the family, we have the convicted killer, Daniel Robbin, who has of course been thrown farthest off course by the events of one afternoon. He's no innocent, as he admits himself, and he doesn't make any excuses. Eventually, though, he takes charge of his fate in the only way that is really open to him.
Then, too, the superintendent of the prison, Tab Mason, responsible for arranging an execution when there hasn't been one in the state for years, so all the horrifying details of the 'procedure'have to be worked out from the ground up. His own background is gradually made clear, with a sadistic psychopath of a brother and a mother who took his brother's side rather than his. Now divorced and seeing his child once every couple of years, the question is whether he will be dragged down by the responsibility on his shoulders.
At first, I thought it was going to be a so-so story along the lines of 'murder is dreadful, but so is capital punishment, no one is beyond redemption' or something, but Naseem Rakha doesn't take that straightforward path. There's nothing easy about the story, or the decisions any of the characters have to make. Even at the end it's not clear whether there will be any redemption. A truly happy ending is probably out of the question, but there's the possibility that most of the characters will have some sort of future to look forward to.
Reading the above, I realise it must sound like a story of unadulterated misery, but that's not what I came away with, and so I think there must be the hope of something in the future, once the long story of the killing and its aftermath is over - if it ever can be, that is.
It's not for a dismal story that I find myself holdng back from five stars, rather that some of the key characters don't quite convince. Bliss should be more important, but we don't get much of a feeling for her as an individual - she sets off on her own path and follows it unswervingly. Personal life? We're not told of any, and she comes across as lacking a dimension.
More seriously, her mother's decision to leave her sorrow behind and embrace forgiveness is the turning point of the book, but it doesn't quite work - there isn't any apparent trigger that turns her from being literally suicidal into a philosophical character who firmly takes control of her life again and gives it purpose.
All in all, though, an excellent read, and one that does what all the good novels do by making you put yourself in the position of several people, and imagine what you would do in their situation. Though I sincerely hope it will never come to that.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping!, 18 Jan 2011
This review is from: The Crying Tree (Paperback)
This is a fantastic book; well written and very gripping. I couldn't put it down and would recommend it to anyone!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars would reccomend to anyone, 4 Jan 2011
By 
This review is from: The Crying Tree (Paperback)
I just finished reading the crying tree and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The author explores a womans struggle when her 15 year old son is killed, and as her family unit implodes around her and she sinks into a deep depression, Sheps mother makes a choice to stop hating her sons killer and in time discovers the redemptive powers of forgiveness. So much fiction that I read is shaped by the constraints of justice and remaining faithful to the notion that bad characters must meet their come uppance in the course of the novel. Rakha refused to inhibit her storyline with such strong moral codes, her lack of commitment to a definitive kind of justice seems infinitely more real, and I found this to be quite refreshing. furthermore, all her characters were just beautifully crafted and extremely memorable. The novel challenged my perception of justice and made me realise that whilst love is an enigma, hate is just a decision. Thought provoking and poignant, I'll be looking out for more of Rakhas work.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Crying Tree, 14 Oct 2011
By 
Miss Tailor (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Crying Tree (Paperback)
This book was really good... I was so suprised by the shocker in the story and was not expecting it.. I won't give it away as most people read reviews before purchasing the book and i think people revealing the story in the review is let down...

This book really gave an insight into how forgiveness can help with the healing process in a difficult and sad situation.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 213 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Crying Tree
The Crying Tree by Naseem Rakha (Hardcover - 7 July 2009)
Used & New from: £0.71
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews