6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A captivating page-turner,
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.