Stitch and Bear

A long-running Irish blog with reviews of the best restaurants in Dublin and throughout Ireland. Some wine and cocktails thrown in for good measure!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Crying Tree - Naseem Rakha

The Crying Tree is a magnificent, emotional debut from Naseem Rakha. It tells the story of the Stanley family who move from Illinois to Orgeon. Tragedy strikes when their son, Shep, is killed in their own home. The subsequent fallout wrenches the family apart, driving mother Irene to drink and depression. Bliss, the youngest daughter seeks to leave the small town where they live to become a criminal prosecutor while Nate turns inwards and withdraws.

A young man, Daniel Robbins, is quickly caught and convicted to death for Shep's murder but it takes many years for his actual execution to take place. In the meantime, while close to the brink of suicide, Irene writes a letter to Robbins and an odd relationship develops between the mother and convicted murderer. However, Irene keeps it all a secret from her family, fearing that people won't understand. But hers is not the only secret in the family.

The Crying Tree is a novel with an unusual subject. It is about despair and depression, forgiveness and family. For a story of such depth and emotion, the pages literally turn themselves as Rahka maintains the pace and tension throughout. A fantastic novel of redemption and love.

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