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The Eve Tree: A Novel
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The Eve Tree: A Novel

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3.29 of 5 stars 3.29  ·  rating details  ·  353 ratings  ·  56 reviews
Ten years ago, Molly Boscelli took over her family ranch and goat farm in Humboldt County, California, with her husband, Jack. Now, a forest fire is making its way toward them, threatening their home and way of life. Molly’s mother and grown children rally at the ranch in a last ditch attempt to prepare for disaster.

The family must work through the truth about their histo
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ebook, 274 pages
Published (first published April 20th 2011)
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Lauren Hidden
The author provided me with a review copy of this book in exchange for a review. Wow, this one is a winner!

This story has an exceedingly simple plot: Fire is threatening Molly and Jack’s ranch, and despite the fire officials’ reassurances, the extended family comes back to the ranch “just in case” they need to evacuate. The characters are as complex as the plot is simple. The book centers on Molly, who seems just out of reach of her doting husband Jack. As the book progresses, you learn more abo
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Darlene
Aug 29, 2013 Darlene rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Yvensong, S. Michele Smith, Cheryl in CC NV
Recommended to Darlene by: The freebie offer
At the current moment the Yosemite fire is only 30% contained. Here in Reno, Washoe Valley, the smoke has been extreme at times. Today the air is a little better than yesterday. AND we have had our own lightening-caused fires.

When my children were little we lived on a little over an acre out in the desert, where fires were a constant threat.

Our pediatrician suggested that as I wean my children, I should start them on goat milk, especially in a family with milk allergies. So we got goats. I canno
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Karen Fowler
I wasn't sure what to expect while reading this book, and it turned out to be a little more literary than I had anticipated (in a good way!)but overall I adored The Eve Tree. It's a compelling cross-section of familial shortcomings, and how those shape our lives.

Set on a family farm in a time where a crawling forest fire threatens everything, the family converges to make preparations. Three generations of people that grew up on the land, nurtured from and by it, struggle to come to terms with t
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Sarah
I received this as a goodreads giveaway.

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It was a good balance between prose and dialogue and I found myself unable to put it down, finishing it in two work days. I enjoyed the pace of the story, which was set and helped along by a forest fire threatening to take down the O'Leary Ranch. I know nothing of forest fires, and the descriptions of what was happening were vivid enough to make me believe I was seeing it.

I also enjoyed the back story of Molly and
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Cac
I really wanted to like this book. I love the idea of the land being cared for by different generations of the same family, and I understand the stress of a forest fire, but I just didn't like Molly. I thought she was mean to her mother, her children and Jack and I couldn't muster up much sympathy for her in spite of her mental state. I didn't think there was much depth to the characters. Bottom line for me; the premise of the book was interesting but I think it was lacking character development ...more
Becky Arundale
I really enjoyed this book and the sentiment of it. This is a well developed story with really believable characters. There are some really beautiful passages in this story. I would recommend this to any mother of a daughter, any daughter, or any husband. I'll definitely be re-reading this one. Bonus, it takes place on a goat farm!
Beverly
overall a pretty good read, but it got a little muddy toward the end. Full of the tradition of holding on to the family farm, family members suffering from with mental illness, and dealing with mother-daughter conflict.
Sheriece
Wonderful book about a mentally ill woman who both loves and hates the land that she inherited. Amazing, well-flowing story told from several different perspectives. I loved this book!
Marcia
Wonderful story, a great character study. I loved it! I'm looking forward to her second novel!
Embejo
When I describe this book to people, I tell them that it’s about family, mothers and daughters, the land and belonging to it, mental illness, love and fires. It also has trees. And a donkey. And some goats. I also tell them that it was written by a hippy mother of four children who lives 6 months of the year in a community in rural India. Rachel blogs at Journey Mama, I’ve been reading there a while now, living vicariously through her a tiny bit. Mostly for the beautiful beautiful places they st ...more
Terri
The Eve Tree by Rachel Devenish Ford is a interesting glimpse into the life of a ranch in California that had been passed down from generation to generation. In the novel, the ranch is threatened with wildfire and Molly, the current owner of the ranch, must come to terms with the potential of losing everything her family had built two generations before her.

This book is well paced and not only moves with the plot of the threat of fire, but also takes it time in examining each part of the family
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Noah
The Eve Tree is an ok read. The distant fire makes you want to keep reading to find out what happens though overall it was not too exciting or captivating. I felt like many things went unsaid. Pieces of characters and stories seemed to be just missing to really draw you in. The title has little to do with the book. She tries to bring it in at the end but the focus was still elsewhere.
Annette Maclean
I feel this story was slightly lacking in plot line, though the depth and complexity of the main characters were excellent. Rachel does has a lovely way of writing though and I'd gladly read any future novels for her literary style
Kelli Cody
An interesting story of family, settling, mental illness, disaster/recovery. From the start you are immersed in the lives of his family, laughing and crying through their story. Quick read that I wish would tell the next steps....
Whitelady3
It's a very interesting book as it takes place during a forest fire and exploring how it influences 3 people: Molly, her mother and her husband. I did like how we would "travel" to the past to know more about the characters but it seems that they lacked some depth. Molly was annoying and it was, probably, my least favourite character. Ok, she had some mental problems and many issues but sometimes I think she was just overreacting. :/

Still, it was a very nice book. I was surprised by how much I l
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Sarah
As a regular reader of the author's blog I was keen to read this, her first novel.

The fact that I finished it in a couple of days is proof that there is something compelling about this simple story. Having just finished reading, this is a book that I need to think about before I decide quite what to make of it. I have a feeling that the main character will stay with me for a while.

When I've pondered it some more, I'll update the review and give it a rating.

Keelie
I really enjoyed this one. Ford did a great job in her debut novel. She kept it realistic in how Molly didn't want to leave and all that. Someone who deals with the illnesses she does reacts the way Molly did. I've seen a lot of people attempt to write someone with a mental illness and fail to make it realistic. And all of the O'Leary women (Catherine, Molly, Amber, and Rain) are beyond stubborn. It was a great read and I look forward seeing more from Ford.
Mercia McMahon
An intriguing story of a Californian hill farm threatened by an encroaching forest fire. The family have returned to try to defend the property, but they are also there to defend the main character Molly, for reasons that are gradually revealed during the novel. Well-written and at times lyrical novel that explores with skill the emotions that can be stirred up in the midst of a (possible) impending disaster.
Deanne Smith
This book is filled with tension! Tension from an approaching wildfire, tension in relationships, tension with self. I am disappointed with how the major tension is revolved. Although it is a verse from Scripture that ultimately frees the protagonist from her struggle with guilt & bitterness, God, the author of Scripture, is not mentioned or acknowledged. There are some memorable, poignant quotes and I love the word pictures the author paints, but overall I was disappointed.
Gayle
"The Eve Tree" - complexity of family relationships, complexity of the human mind and soul, woven around an event (the forest fire threatening a multi-generational family ranch) made for a VERY touching read. Keep writing, Rachel Devenish Ford!! I'll be watching for another book! (I would love to know what the author drew on to make it such a believable storyline - well done!)
Michelle


This was a different kind of book for me. Not one that I would normally pick up. I found it to be a bit slow in places and wanted to rush through parts to get to the conclusion. Then all of a sudden the ending was there and I was left with a sense of incompleteness. A lot of parts of the story not finished for me All in all, I liked it sort of
Adrienne Johnson
Really, I'm a sucker for anything that has to do with homesteading. And I long to have goats some day, so this was an enthralling read for me. I loved the faith in God that weaves throughout the story. I also thought her illustration of how the darkness of Molly's mind led Her to a realization of God's grace and blessings. Definitely a good read!
Jacquelyn
A good read. I was interested in it because of the ranching aspect of it. The book didn't really get into the nitty gritty of ranching, but still touched on it. The story was well thought out and researched. The last chapter took a weird, pseudo religious turn that confused me. Overall it was a good book, and I would recommend it.
Diana
This was a good read. I enjoyed the metaphors and finding life through experiencing it...not just letting it pass you by. The main character had to learn that in a hard way. plenty of people to love her, she just necessary to let them love her. This was about resilience, marriage, and never giving up on the one you love.
Teri Young
Characters were well-developed, and I enjoyed reading about their relationships and the history of this ranching family. An occasional grammatical error added slight distractions, but overall the fast-paced story and the characterization carried me through this book. I was especially touched by Jack's tender love for Molly.
Juel
Very interesting take on mental illness, family disfunction, and love.
Rebecca Doremus
What a wonderful book that shows how strength and fragility can coexist together in one human and how we, as individuals, can be influenced by either swing of the pendulum and it is up to us to choose the right place to stop and follow. I'll be keeping this book.
Denise
Well plotted with passages full of wonder and feeling. Enjoyed greatly.
Kelly Murillo
I had a hard time with this book. I found Molly to be whiny & unappreciative of what she had. She was a very unlikable character in my opinion, I tried to understand her - I just could get past her selfishness.
Cathy
It was interesting to read about a family in this situation- forest fire threatening property- but some of the characterizations of the people in the story didn't play out in a way that felt real.
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Rachel Devenish Ford is the wife of one Superstar Husband and the mother of five incredible children. Originally from British Columbia, Canada, she spent six years working with street youth in California before moving to India to help start a meditation center in the Christian tradition. She can be found eating street food or smelling flowers in many cities in Asia. She currently lives in Northern ...more
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“Things did get better after that, though never like they were before the small blue baby boy was put into the earth. Catherine’s mother wasn’t a girl anymore, singing at any chance like she used to. She was old with a young face, walking slowly and watching the trees when she could stop and lean on her broom. Catherine thought that her brother was always with her ma, never quite letting her go, and it made her ma tired to carry him, too.” 0 likes
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