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The Rowan Tree

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3.37  ·  Rating details ·  1,840 ratings  ·  224 reviews
Librarian's note: This is an Alternate Cover Edition for ASIN: B00B0NH3Y2.

Rowan Ellway is a young college president; Easter Blue, an impassioned student leader. Upon graduation, she takes a fellowship to Africa, and they lose touch. When, decades later, they meet again, they discover that their prior bond was but a rehearsal for the world stage.

THE ROWAN TREE reaches from
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Kindle Edition, 540 pages
Published August 2017 by Amazon Digital Services (first published January 1st 2013)
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Carol A. Farrish You're right, Sara didn't get much attention. However, I concluded that Sarah kind of wrote herself out of the story early on. She wanted her career…moreYou're right, Sara didn't get much attention. However, I concluded that Sarah kind of wrote herself out of the story early on. She wanted her career and did little to accommodate Rowan's career when he was at Jefferson. After that, her storyline was not needed to advance the story.(less)
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Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.37  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,840 ratings  ·  224 reviews


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Tam
Feb 18, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I am glad to be done...

This book started fine enough, readable, interesting... Then somewhere, in what I thought should be the middle, it jumped all over the place and I learned I was still fairly in the beginning. This was the longest, drawn out, all over the place book I've ever read. I skim read around 70%, skim read through a bunch of political talk and somewhere around 95% it became readable and semi interesting again. What happened in the middle? It could be my disinterest in politics. It
...more
Angela Burke
The author needed to figure out his purpose - was he writing a novel or a persuasive piece on his philosophy?
Linda
Dec 28, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
horrible book. boring. the ending was ridiculous. i only liked the part (II) about adam seeing the world. chapters devoted entirely to the dignity project---as if that would ever happen.
Paulette Elsner
Jan 30, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Started ok, then turned into a political statement!
Jami
Apr 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this book for free through Goodreds First Reads. At first, I wasn't sure where the story was going to go and almost didn't finish reading it, but I have to say The Rowan Tree is a great novel. It explores love, ballet, politics, social taboos, rankism. I've learned more about the world and how politics work from this book than I ever learned in school. Definitely recommend to all.
JoDee Palin
Jan 27, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is a boring and crappy book with a cast of robotic, unlikable characters. Don't even think about reading it, unless you are forced by gunpoint... and even then choose wisely.
Aisha
Jun 23, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
At first, this was a pleasant read, but it became increasingly difficult to get through. The "Memories" section of Book III was really boring. The storyline itself is simplistic and everything is resolved quite easily. It's also very convenient that the characters come from privileged or prestigious backgrounds so that they are able to embark on their worldly adventures. I did not find any of the characters to be very deep or complex, except maybe Adam. Overall, the author's purpose seems to be ...more
Mrs S Evans
Feb 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not normally one for contemporary fiction but this novel, spanning a period from the mid-60s to the 2020's, was gripping. I couldn't put it down and soon became engrossed in its intricacies. The change in tone from 3rd to first person 3/4 of the way through took a little getting used to but rounded off the book perfectly. Definitely worth reading
Melonie Kydd
I loved this book!! I found that "The Rowan Tree" was a wonderfully written book that touched on issues that were very prevalent in the time periods the author wrote about it the book.

The author had created a powerful book that tells of taboo loves, cultural diversities, racial tensions and the power of healing. I loved how he also tells of the state of the third world countries and how important the role of volunteers and other organizations was and still is present in our day and age.

This
...more
Vika Gardner
Feb 26, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Couldn't finish it. It became so trite, so focused on the male character's trivial BS, I just couldn't care about it enough to waste time on it.
Kathryn Sarah
Apr 16, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It is hard to decide where to start in reviewing this book. The only positive thing that can be said about this book is that it is written in correctly formatted English, and even that is unnecessarily "SAT-word" heavy. This book is a self-insert, mental jerk off fantasy filled with nothing but Mary Sues (or they would be, if the author was a woman writing about women). Nothing bad happens to any character, and a few of them literally walk through war zones. Every character flits through the ...more
Bob Mustin
Talented Fiction Despite a Dependency on Didacticism

First novels can be exciting events. In the innocence of that initial effort, sometimes great things happen between the book covers. In the case of The Rowan Tree, Fuller creates charming, flawed, well-meant characters, characters that stick to your consciousness like postal tape.
He begins with an idealistic, young white college president named Rowan Ellway and a younger black student, Easter Blue. There’s romance afoot between the two,
...more
Jackie
Feb 18, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I completely enjoyed the beginning of the book. I liked the characters and the plot. But it all dissolved into philosophical musing very suddenly and only came back to the story in the very end. The philosophy itself was wrapped in political strategies, and I found myself forcing my way through it. It had the feel of a John Galt rant with a different message. And I am cynical enough to believe that the people who were trying to make the changes are simply out of touch with the life of the people ...more
Carol
Sep 05, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
If I could give it a negative rating I would.
Monica Tomasello
Apr 02, 2019 rated it did not like it
I thought I was going to like this book. There was a point when it should have ended. Unfortunately, it didn't. The more it continued, the more ridiculous the tale became. In the end, it devolved into a political treatise with no real story.
Paula
What utter bullshit! I was captivated by the fascinating blurb for the book but, in reality, it's basically the soft core fantasy of a physics professor-dean-college president who is supposedly a good guy because he gives his wife foot rubs and his student/lover back rubs. Oddly enough, when the college president has clearly decided he's going to enter this inappropriate relationship, all of a sudden his wife become shrill and career driven and the student becomes strong and womanly. In ...more
Renee Klingensmith
Political Treatise Disguised as a Novel

The Rowan Tree is a poorly written novel, with the author's intent of educating the reader lightly veiled in the format of a novel. The storyline could have worked, been exciting, and introduced readers to the author's ideas on dignity and rankism. Unfortunately, the novel plodded along like a dry biography, with the novel's characters and events existing only to give the author a platform for his political philosophy and dream to see it realized. Fuller
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Andrea
Dec 30, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
CATHERINE
Free kindle book, interesting enough read, if over long. Very strange storyline in the middle and resolution! The Dignity Project which did have some interesting ideas although I am not sure it fitted in the context of the rest of the book. My main issue were the female characters as I don't think they were served well. Marisol is particularly frustrating, she is so weak, although she has a successful career it is almost destroyed and she needs a man to step in to look after her. She also just ...more
Maureen
Oct 13, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The author is obviously a very learned and academically qualified man with admirable goals in life. What he is not is an author of fiction. This book reads like a child's essay on 'What I did on my holidays'.....'we did this and then we did that and then...' etc. There was no character development, I could find nothing to like or loathe in any of them, whilst the language lacked beauty or excitement.
I felt the author was cramming in everything in, either to impress or educate his readers, with
...more
Kathleen wilcox
I can't decide if I liked this book. It's so smartly written and yet it's so bizarre. It starts out in the 1970sand even though it ends in the future year 2029, it never loses its 70s feel.
Plus, about 2/3s of the way through, I start to feel like this is a novel written to introduce me to the author's 'dignitarean' concept. It almost felt at times like sitting through commercials.... Luckily the story wrapped up neatly.
I would suggest Googling the author before reading, to see if you think
...more
Rose
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: can't
LONG.....should have been edited down to 350 pages. Stories were not congruent. The last chapter should have been the first. Perhaps it should have been three books instead of one. Just didn't work for me.
Marc
Apr 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed this tale. Robert Fuller illustrates his views on rankism and egalitariasnism through this delightful novel, that spans many years.
Megan
Nov 11, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed everything up until Adams so-called memoir. I don't know where that came from or why it was included but I ended up skipping most of it while thinking "I don't care"
Lii
Dec 02, 2018 rated it liked it
The Rowan Tree describes how Rowan and his actions moulded the whole world to the next generation, in this story. It discusses love, taboos, politics, dignity, and a bit about different cultures. In the first part of the book, it's about a taboo love in the history, in the second part about learning from the world and the third part is a bit boring recollection of political movements.

I have conflicting thoughts on the book. The beginning was interesting and I liked the direction where it was
...more
Bookfan36
Brief synopsis from the book cover:
Rowan Ellway is a young college president; Easter Blue, an impassioned student leader. Upon graduation, she takes a fellowship to Africa, and they lose touch. When, decades later, they meet again, they discover that their prior bond was but a rehearsal for the world stage.

THE ROWAN TREE reaches from the tumultuous 1960s into humanity’s future, encompassing the worlds of politics, sport, ballet, presidential leadership, and world governance. An international
...more
Debra
As someone who works in a university environment and studied classical ballet for years (two major aspects of this book) I wanted to like this story, but there were just too many problems.

The author covers many topics over several decades, and pontificates on most of them. In other places, chapters read like a detailed summary, which stripped away any emotional connection to the story. The story of a married academic who falls in loves with a student is so clichéd that I’m amazed a writer would
...more
Donna Coakley
SPOILER ALERT: The characters of this book see themselves as the saviors of others but one of the first thing the book's namesake does is have sex with a black student in his office. He's a married, white, new president of a university who wants to enable more black students to be accepted into the university by lowering the standards. He continues to have an affair and his wife finds out and they separate, but he sleeps with his wife one more time and she becomes pregnant, and he congratulates ...more
Ruth Fowler
Okay, I finished it, although I considered abandoning it several times because I just wasn't gaining anything by reading it. This author has a philosophy he is known for and has published non-fiction books about it. I think he just decided to try his hand at fiction in an attempt to reach a different audience. Although this book is character and idea driven, I didn't find myself caring about any of the characters or developing an interest in the author's primary ideas. There is no plot, just a ...more
Boho Beannie
I don’t know how I feel about this book. It started out good, though the characters were stilted and stereotypical. But halfway though, it was just off. The characters were all so noble, so smart, so dedicated - it was irritating because no one is that pure. There was a scene where two of the women in Adams life are talking about how he’s going somewhere and they’re there for him. Really?! The last quarter was a political vision (?) statement of where the world should go and what it should be ...more
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Robert W. Fuller is author of Somebodies and Nobodies, All Rise: Somebodies, Nobodies, and the Politics of Dignity, and (with co-author Pamela Gerloff) Dignity for All: How to Create a World Without Rankism. He coined the term rankism and is active worldwide in the Dignity Movement. His latest books are Religion and Science: A Beautiful Friendship?; Genomes, Menomes, Wenomes: Neuroscience and ...more
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“The golden rule of relationships is “Cause no indignity.” A loving relationship is one in which both partners take care to protect each other’s dignity. A wounded soul heals more slowly than a wounded body, so it is as important to avoid indignity as it is to avoid outright harm.” 1 likes
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