Nely's Reviews > The Crying Tree

The Crying Tree by Naseem Rakha
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Jul 12, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: for-review
Read from July 20 to 22, 2010

Irene Stanley and her family's lives are torn upside down when her 15 year old son, Shep, is murdered during a home invasion. Irene and Nate, Shep's parents, and Bliss, Shep's sister are devastated by the loss of their young son/brother. This is their story as they all deal with his loss and how their grief affects their lives.

Shep's murderer, Daniel, is captured and awaits his death sentence in a Oregon State penitentiary’s death row. Although the family is now able to sigh a breath of relief knowing that the killer is behind bars and awaits execution, Irene is struggling with depression. Her life is spiraling out of control - she spends her days moping around like a zombie. She does not cook, clean, and does nothing for her teen daughter Bliss. Nate had the opposite attitude. He quickly returns to work and his mentality is more along the lines of what happened happened and we must now continue to live our lives and move on. On what would have been Shep's 25th birthday, Irene decides to write a letter to Daniel in death row. They secretly write to each other for years until the date is finally scheduled for Daniel's execution.

Although the main theme in this story is forgiveness, there were so many other underlying factors that also made an impact on it - capital punishment, religion, family ties, secrets and the complexities of life. The story alternates back and forth from the year of the crime to the present - decades later when appeals have been made and run their course and now the execution is to take place.

I thought Ms. Rakha does a great job in fleshing out her characters - and there are many of them. She not only brings you into her story but she makes you go through all the ups and downs with Irene and deal with the conflicting thoughts going through Tab's mind about the upcoming execution.

All in all, this was a gripping story, it will not only make you ache for its characters but, it will keep you on your toes guessing as to its unexpected secrets and leave you feeling surprised as to its conclusion. I will forewarn that there is not a lot of joy to be found in its pages but it is one that I would hope you don't miss out on.

To learn more about author, Naseem Rakha, check out her site here.


This book was provided for review Terra Communications.
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