Gail Amendt's Reviews > Tell It to the Trees

Tell It to the Trees by Anita Rau Badami
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Sep 15, 2011

it was amazing

I won this book on a Goodreads giveaway, and did not know what to expect. It turned out to be one of the most gripping reads I have had in a long time. I couldn't put it down.

The story begins with the discovery of the frozen body of their tenant in the backyard of the Dharma family's isolated Northern B.C. home. What follows is the gradual unfolding of the events leading up to the death, told from the perspectives of the two children of the family, the mother, and the tenant herself through her journal. It is a chilling glimpse into the devastating effects of domestic abuse, secrets and isolation, both geographical and social.

I'm not certain whether I agree with the author's decision to tell us of the death at the beginning of the book. I feel it served as somewhat of a spoiler, allowing me to figure out much too early how the death occurred. It might have been better to surprise us with the death at the end of the book. Having said that, I don't think that the author's approach has diminished the power of the story that is told. It is probably the best portrayal of the psychological effects of domestic abuse that I have ever read.

This is not a feel-good read. It left me emotionally devastated, which in my opinion means that the author has done her job really well.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by Michelle (new) - added it

Michelle Feist I agree with your assertion that an author has done a good job when you are left with some kind of strong emotion, whether good or bad. My sister can't stand reading books that aren't "happy" and I keep trying to tell her that truly good books don't have to leave you happy - they have to have "moved" you emotionally in some way.

Gail Amendt Michelle wrote: "I agree with your assertion that an author has done a good job when you are left with some kind of strong emotion, whether good or bad. My sister can't stand reading books that aren't "happy" and ..."

I totally agree. I like to learn something from a book, and the ones that leave you with an emotional response usually are the ones that teach you the most. There is a place for a good light read however. My cousin calls them "piffle", and sometimes piffle is just what we need. I think I might need some after the stuff I've been reading lately.

message 3: by Michelle (new) - added it

Michelle Feist I like that term..."piffle" - ha! ha! I agree with you on this point, too. While strong, deep, emotional books are life-altering and fulfilling, there is definitely a time and place for "piffle" as you call it! That's why I like some of the Sophie Kinsella books, or even juvenile fiction sometimes - just to lighten things up. Have you tried the George R. R. Martin series "A Song of Ice and Fire?" - it begins with "A Game of Thrones" (book 1) and is seriously one of the best series I have ever read! I would even dare to suggest that it beats the Lord of the Rings trilogy, even though it is almost sacriligious to do so - ha! ha! Each book is very long, but very rich and full of excellent characters and plot twists and suspense. I've read the first 5, now I have to wait for book 6 to be written/released (heavy sigh). Oh well...I have LOTS on my "to read" list!

Gail Amendt Yes, I have read some Sophie Kinsella and she is always good for a laugh. I haven't read the George R.R. Martin series. I'll have to add it to my "to read" list, which is really, really long. The stuff I have on my "to read list" on Goodreads is just the tip of the iceburg. Life is way too short and it's too bad work gets in the way of reading so much!

message 5: by Michelle (new) - added it

Michelle Feist That's totally how it is for me too! I have only indicated a few of my "to read list" on Goodreads - the rest of my "wish list" is on my Indigo account - and it's at about 95 titles and counting. And I keep getting wind of other titles that sound so good, and there is just not enough time to actually read them all...someday maybe I'll take a year's leave of absence just to catch up on all the wonderful books I want to read - ha! ha!

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