ABOUT THE BOOK
The Overstory is a sweeping, impassioned work of activism and resistance that is also a stunning evocation of—and paean to—the natural world. From the roots to the crown and back to the seeds, Richard Powers’s twelfth novel unfolds in concentric rings of interlocking fables that range from antebellum New York to the late twentieth-century Timber Wars of the Pacific Northwest and beyond. There is a world alongside ours—vast, slow, interconnected, resourceful, magnificently inventive, and almost invisible to us.
This is the story of a handful of people who learn how to see that world and who are drawn up into its unfolding catastrophe.
Published by Vintage
If I could give this book 6 stars I would!! I adored every page and cannot recommend it highly enough to everyone to pick up and read – do it NOW!!!
It is a beast of a book at 640 pages long, but don’t be put off by this as it never feels too long and, in fact, I didn’t want it to end! That’s how good I thought it was!
It’s terrifying to read at times as it’s a look at what humanity is doing to the planet. And it’s told in a very clever way as it features the stories of different individuals from different walks of life, with their different life experiences that all relates to trees in their life. From trees planted in their back gardens by parents, to trees they see while they’re at work – just that connection that they have with the natural world and how the disappearance of trees affects them and what they can do to try and save them.
As the individual stories are told in part one, we then get to see how their paths cross in part two – the sacrifices they make, the personal costs, the lessons they learn through family – and how the battle to save this natural resource consumes them all.
I thought this book was particularly poignant to read at these times – it shows how much of the world is blase about the resources the Earth has given us and don’t see the consequences of the destruction of so much of it. Watching those who see the damage that is being caused and the despair they feel, plays alongside the greed of those who are choosing to ignore the impact of their actions – and it’s heartbreaking.
There is a great range of characters that each give such a different perspective as to how trees have impacted their life – they all have such fascinating backstories all brilliantly told that you never get confused as to what viewpoint you are reading as it’s all so clear.
I’m always a little wary of books that win book prizes – this won the Pulitzer Price for Fiction in 2019 – as they often seem a bit pretentious but this book was such a stunning piece of work that it is going to stay with me for a long time to come – and I’ll definitely be hugging more trees in future!!