A Novel

Book - 2020
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It's 2034 and Jake Greenwood is a storyteller and a liar, an overqualified tour guide babysitting ultra-rich vacationers in one of the world's last remaining forests. It's 2008 and Liam Greenwood is a carpenter, fallen from a ladder and sprawled on his broken back, calling out from the concrete floor of an empty mansion. It's 1974 and Willow Greenwood is out of jail, free after being locked up for one of her endless series of environmental protests: attempts at atonement for the sins of her father's once vast and violent timber empire. It's 1934 and Everett Greenwood is alone, as usual, in his maple syrup camp squat when he hears the cries of an abandoned infant and gets tangled up in the web of a crime that will cling to his family for decades. And throughout, there are trees: thrumming a steady, silent pulse beneath Christie's effortless sentences and working as a guiding metaphor for withering, weathering, and survival. A shining, intricate clockwork of a novel, Greenwood is a rain-soaked and sun-dappled story of the bonds and breaking points of money and love, wood and blood--and the hopeful, impossible task of growing toward the light.
Publisher: London ; New York : Hogarth, 2020.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781984822000
Characteristics: 504 pages : illustration ; 25 cm.


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Review of Greenwood in Cascadia Weekly (Wednesday, May 6, 2020) by WCLS Collection Services Manager, Lisa Gresham. (more)

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The 2022 Whatcom READS selection. Read by Tasia

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Pristine old growth on a Gulf Island and the incredible entwined history of its legacy involve past greed, an impossible future, fine wood working, and fearless hope.

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Sep 11, 2020

I would highly recommend this. It is a family saga that is immersive and beautifully told. It has stayed with me for the many weeks since I have read it.

Sep 08, 2020

Absolutely loved this amazing book. A timely, beautiful book based on complex characters and their love of trees. One of the best books out there.

Aug 23, 2020

It’s a rare book that can spur action, but I’m now looking into how I can help to preserve old growth forests. This book takes the reader from the lumber barron days to a dystopian future where the trees have largely disappeared due to blight and environmental changes. Having seen the stands of dead pine trees in eastern Oregon, it wasn’t hard to picture. This book is a reminder of the wealth we take for granted piggybacked on an engaging generational story.

Aug 22, 2020

Time, by its very nature inherently haunting, infuses Greenwood. Deftly, epically Christie shuttles the reader to and fro navigating a 130-year time span. Along the way the spatial geography traversed is expansionary, yet focused. Moment and location work hand in glove. The Crash, Great Depression, Dust Bowl, Great Withering which frame the book's chronicle, as is the case with much of history, rests on a foundation of voluminous archives. The fleeting personal experiences, the strands of which weave into the fabric of our lives defining who we are, unravel and dissipate with the fading of memory. This loss fashions a bereft society. Greenwood: an entrancing novel.

BPLpicks Jul 23, 2020

This is a beautifully written, immersive, generational saga that was a joy to read. Highly recommended.

IndyPL_CarriG Jun 22, 2020

A lovely and heart-wrenching family saga that begins in a future beset by a changing climate and travels back to the earlier days of the 1930's lumber industry. I found all of the characters compelling, and the way he wove the threads of plot together throughout the different timelines were both easy to follow and made for strong emotional resonance. A beautiful read.

Jun 04, 2020

The rest of the reviews really say it all but this was one of my favourite books so far this year. Very well-written in an interesting style broken down by character /year that correspond with the rings (age) on British Columbia's ancient old growth forests. This book sends a vital environmental message through the eyes of complicated, flawed characters who are members of different generations of one family. Engrossing. The only reason I didn't give it five stars was because of the inconclusive ending but that is just a personal bias. Highly recommend.

Apr 02, 2020

I loved this novel. At its core are trees - real ones and family trees. Our guide in this is a young woman who works as a guide on a tourist spot in British Columbia - an island where trees survive in a world where most have been wiped out by a virus. She's doing her best to survive and pay her massive student debt in this near-future world. But she's drawn into finding out more about her family, going back several generations and we're along for the ride. At the front of the book is an illustration of a tree's interior - its rings which correspond to the dates and people from our guide's family tree. The book is written the same way - it starts in the present with the tour guide (the outer layer on one side of the tree) and goes inwards to the core, the starting point of her family, and then works its way back to the present/ring on the other side. This novel has well developed characters, glimpses into past eras, and an intriguing look at what makes a family, secrets and all. Plus an important environmental message. And it's Canadian. If you like complicated family sagas and historical fiction with a bit of the future thrown in, try this.

Mar 25, 2020

Beginning in the year 2038, "Greenwood" traces a Pacific Northwest family back to 1908, and then out to 2038 again, just as one would trace the annual circles on a felled tree. Trees are inextricably wound through this family's history - an upscale eco-tourist guide on a British Columbia island of rare old growth trees, loggers, carpenters - each generation of the Greenwood family has a connection to the forest. The mystery of an abandoned infant found in the forest, illicit affairs, a love story or two, and Pacific Northwest history all conspire to ensure that this novel has something for everyone. A must-read for anyone who loved "The Overstory" by Richard Powers or "Deep River" by Karl Marlantes.

Mar 15, 2020

In 2038, Jake (Jacinda) is mired in college debt, has a fondness for alcoholic drinks and is working as a guide on an exclusive forest preserve island off the coast of British Columbia. The world is being destroyed by the “withering” and most of the US is covered in dust. When she discovers she may own the island, the story moves to the past and the legacy various people brought to that pristine forest. Going back to 1908, the reader discovers how one misguided action impacts the future. Published in Canada last year, it was nominated for several prizes. Its clear from the author’s descriptions he loves the forest. Layer by layer, just as in a forest, actions impact the future.

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