Priscilla B. (Marietta, GA)
Parts of the book were well written. I never found the book tedious to read, but often annoying. I was left wondering if the author was trying to make a statement about the way people view themselves, or just inconsistent with who her characters were. Was this meant to be about the dichotomy of strength and weakness within ourselves? The "thread" of the characters and story was sometimes misremembered by the author. It put me in mind of Chris Bohjalian's Double Bind. If you enjoyed that book or others that are somehow just a bit off, you may enjoy this one. Otherwise I’d say give it a miss.
Lee M. (Creve Coeur, MO)
Mystery or Love Story?
“Claire did not believe in the evil of the world” are the warning first words from the author. Claire is faced with a dilemma when she is diagnosed with breast cancer and her hold on the land is at risk. Her family insists she sell, but Claire will not let go and then Minna arrives. Is she the savior as she appears to be?
Randi H. (Bronx, NY)
The Forgetting Tree
The Forgetting Tree was about one woman's life, highlighting most closely two major events in her life. For me, it was not a book that I could connect to. I did not ever feel like I really cared about the major characters. The one character about whom I would have liked to learn more, Octavio, was relegated to a minor role. The second half of the book especially stretched credibility, in my opinion. I would have a very hard time recommending this book, although I can see how book groups might read it, as there is certainly much that could be discussed.
Diana the Booklover (Shelbyville, TN)
Who Is She Really?
I expected to rate this book a 5 because I had loved Soli's first book. But this one is so filled with despair that, though it is "despair made beautiful," as another reviewer says, I found it hard to stick with at times. The writing is lovely--crystalline and haunting--and the plot is generally well-thought-out. My reaction may have been affected by my overall emotiional status when I read it, and it certainly deserves at least a 4 rating. But I was glad to have finished it, leaving me free to turn to something not involving a character as difficult and despair-filled as Minna/Marie/Maleva/Agatha; eetc.
Margaret M. (Chicago, IL)
It is an excellent read even though it is 400 pages. The saga of several generations keeps the readers interest. It well written and exciting.
This book would appeal to anyone interested in the genre of sagas and the love of land.
I give it 5 stars!
Catharine L. (Petoskey)
An amazing read. Grabs your attention from the first page. The death of 10 year old Joshua completely shatters the family and Claire, the mother, immerses herself in the family orange farm - shutting out her husband, two daughters, and friends.
When the girls are grown and gone, her husband remarried, Claire is diagnosed with breast cancer. Needing chemotherapy and radiation, she needs a caregiver, and Minna/Marie/Maleva becomes a part of Claire's world. The relationship that develops between vulnerable Claire and the sultry and seductive Caribbean woman is fascinating. Beautifully written, I enjoyed this book even more than her first novel, The Lotus Eaters.
Kathryn K. (Oceanside, CA)
A Page Turner!
I was so excited to learn that Tatjana Soli’s new book is about to be released. Her first novel, The Lotus Eaters, was my favorite read for 2010. Although very different, her second novel, The Forgetting Tree, proves she can create page-turners. It will be difficult to review the book without spoilers, but I will do my best. As I started reading, I hoped this wasn’t another story of family faces tragedy, family deals with tragedy, family moves on. But I prepared myself for a predictable, and disappointing read. But I failed to give Soli enough credit. About the time I was going to put the book down, she suddenly got my attention. Bit by bit, Soli caught me and it was a pulse pounding, riveting read until the end. A wonderful story teller, and a equally good writer, Soli wrapped it all up, leaving no loose ends. Having said this, it wasn’t my favorite book, but it could very easily be yours!