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Carol N. (San Jose, CA)
The Forgetting Tree
The “Tree” is a mystifying, complex novel that focuses on two forgiveness-seeking women, Claire, the citrus farm owner, and Marie/Minna, the enigmatic and beautiful Caribbean care keeper. Their relationship is engrossing, two damaged, but powerful women each seeking endurance and survival.
Gretchen M. (Martinsburg, WV)
Decide for Yourself
With a slow start, the second part of the book really grabbed me with its complicated and haunting storyline as Minna becomes the common presence in the life vulnerable Claire. This story with its multi-layered themes was very dramatic and somewhat “spooky” and kept me reading well into the night.
After reading this book I can't decide whether or not it's a story that is really believable. Although the author does a very crafted job making the reader think the events of this book could indeed happen. She attributes the decisions and events that occur to the main character, Claire, to "chemo brain" and the need to love and be loved for who she really is. But could a strong independent woman give up her lifetime's work, her home and her own daughters for the relationship with a young woman, Minna, a Haitian drifter who is hired to care for her and ultimately almost destroys her? I just didn't like the women in this book and was left with an unfinished feeling after reading it. I would like to have learned more about the demise of Claire's marriage to Forster and been more convinced that her two daughters could have been so clueless as to what was happening to their mother by only visiting her once during her treatments. There were just too many far-fetched details in this story for me to give it a better review.
Linda P. (Rockport, ME)
The Forgetting Tree
Having read and thoroughly enjoyed Tatjana Soli’s debut novel, "The Lotus Eaters," I waited with baited breath for my copy of "The Forgetting Tree," an intriguing and complex tale of unlikely soulmates, serendipitously brought together at a failing family citrus ranch in California. As in "Lotus," Soli enriches a complex plot with page-turning prose and dramatic detail, some of which is historic and enlightening.
Kay B. (Lake Jackson, TX)
This is not light reading. "The Forgetting Tree" paints an intriguing picture of a symbiotic relationship nourished by personal tragedy and the instinct to survive. The ending may leave you, as it did me, with unanswered questions, but sometimes that’s just the way life is.
In The Forgetting Tree the motives of the two main women characters were difficult to relate to. While it was easy to feel sympathy for their circumstances, their continued bizarre behaviors became uncomfortable and disappointing. They weren't characters I thought about for one minute after the relief of finishing the book.
Jane D. (San Diego, CA)
you can never forget
Reading "The Forgetting Tree" by Tatjana Soli was one of the most beautiful and moving experiences of my summer. I loved Soli's deep explorations of the characters. And I liked how she didn't tell the reader but rather showed and let the reader come to her own conclusions. The story was both fascinating and heartbreaking, and while being entertained, I was also learning about the life of a citrus farmer. Thank you for this book--one of the true gifts of the summer.
Hilary H. (Tucson, AZ)
The Forgetting Tree
I enjoyed parts of The Forgetting Tree but struggled through other parts. I was attracted to the book having lived in Southern California and liked the ranch descriptions, the characters like Octavio, and the back story of the characters in the family. I did not enjoy the unrealistic reactions of those around Claire during her illness - for example, I can't imagine that her ex-husband would not come in person when the ranch and crop were threatened. I was intrigued with Minna's story in Part 3 especially because I did not like or believe in some sections of Part 2. Frankly, I was glad to get to the end of Part 2. The premise of the lemon tree and tragedies that befell the family were strongly related throughout the book but it had sections that were not so believable as well. If I could, I'd rate this at 3.5.
Rebecca K., Illinois
Lyrical but sometimes over-written
"The Forgetting Tree" is a lyrical novel about a woman named Claire, who is living with cancer, and her family and caretaker. While the setting was lovely, the different parts of the book don't always tie together well; Part 3 seemed almost entirely unnecessary and had little to do with the story. That said, I still wanted to find out what became of the main characters in the end. However, I wasn't totally satisfied with the climax because it seemed out of character for Claire. I'm glad I stuck with it, but it took some work.
Molinda C. (Suffolk, VA)
This is a great story but this book is emotionally terrifying. It is a story of loss and the control that we cede to others in times of need. This story examines the relationships in families and how hard we try to "make things" right for them. From the first page you know something bad is going to happen and like a train crash or a car accident I couldn't stop watching/reading. I was screaming at Claire to STOP!!! But alas she didn't listen. Read this book but be prepared to be riveted.