If I could give this book 6 stars, I would.
This book is difficult to describe, but I will give it a shot. The author begins by introducing several human characters, all of whom have some special connection with a tree or trees. He then uses the human characters to tell the much more interesting story of trees and forests, what they have given us and how we humans have destroyed them in return.
I really did not care much for the human characters in this book (except Patricia Westerford). But we have not learned to understand the language of trees, so their story is told through the humans who see at least part of the truth. And the truth is that humans are depleting the resources of the world (and trees and forests in particular) at an alarming and unsustainable rate.
“The best arguments in the world won’t change a person’s mind. The only thing that can do that is a good story.”
This is a good story that will tell you what you need to know about the world we live in and the direction it is heading. And it will make you FEEL what we have lost and what we continue to lose.
The descriptions of the forest ecosystem are lyrical and compelling. This book is a novel, but it tells of science in a particularly beautiful way.
Near the end of the book, the author tells us, “Whatever you make from a tree should be at least as miraculous as what you cut down.” Tragically, that is rarely the case.
I hope you will read this amazing book. It will make you think.