The Overstory by Richard Powers

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


After being told repeatedly how much I would love this book (“it has trees in it, you have to read it”) I can now confirm that I do indeed love this book, which tells its human stories alongside the trees that featured in their lives. I did find it distressing at times (I almost cried when the Giant Redwood got cut down), and had to deal with a fair amount of anger and frustration along the way. This is one novel I really did feel.

Not all the storylines were equally compelling and I did find myself skimming bits, so for that reason I think it would get 4 and a half stars if I could work out how to do halves! But it was mostly a gripping read, packed with beautiful descriptions and observations, with the trees as much the stars of the show as the people, and the paths of humans and trees cleverly interwoven. I still think about it almost every day, especially the central theme, which is why so many people blindly uphold a status quo, and what drives the people who stand up against it. An important question now more than ever.



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