A grieving widower, a determined girl, a courageous librarian and a mysterious book come together in an uplifting tale of love, loss, friendship and redemption.
Thirty-four-year-old Harry Crane works as an analyst for the US Forest Service. When his wife dies suddenly, Harry, despairing, retreats north to lose himself in the remote woods of the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania. But fate intervenes in the form of a fiercely determined young girl named Oriana. She and her mother, Amanda, are struggling to pick up the pieces from their own tragic loss of Oriana’s father. Discovering Harry while roaming the forest, Oriana believes that he holds the key to righting her world.
Harry reluctantly agrees to help Oriana carry out an astonishing scheme inspired by a book given to her by the town librarian, Olive Perkins. Together, Harry and Oriana embark on a golden adventure that will fulfill Oriana’s wild dream—and ultimately open Harry’s heart to new life.
Grief works in mysterious ways in this winsome but overstuffed novel from Cohen (The Man in the Window). Forestry service bureaucrat Harry Crane and rural ER nurse Amanda Jeffers are widowed on the same day. While Harry withdraws into the job he hates and spirals into a bleak depression, Amanda focuses her attention on her daughter, Oriana, who imagines that her father will return as an angel or a bird. But after Harry decides to kill himself and sets off to do so in the woods near Amanda's home, an accident gives him a chance to connect with Oriana and undertake a life-changing adventure that forces all of them to question where magic (or luck) ends and reality (or chance) begins. Unfortunately, Cohen tries to do too much in an otherwise straightforward narrative. Appalachian decline, the role of books in society, health care dysfunction, and dendrology are all packed into the novel, but only add clutter to the central narrative. The result is a story that never truly gets beneath the surface.
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This is a book for those that can still dream magically!
a ray of warm sunshine...
In a stormy world, Jon Cohen’s new novel is a ray of warm sunshine. Dubious hero Harry Crane can't seem to rescue himself from the loss of his wife in a shocking accident, until he meets a brilliant and resourceful little girl who is suffering a loss of her own. Harry and Oriana’s journey to redemption includes a treehouse, a lot of gold, a crazy scheme, and a village of very real, very interesting characters. The hallmark of Cohen’s writing is his ability to lovingly imbue even the most minor characters with dreams and dignity. In this book he outdoes himself with a cast of characters so real, so ridiculous, so heartbreakingly brave and infuriating that you’ll feel like they're your own friends and family. Harry’s Trees is a delicious escape from the real world to a funnier, more hopeful one, where the lines between coincidence and magic feel blurred and love promises to conquer all. If you liked A Man Called Ove you will LOVE Harry’s Trees!