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Review: The Language of Trees

January 6, 2011

When Grant Shongo’s marriage falls apart, he decides to go home to the little town of Canandaigua Lake.  At first he tries to keep to himself, but finds himself drawn into the community when a young woman goes missing.  She doesn’t have the best track record and her past is complicated, but for some reason, Grant doesn’t believe she ran away.

Echo, Grant’s old love, returns to Canandaigua Lake as well, and the two of them realize they left some things unresolved.  Together, they have to figure out if they can work things out or if they should walk away from love a second time.

The Language of Trees by Ilie Ruby is a wonderful book about love and healing, both spiritually and physically.   It’s a magical book with a strong sense of place and time.  When I started it, I thought the plot might be a little complicated, but I quickly found out that I was wrong.  I became absorbed in Grant’s story right from the start and I couldn’t wait to see how it turned out.

Canandaigua Lake is a wonderful setting, full of spirits and healing and a past that’s so heavy you can almost feel it.   It’s a place where people know everyone’s business, yet secrets abound, giving the book an almost mystical quality.  The setting is written so well it feels familiar to readers and almost becomes another character in the book.

Included in the back of The Language of Trees is an interview with Ilie Ruby, information on folklore of the setting and the people who settled there and book club questions.  I enjoyed my time lost in the world of Canandaigua Lake and recommend this wonderful book!

Jill of Fizzy Thoughts shared her copy of this book with me.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
48 Comments leave one →
  1. January 6, 2011 5:12 am

    This sounds absolutely wonderful!

  2. January 6, 2011 5:55 am

    You summed it up so well. I loved this novel!

    Here is my review:

    http://readbookswritepoetry.blogspot.com/2010/08/teaser-tuesdays-language-of-trees-by.html

  3. January 6, 2011 6:28 am

    I do want to read this one. Sounds compelling. Great review Kathy

  4. January 6, 2011 7:19 am

    I have been wanting to read this for along time but I think your review is the one that pushed me over the edge. I need to track down a copy and get reading.

  5. January 6, 2011 7:21 am

    Wow, Kathy, your review pushed it to the top of my must buy list!

  6. January 6, 2011 7:36 am

    I love the title of the book along with the storyline – a great way to incorporate Grant’s hope for maintaining a somewhat solitary existence, but the missing girl continues to bring him back to society. I have read a few reviews on this and now, including yours, it definitely needs to be a book that I pick up soon. So many books, but I need to make time for this one.

  7. January 6, 2011 7:37 am

    It kind of reminds me of one about someone who lived in the rainforest. Interesting!

  8. January 6, 2011 7:46 am

    I agree about the setting. It made me want to go there!

  9. January 6, 2011 7:53 am

    Sounds like a wonderful read. I will have to check my shelves to see if I have this one. I think I have another one, but sometimes these covers are really similar, so I never know for sure until I have looked whether I have something.

  10. January 6, 2011 7:55 am

    The lake sounds breathtaking. I will right this one down. Thanks Kathy.

  11. January 6, 2011 8:07 am

    This sounds wonderful although you’d think they could find an easier lake to say than Canandaigua!

  12. Kaye permalink
    January 6, 2011 8:19 am

    Oooh, this one sounds really good and I love the title. Wonderful review, Kathy! Thank you. * Sigh* on the list it goes.

  13. January 6, 2011 9:13 am

    I also think this sounds rather interesting, but I was sure that I read a couple of other tepid reviews of it a few weeks ago. No matter though, because I trust your opinion more than the average reviewer, and it sounds like you loved this one. I am going to have to check it out. Wonderful review, Kathy!

  14. January 6, 2011 9:35 am

    I want to look into this one because I love books where the setting is so well drawn and plays a prominent role. Thanks for the informative review Kathy.

  15. January 6, 2011 9:35 am

    Terrific review, I really liked this one as well. I’m reviewing it next week. Don’t you just love the editions that included interviews with the author’s and other extra information? It add so much to the book.

  16. January 6, 2011 9:46 am

    I’m really excited about reading this book soon. Love those secrets of the past books. 🙂

  17. January 6, 2011 9:46 am

    Reading your review took me right back to Canadaigua Lake! I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  18. January 6, 2011 9:47 am

    Wonderful review. This book sounds wonderful, too. 🙂

  19. January 6, 2011 10:02 am

    Sounds like setting plays a big role in this one. I’ve read a few books lately where setting really made the book.

  20. January 6, 2011 11:07 am

    I live within just a little drive of beautiful Canandaigua Lake so I think I could easily imagine myself there as I read this book. Throughout the Finger Lakes of NY there is a spiritual sense of the Seneca Indians and the setting is breathtaking.

  21. January 6, 2011 11:53 am

    This sounds like a really fantastic book Kathy. I’ve added it to my wishlist.

  22. January 6, 2011 12:41 pm

    This sounds like such a beautiful book! I’m adding it to my list.

  23. January 6, 2011 1:16 pm

    I love when settings more or less become a character in the book. I’ll have to add this to my wish list.

  24. January 6, 2011 1:25 pm

    I’ve gone back and forth on this one, as the reviews were very mixed. You make it very appealing though…you are persuasive! I shant pass it up if it throws itself in my path.

  25. January 6, 2011 1:39 pm

    You made the book sound good and yet it sounds kind of “ditto” in its plotline. There’ve been so many “going home after traumatic event and finding an old love” stories, in recent years, that I think I feel about the same way as Sandy. I’d read it if it just threw itself at me, but I wouldn’t seek it out.

  26. January 6, 2011 1:45 pm

    Great review, I know I want to read it.

  27. Beth Hoffman permalink
    January 6, 2011 2:26 pm

    I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Kathy, I did too!

  28. rebeccarasmussen permalink
    January 6, 2011 2:28 pm

    I, too, have already read Ilie’s book and it is really beautiful, I think, and unusual. Plus, Ilie is a wonderful person, too, which always makes me feel good about supporting other authors!

  29. January 6, 2011 3:34 pm

    It sounds wonderful.

  30. January 6, 2011 5:19 pm

    Great review. I do love folklore, took a class in it too, so this sounds like a good book

  31. January 6, 2011 5:40 pm

    Very happy you enjoyed this book too. It was one of my surprising favorites of last year. So glad I read. Lovely and concise review as always 🙂

  32. January 6, 2011 5:54 pm

    this sounds really good, I shall put it on my TBR list.

  33. January 6, 2011 6:06 pm

    This was a special book and I thought Ms. Ruby did a wonderful job in bringing the characters, the setting and the myths to life for the reader.

  34. January 6, 2011 6:24 pm

    This one has been on my list…great review 😀

  35. January 6, 2011 7:01 pm

    the cover is absolutely dreamy and you know I get hooked if the cover is just the tip of the iceberg for greater things to come.

  36. January 6, 2011 7:42 pm

    This sounds like a lovely read!

  37. January 6, 2011 8:49 pm

    This sounds like a lovely read. Adding this to my TBR list! I really enjoy books about healing and second chances.

  38. January 6, 2011 9:20 pm

    I’m a little over 2 hours from Canandaigua Lake- knowing I can really transport myself to the setting (both from memory and a trip in the car!) makes me not just add it to my TBR, but bump it up to the top! I love beautiful backdrops.

  39. January 6, 2011 10:10 pm

    *adding another one to “the list”* Sounds like one I could really get lost in! I love small town settings.

  40. stacybuckeye permalink
    January 6, 2011 10:57 pm

    I’ve read good things about this one. I love books about second chances and healing. Looks good.

  41. Veens permalink
    January 7, 2011 1:49 am

    I love the nam of the lake “Canandaigua Lake”. Sounds beautiful. This book sounds so enchanting, I just want to grab it 🙂

    Great review.

  42. January 7, 2011 6:17 pm

    Thanks for reminding me that I want to read this book.

  43. January 7, 2011 10:12 pm

    I really was struck by THE LANGUAGE OF TREES, too — the language of the book was beautiful, descriptive, and sometimes dream-like. The author came and spoke to/with our book group after we read it; what a fun evening!

  44. January 8, 2011 9:43 am

    Very true about the sense of time and place…it’s always fun (and dangerous) when a book makes me want to move to a place.

  45. January 9, 2011 12:26 am

    I like the sound of this one! The title is beautiful and the cover, the same. I hope to read it one day.

  46. January 9, 2011 10:47 pm

    This one is going on my list. Great review!

  47. January 10, 2011 7:52 am

    I’ll keep this one in mind. You’ve made it sound so good!

  48. January 10, 2011 1:49 pm

    Wow, this sounds really fantastic! I haven’t heard of it, before now, but it sounds like it’s just my cup of tea. :O) Pretty cover, too!

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