Friday, September 17, 2010

Review & Giveaway: "The Crying Tree" by Naseem Rakha

Irene Stanley is enjoying life on the family farm in a small town in Illinois with her husband, Nate, and her two children Bliss and Shep when Nate announces that he's been offered a job as a deputy sheriff in Oregon and that the family will be moving. Irene is devstated and fights Nate on his decision, but in the end Nate insists and the family moves.

Once in Oregon, Irene tries her best to make things work for her family in their new home. She gets a job and encourages her children in school, but then the unthinkable happens. Shep, 15 at the time, is shot to death during an apparent robbery. Shep's killer, Daniel Robbins, comes forward and is arrested, and is later sent to death row.

Fast forward. It is several years later and Daniel has finally given up his appeals to live. He's slated for an October execution, but Irene has struck up an unconventional friendship with her son's killer. As his execution date looms Irene will find out about the secrets that have been hidden from her since her son's death, and she will embark on a personal journey of forgiveness.

The Crying Tree takes on a sensitive and controversial topic, capital punishment, and puts an intimate spin on it. Although parts of the book are difficult to read, considering that we are dealing with the life of a human being (albeit one that is fictional), this is a story worth reading. I appreciated all of the varied aspects of this haunting story- the question of when one human being has the right to sentence another to death, as well as how to forgive the one person who has caused you the most pain in life. Naseem Rakha writes with sensitivity and grace, despite the difficulty of the topics.

I especially appreciated Irene's journey of forgiveness. For so many years she harbours only bitterness towards her son's killer, and the will to see his death executed. She longs for it to be over, so that she can move on with her life. One letter changes her life. She writes to her son's killer in an attempt at closure, but instead she gets to know Daniel Robbins and discovers that he is an imperfect human being, and not a monster as she has previously believed.

The Crying Tree will make an excellent book club read because there is so much to contemplate while reading the story of Irene Stanley and her family. I'm not the only one who thinks this- The Crying Tree has been chosen as a book club pick by Richard & Judy's Bookclub in the UK. This poignant and emotional story is one not to be missed.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Recommended to: Fans of literary fiction
Challenges: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge, New Author Challenge 2010

Thanks to Sarah at Terra Communications I have one copy of this book to share with my readers. To enter:

1. *Mandatory Entry* Post a comment and let me know that you want to read this book. Please include an e-mail address so that I can contact you if you win. No e-mail = no entry!

2. *Bonus Entry* Become a follower of this blog through Google Friend Connect and let me know in a separate comment that you now follow. Current followers are eligible as well, just let me know that you already follow.

3. *Bonus Entry* Spread the word about this contest in some way. Facebook it, Tweet about it, or post about it in your blog. Leave me a separate comment to let me know how you spread the word.

This contest is open to residents of the US and Canada, no PO Boxes please. This contest runs until October 1, 2010 at midnight, and winners will be notified by e-mail. Good luck!

36 comments:

  1. This sounds like a beautiful book. I would love to win!

    freda.mans[at]sympatico.ca

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm a GFC follower.

    freda.mans[at]sympatico.ca

    ReplyDelete
  3. tweet; http://twitter.com/fredalicious/status/24757044967

    freda.mans[at]sympatico.ca

    ReplyDelete
  4. No need to enter me!

    I've had this one on my shelf for a long time, but I had no idea what it was about. It sounds powerful!

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  5. I would love to read this book!! Thanks:)

    foxchick0323@live.com

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  6. I am a loyal follower :)

    foxchick0323@live.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. I tweeted @happymam82

    foxchick0323@live.com

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  8. I am looking forward to scheduling this ione (on my shelves). Your review was great!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I would love to read this book!

    kdurham2@gmail.com

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  10. i am a follower!

    kdurham2@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. Please put my name in the hat for the book. david.weinstock@gmail.com. Thanks!

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  12. And I'm following you now on Google Friends. And I work in direct marketing and I'm admiring this contest for professional reasons.

    ReplyDelete
  13. This book sounds like a wonderful read! I would love to be entered to win a copy!

    Suzanne
    quzy@mac(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  14. I follow you on GFC!

    Suzanne
    quzy@mac(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi, I've already read this, so I don't need to enter but I just wanted to say that I LOVED this book! Whoever wins is very lucky :)

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  16. I'm SO curious about this book!! Thanks for the chance :)

    lcintocable[a]gmail[d]com

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  17. This sounds like a wonderful story.
    Do not count me in though as I am overseas.

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  18. This must make for a very intense read! I would find it hard to handle, but then I love books that tackle the subject of capital punishment..

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  19. I'd love a chance to read the Crying tree :)

    strandedhero(at)gmail.com

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  20. I am a follower through GFC

    strandedhero(at)gmail.com

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  21. would love to read this novel...thanks for the chance :)

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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  22. i'm a follower :)

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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  23. This novel sounds wonderful. Thanks for this giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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  24. Fascinating and captivating book. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  25. I am adding this one to my wishlist; no need to enter me (I NEED to get Mt. TBR under better control. Eek!).

    I'm dropping in to say thanks for the e-mail. I've got this posted at Win a Book.

    ReplyDelete
  26. This has been on my wish list for a while. Please enter me.
    stacybooks at yahoo

    ReplyDelete
  27. Yup, I want to read it.

    JHS
    Colloquium

    jhsmail at comcast dot net

    ReplyDelete
  28. Google follower.

    JHS
    Colloquium

    jhsmail at comcast dot net

    ReplyDelete
  29. I would love to read this! Please enter me, thanks.

    ruthiekb72@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  30. I would love to read this book!

    billiondollarprincesss@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  31. I'd love a chance into this giveaway thanks!

    unforgetable_dreamer_always (at) hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  32. Please enter me. I'd really enjoy this book.
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  33. I am a follower of your blog
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  34. I would like to win this book! Thanks for the chance.

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

    ReplyDelete
  35. GFC Follower

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

    ReplyDelete
  36. Tweet! Tweet!
    @NancyeDavis

    http://twitter.com/NancyeDavis/status/26135147884

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

    ReplyDelete