Gracie’s Reviews

“She caught the child’s horrified gaze, cradled the fear and stroked the loathing. Then counseled herself towards stealth and guile. All the while dripping words that were carried on the wind and lodged, unwanted, in the minds of innocent listeners. Her wintery smile stretched wide.” – ‘Time and the Tree,’ by Róisín Sorahan.

The story of a boy, a tree and the magical adventures that they go on together. Or, should I say, the magical adventures that happen to wander toward them. This is a book that brings the reader along on a journey that has elements of fairy tales, with that little bit of darkness that all good tales have to include.

The boy, as he’s called in the book, is great friends with a tree and they live in the forest together, weathering the cold and the heat and enjoying the Spring and the beautiful Autumns. Every so often, however, a traveler wanders by to throw their world into chaos and change things around for better or worse.

This is a story told in four sections, each labeled with a different season. Each section contains a different problem that the boy and the tree must overcome together, and each section has a different new person to meet. One of the common reoccurring characters is Time, who is the physical embodiment of the passage of time. A crabby man, who is constantly being followed around by a slave that he calls, ‘The Shadow,’ Time is portrayed just as those of us who have been annoyed by him all of our lives would expect.

This book is captivating in the best way. Just as the Tree says midway through, “A good story, well told, will keep the listener fixed on the dancing shadows, oblivious to the real drama unfolding behind their back.” I highly recommend it!