Book review: The Trees of Calan Grey

By Duanne Hamm

I liked that this book was written by a local Oliver author.

When I put this book down I felt affirmed in my belief that being “different” can mean one is unique, that the way one “sees” the world may have value to others, that the trials in life (our disadvantages) do not always lead us into darkness but instead can lead us into the light. This book did that but not in a light way. There are underlying themes of mental illness and dysfunction, descriptions of prejudice and physical abuse but they do lead into dreams, change and hope.

The author’s writing style is very lyrical, not something I’m used to, but it took me only a few pages to become attuned and feeling the rightness of that rhythm to this story. Through the narrative voice of the main character, Calan, I was drawn through the chapters. Each chapter is headed by the names of trees, the trees that “talk” to Calan. Even the chapter headings are designed to solidify the connection and reverence for nature that makes this young boy so “different”.

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