Saturday, January 3, 2009

When Positive Ideas Lead to Negative Actions

My Review of Tree Sitter, by Suzanne Matson

The characterization in this story is authentic, yet soft-focused with the polite remove of gentility.

There are some beautiful, ruminative sentences in this book. For example: "..time seemed infinitely generous when you were awake at sunrise. You could see vistas, you could let intention gradually take shape" (203), and "Just because you knew something was behind you, and that you'd never get it back, didn't mean you were finished with it, or ever would be" (241).

There are also some sentences whose meaning and delivery I appreciate, even when they demand a second reading for clarity: "After the initial vertigo of loss--I'd been so certain, and if not Preston, then no one, no father--I grew to like the sound of it: Guardian" (97).

All in all, with the exception of priviledge afforded by wealth, I can easily walk in the shoes of Julie, the narrator. I could certainly have fallen for a brilliant, intense grad student with a passion for environmental activism and followed him across the country for the good of the trees. And the rest.

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