The Crying Tree is all about forgiveness. The book follows an American family as they come to terms with the murder of their teenage son. The murderer, Daniel Robbins, is on death row and the family exhibit a range of different reactions to his imminent execution. Set over several decades, we see the family before and after their son’s murder and the difficult spectrum of emotions they go through in trying to continue life without him.
I loved the first half of the book – it was fast paced and totally gripping. There were several touching sections and I did find myself genuinely sad about Shep’s death.
Unfortunately the book became increasingly sentimental and the theme of forgiveness became overbearing. By the half way point I was bored.
The characters were stereotypical and as I learned more about them I became increasingly annoyed by them. The twist in the end was the final straw. I won’t give anything away, but it ruined the entire book for me. The twist was unnecessary and took away from the message that the book was trying to deliver.
Recommended to those who like light, sentimental reads.
Literary fiction lovers seem to have the biggest problem with this book:
Rakha is a bit heavyhanded with the message at times…. The Book Lady’s Blog
Naseem Rakha writes beautifully and with such depth of emotion at times I felt the suffocation that such pain and grief brings. The Eclectic Reader
The writing was so vivid that I felt as though this family was going through a real trauma, that this novel was in fact a true story. Book Addiction
I couldn’t quite bring myself to care about the people in this book because they felt less like people and more like representatives of various points of view. Shelf Love