I loved The Island at the End of the World and so was keen to read some of Sam Taylor’s earlier books. The Republic of Trees is his debut novel, but unfortunately I didn’t love it as much as The Island at the End of the World.
The Republic of Trees is set in France and follows a group of four teenagers as they decide to run away from home and build a life for themselves in the forest. They create their own “Republic”, surviving by hunting for their own food among the trees.
I loved this first section! I think many children dream of running away and living without adults. This book perfectly captured their emotions – the insecurity and innocence was a joy to read!
As the book progressed it slowly became darker. There was an increasing sense of foreboding and although I had no idea what would happen I knew that it wouldn’t be good.
I found that I enjoyed the book less at it progressed. The beautiful realism of those initial chapters was lost in a series of bizarre events. The actions of the teenagers didn’t seem to make sense and I had no idea what motivated the events that occurred.
Overall I’d say it was a good debut novel, but I recommend starting with one of his other books.
Thoughts of Other Bloggers:
….just didn’t do it for me. Reading Matters
Not quite as good as The Island at the End of the World, but good all the same. Peachy Books
It’s definitely powerful, and not for everyone. The Literary Amnesiac
Sam Taylor has recently launched a creative writing course at his beautiful home in Southern France. If I was a writer I’d love to go and make use of his advice while enjoying the great food, wine and scenery of rural France.
If you are an aspiring writer then I recommend looking at his website – I’m sure you’ll be tempted!
Have you read any of Sam Taylor’s books?
Which one did you enjoy the most?