Reading Harry’s Trees came about because of a list of “must-reads” from my daughter who causes part of the mountain of “gonna-get-to-it-any-day-now” books in my life. Not only was it on a list she sent, she singled it out a week later and reminded me that I needed to read it and could get it at the Oak Grove Library. (Evidently, a librarian knows how to find out what is carried in sister libraries across the country.)
The characters in the novel drive its story. Harry, an analyst with the US Forest Service, blames himself for his wife’s death in a construction accident, and flees to the depths of a Pennsylvania’s Endless Mountains where he finds a treehouse. Amanda, whose husband died unexpectedly about the same time, owns the elaborate treehouse built by her husband. Taking a magical turn to her mother’s account of her father’s death while making a snow angel, their daughter Oriana determines to see how he will return. Then there is the elderly librarian trying against all odds to hold onto the ancient library that is falling apart.
The plot connections are magical but seem real. The librarian gives bookworm Oriana a book called The Grum’s Ledgerwith a tale that feeds her belief in the enchantment. When Oriana discovers Harry in the tree house, she shares the book and involves him in her scheme. An interesting complication comes when Harry receives $4,013,276.45 that they turn into four thousand gold coins. Their plan for what to do with the money is inspired by the Grum’s tale. A red-tailed hawk and the librarian’s own backstory add seasoning to the novel’s arc. An amusing complication comes as Harry and Oriana complete their plan while Harry’s brother Wolf tries to find him to reclaim what Wolf feels is his share of this fortune.
I know now why Anna repeated her advice and told me where to find the book. Harry’s Treesdoes need one small word of warning. Plan not to get much done the day you start the book.