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Greenwood  By  cover art

Greenwood

By: Michael Christie
Narrated by: Kimberly Farr
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Publisher's Summary

A magnificent generational saga that charts a family's rise and fall, its secrets and inherited crimes, from one of Canada's most acclaimed novelists

Longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize

 "A rugged, riveting novel.... This superb family saga will satisfy fans of Richard Powers' The Overstory." (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

“There are plenty of visionary moments laced into [Christie’s] shape-shifting narrative.... Greenwood penetrates to the core of things.” (The New York Times Book Review)

It's 2038 and Jacinda (Jake) Greenwood is a storyteller and a liar, an overqualified tour guide babysitting ultra-rich vacationers in one of the world's last remaining forests. It's 2008 and Liam Greenwood is a carpenter, sprawled on his back after a workplace fall, calling out from the concrete floor of an empty mansion. It's 1974 and Willow Greenwood is out of jail, free after being locked up for one of her endless series of environmental protests: attempts at atonement for the sins of her father's once vast and violent timber empire. It's 1934 and Everett Greenwood is alone, as usual, in his maple-syrup camp squat, when he hears the cries of an abandoned infant and gets tangled up in the web of a crime, secrets, and betrayal that will cling to his family for decades.

And throughout, there are trees: a steady, silent pulse thrumming beneath Christie's effortless sentences, working as a guiding metaphor for withering, weathering, and survival. A shining, intricate clockwork of a novel, Greenwood is a rain-soaked and sun-dappled story of the bonds and breaking points of money and love, wood, and blood - and the hopeful, impossible task of growing toward the light.

©2020 Michael Christie (P)2020 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Ingeniously structured and with prose as smooth as beech bark, Michael Christie's Greenwood is as compulsive as it is profound. A sweeping intergenerational saga that explores trees and their roots - from the precious evergreens that become commodities in the entertainment business of the future to the intricately tangled trees of family - all of it is dazzlingly delivered in a framework inspired by the actual growth rings of a tree. Every one of Greenwood's characters burrowed their way into my heart. Beguilingly brilliant, timely, and utterly engrossing, Greenwood is one of my favorite reads in recent memory." (Kira Jane Buxton)

"Christie skillfully teases out the details in a page-turner of a saga that complements sylvan books such as Sometimes a Great Notion and The Overstory, one that closes with Jake's realization that, tangled lineage and all, a family is less a tree than 'a collection of individuals pooling their resources through intertwined roots.' Beguilingly structured, elegantly written: ecoapocalyptic but with hope that somehow we'll make it." (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)

"A rugged, riveting novel... This superb family saga will satisfy fans of Richard Powers' The Overstory while offering a convincing vision of potential ecological destruction." (Publishers Weekly, starred review) 

What listeners say about Greenwood

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tedious boring trite

this book is full of cliches the story is unnecessaryly convoluted to no discernable purpose. I only listened to the end in hopes that the time I suffered through it might finally be rewarded with some pint. Needless to the I was disappointed 😞

4 people found this helpful

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Would not recommend

Story too chopped up. Had a hard time keeping up with the storyline and charactors. Would not recommend. Was a book club book or I would not have finished it.

3 people found this helpful

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Great Story

Ending made absolutely no sense at all especially
being a very well written story .I expected a different ending...

3 people found this helpful

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So depressing

I waited and waited for this story to perk up. To no avail. It just wanders.

2 people found this helpful

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Amazing Story

One of better books I've read this year. Once you get the rhythm of the book. It is hard to put.
❤️🌎❤️☮️

2 people found this helpful

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Plot driven by too many secrets

While I enjoyed this book, the plot seemed a prisoner of all the secrets that ALL the main characters kept. Additionally, many if their choices seemed made to advance the story but not true to the characters. The performance & details about the forests were interesting & kept me listening

1 person found this helpful

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Amazing

Best book I've listened to in quite a while. Highly recommended. Reminds me of John Irving.

1 person found this helpful

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  • TA
  • 06-01-20

More than a cry for the forest

I suppose one can glean just about anything the reader supposes the lines can deliver. This novel is similar to another great work with a historical bent on the building of North America and its component lands. The first great book appealed to me more for the detailed description of the many and sundry characters, while Greenwood was just fine though lesser. Both are characterized as environmentally potent in content. Yes, it is true if that's what you yearn for, but easily brushed aside if the reader is looking for a little escapism and entertainment in these increasingly troubled times. Recommended for a good read if you are able to put aside looking for a "message" on saving the world.

1 person found this helpful

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Amazing

Recommended by a dear friend, this story is one that will have you glued and focussed. Great Book!

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Timeless story

Amazing story weaving between many generations and rings on the tree! I felt so connected to the characters.