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Greenwood  By  cover art

Greenwood

By: Michael Christie
Narrated by: Raven Dauda,David Ferry,Christo Graham,Amy Matysio
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Publisher's summary

Winner of the Arthur Ellis Award
Longlisted for the 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize

A CBC Books "Best Canadian Fiction" Title of the Year 

National Best Seller 

From the award-winning author of If I Fall, If I Die comes a propulsive, multigenerational family story, in which the unexpected legacies of a remote island off the coast of British Columbia will link the fates of five people over a hundred years. Cloud Atlas meets The Overstory in this ingenious nested-ring epic set against the devastation of the natural world. 

They come for the trees.

It's 2038 and Jacinda (Jake) Greenwood is a storyteller and a liar, an overqualified tour guide babysitting ultra-rich-eco-tourists 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 and facing the possibility of his own death. It's 1974 and Willow Greenwood is just out of jail for one of her environmental protests: attempts at atonement for the sins of her father's once vast and rapacious timber empire. 

It's 1934 and Everett Greenwood is a Depression-era drifter who saves an abandoned infant, only to find himself 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. 

Transporting, beautifully written, and brilliantly structured like the nested growth rings of a tree, Greenwood reveals the knot of lies, omissions, and half-truths that exists at the root of every family's origin story. It is a magnificent novel of greed, sacrifice, love, and the ties that bind - and the hopeful, impossible task of growing toward the light. 

©2019 Michael Christie (P)2019 McClelland & Stewart

Critic reviews

2019, Scotiabank Giller Prize, Long-listed

"Astonishing. . . . What makes Greenwood an essential climate-change novel is that, rather than obsessing over a single, final apocalypse to come, it attempts something much harder and more ambitious: to transcend altogether the tropes of victim and antagonist. . . . And to instead present humanity and nature as deeply, ultimately, endlessly interconnected. . . . Greenwood offers a rare sentiment in the climate emergency: hope." (Damian Tarnopolsky, The Walrus)

"Greenwood is brilliant. Michael Christie shows a cross section of one family's history, revealing their dark secrets, loves, losses, and the mark of an accident still visible four generations later. Year by year, page by page, the layers of this intricate and elegant novel build into an epic story that is completely absorbing. I had to cancel everything for this book because I couldn't stop reading." (Claire Cameron, author of The Last Neanderthal)

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Beautiful heart wrenching story

I got so wrapped up in the story that I devoured it relatively quickly and now that it’s over I kind of wish I could savoured it little more.

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Exceptional writing, intriguing premise

Refreshing to read such a well written story based on an insightful premise of humanities’ selfish nature. He is one of the best writers I’ve read in years...

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