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The Which Way Tree  By  cover art

The Which Way Tree

By: Elizabeth Crook
Narrated by: Will Collyer
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Publisher's Summary

The poignant odyssey of a tenacious young girl who braves the dangers of the Texas frontier to avenge her mother's death

Early one morning in the remote hill country of Texas, a panther savagely attacks a family of homesteaders, mauling a young girl named Samantha and killing her mother, whose final act is to save her daughter's life. Samantha and her half-brother, Benjamin, survive, but she is left traumatized, her face horribly scarred.

Narrated in Benjamin's beguilingly plainspoken voice, The Which Way Tree is the story of Samantha's unshakeable resolve to stalk and kill the infamous panther, rumored across the Rio Grande to be a demon, and avenge her mother's death. In their quest she and Benjamin, now orphaned, enlist a charismatic Tejano outlaw and a haunted, compassionate preacher with an aging but relentless tracking dog. As the members of this unlikely posse hunt the panther, they are in turn pursued by a hapless but sadistic Confederate soldier with troubled family ties to the preacher and a score to settle.

In the tradition of the great pursuit narratives, The Which Way Tree is a breathtaking saga of one steadfast girl's revenge against an implacable and unknowable beast. Yet with the comedic undertones of Benjamin's storytelling, it is also a timeless tale full of warmth and humor, and a testament to the enduring love that carries a sister and brother through a perilous adventure with all the dimensions of a legend.

©2018 Elizabeth Crook (P)2018 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"The Which Way Tree is one part Track of the Cat, one part True Grit, and one part Tom Sawyer, a ruthless pedigree for a novel that displays human nature in its most beautiful form - a marvel." (Craig Johnson, New York Times best-selling author of The Western Star, a Walt Longmire mystery)

"When I began to read this book its unique voice appealed to me immediately. Elizabeth Crook has written a beautiful novel with wonderful characters." (Robert Duvall)

"Poignant and plainspoken...Crook crafts Benjamin's narration beautifully, finding a winning balance between naivete and wisdom, thoughtfulness and grit." (Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about The Which Way Tree

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Wonderful

It seems to me that this book was written to be read aloud. I was totally sucked into the story and listened to the whole book in one day. It was so unique from other books that afterwards I needed to take a break from Audible for a few days and listen to podcasts. There just was no other book I tried after finishing this one that satisfied the storytelling my brain had gotten used to. It's really quite wonderful and I think it will stay with you.

3 people found this helpful

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An Imaginative Tale, Well Told

It's been a long time since I've enjoy a story this much. The story of the panther hunt is unique. The characters engaged in the hunt are real and relatable. While not actually a 'Christian' story, I appreciate that the Christian characters are depicted as true to those values, something rarely seen in books, movies, and TV these days. I loved the expressions of the main character and story teller, reflecting the language usage of the time and place. And the narrator's performance of that language and voices of the other characters was exceptional.

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Great narration

I enjoyed this story, but it was VERY similar to "The Thicket" by Joe R. Lansdale. ( and its one of my favorite Audible books ever). So, if you enjoy this one, I highly recommend "The Thicket". Will Collyer narrates both, and maybe that is why they seem so similar to me ? Does anyone else find the two stories so similar ? ( just wondering).

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Simple story but engaging

This was a refreshing book to read. I like adventure and find i'm always reading about someone that has to save the world. This was a simple story of boy and his sister, trying to make a living and hunt a panther, with a few adults with their own agendas. Story has no great plot twists, or surprises, it is just superb storytelling, with a good audible narrator. I enjoyed this book very much.

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easy listening and a fun story

the narrator (within the book) and the voice over narrator were both outstanding. they pair well and make you feel as though you are truly reading the letters of Benjamin. slow start then very fast paced through some of the adventure and new characters I wish had more development. I would listening to a second part where some of the characters reunite on a new journey of sorts.

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Wonderful story and great narrator!!

The narrator did a fantastic job on this story!! I have had trouble with listening to narrators in the past. I really enjoyed this story and it was told wonderfully. THANKYOU......to the story tellers!

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A Texas-Sized Treasure

I truly enjoyed this book start to finish. A well paced adventure with an immersive dip into an era of history not often recounted.

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Great story, tragic and yet heartwarming.

I highly recommend this book to all. I finished within 24 hours! a fabulous read.

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A Must Read!

Wow! I loved this book so much! The story was captivating, the characters were raw and real and the life lessons were powerful. I haven’t felt this connected to a fictional character since Holden Caulfield. I’m going to miss having Benjamin in my life! I highly recommend listening to it on Audible. Will Collyer’s performance was fabulous.

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McMurtry meets True Grit and Goodby to a River

Well conceived and written - truly moving in it’s ending. One that I suspect I’ll revisit many times.