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The Which Way Tree

Narrated by: Will Collyer
Length: 7 hrs and 17 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (115 ratings)

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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)

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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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).

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • lauren
  • BLEIBLERVILLE, TX, United States
  • 05-09-19

wow!

this is now my all time new favorite book! I love the action and the ending!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Wonderful wonderful book

I simply love everything about this book. Thank you. It will live with me for a long while

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Terrific story, terrific performance

Crook's story has everything: adventure, a quest, a pitch-perfect narrative voice, literary wit, heart, history. The book is a delight, and I was sad to finish it.
Collyer's performance is a marvel, capturing the longingsickness, pragmatism, and exasperation of a young man with a great weight to bear, the fierce monomania and self-advocacy of his sister, as well as the kindness, murderousness, or basic decency of various other characters.

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Great listening for cross country drive

Entertaining and enjoyable with the historical references of my home state of Texas. Humor mixed with a tale of struggles in the developing territory and lives of the settlers.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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took a bit to get into

but worth persevering as the performance is excellent and characters unique. delightful tale of the West when it was still wild

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Loved listening to this book

The story was well spun and captivating. A window into another time. The characters human and compelling. The narration was excellent.

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A Wonderful Book with Texas History

The story is told in the hill country of Texas in the 1800s. You will be drawn into the characters to the very end of the book.

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Great listen

I had no idea what to expect from this book. I was more than pleasantly surprised. Great story with lots of twists and turns. Nice sprinkles of humor. I highly recommend! 👏👏