The Overstory – Richard Powers


An epic story of trees, ecological activism and US logging history.

➽ “It’s no exaggeration to say that they novel has genuinely changed my life. It’s a very solid work of fiction that has given me an awareness of our environment that I had previously not been able to glean from non-fiction reading.

“Trees are solidly the main characters of this novel and humans gravitate around them in various storylines that generally end up intertwining and impacting on one another .

“The novel had moment so of triumph but ultimately left me feeling saddened and desiring. Is there such a thing as environmental anxiety. I think I have that now.” – Suzy.

To solve the future, we must save the past. My simple rule of thumb, then, is this: when you cut down a tree, what you make from it should be at least as miraculous
as what you cut down

➽ “After reading The Overstory I gather that Powers is deeply concerned about the state of the world’s forests. But rather than use writing as a medium from which to lecture the masses, he has incorporated his fears and dreams into a quality work of literature that educates and challenges the reader.

“The story follows several characters who share a love and childhood memories of trees, and a desire to halt ecological destruction. Each character and their history is indepthly explored and is so fascinating that by the time their paths cross I was heavily invested in their plans.

“It did get a little preachy near the end, but I forgave Powers his taking of liberties for he had so entertained me for the many previous hours.

“What I found particularly interesting was the research on how it is believed trees, in their natural environment, are able to “communicate” with one another and how they assist one another in growing as a community. The book is worth reading for this information alone. I really hope it was all true, otherwise Powers’ credibility is shot!” – Rachel

Published 2018
W. W. Norton Company
502 pages

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