From the much-loved author of Grass and Gibbon’s Decline and Fall, a fabulous story of time travel, murder … and the revenge of trees.
Sheri Tepper’s gift is to address unflinchingly worst-case futures and confront the reader’s fears head-on. It’s a polemicist’s strategy, invigorating, addictive, sharing the burden of contemplating big issues and the threat they may pose to the world.
In The Family Tree trees suddenly become rampant, growing at a fantastic rate to conquer any spare land, obscure small roads, take over unoccupied rooms in houses – and possibly cause the disappearance of babies, always the fourth (at least) in a family.
Our police officer hero Dora Henry suspects the plague of trees began in the garden of the home she shared until recently with her husband Jared. But, meanwhile, Dora is seeking a divorce and investigating the murders of three geneticists who were all working to develop intelligence in other species. And far in the future, when technology has all but vanished, two princes and their followers find themselves on similar quests that will take them back in time – to land in Dora’s new back garden.
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This technically polished novel ingeniously combines elements from traditional quests, fables, and novels. A seemingly rhetorical question is posed in chapter 1: Why did sociable, smart Dora Henry marry cold, controlling Jared Gerber? But that question is the key to the book and to the parallel stories told by Sheri Tepper. The sets of characters unravel their separate puzzles until all become different aspects of the same web of events, shaking the reader's, and Dora's, perceptions to the core. Tepper's linguistic sleight-of-hand with metaphor and image is breathtaking; her storytelling is deft and funny; her characters are memorable and sympathetic. Topical, mythical, archetypal, and provocative, this is a book no fantasy or science fiction reader should miss.Review:
From reviews of Gibbon’s Decline and Fall:
‘The Women’s Room invaded by Big Brother. A provocative, devastating, enthralling consciousness raiser’
‘Visceral and arresting. Curl up with it’
‘Opening as near-future realism, the novel metamorphoses into a mythical telling of the struggle between those who desire domination and the forces of balance and harmony.’
‘As always, Tepper creates excellent female characters transported by a swiftly flowing plot’
‘Tepper never forgets to give the reader a gripping story on which to hang the serious concerns that lie at the root of her books… she shows how taking responsibility for one’s own life and actions can become a kind of butterfly effect’
Fantasy and Science Fiction
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Book Description Voyager, 1997. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110002246686