The Crying Tree – Naseem Rakha

crying tree

Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Pan (6 Aug 2010)

Book description:

IIrene Stanley thought her world had come to an end when her husband found their 15-year-old son, Shep, murdered in their Oregon home. Daniel Robbin, who had spent his teenage years in and out of trouble, gave himself up to the police and was given the state’s harshest sentence: death by lethal injection. Now, nineteen years later, as the superintendent of the state penitentiary prepares to execute Robbin, Irene Stanley must reveal what she has been hiding from her family. That, in order to survive her anger and grief, she has not only forgiven the man who killed her son, but she has come to be his friend. Her revelation stuns her family and cracks open the secrets that surrounded her son’s death. Secrets that reveal how little she understood Shep, her husband, or herself. Dramatic, emotional, and ultimately uplifting, The Crying Tree is an unforgettable story of love and redemption, the unbreakable bonds of family, and the transformative power of forgiveness


My review:

Brilliant book. I cried, I questioned my parenting, my beliefs, my feelings, my integrity – everything I thought I knew about capital punishment, parenting, America was turned on its head.

This, again, wasn’t my normal genre of choice and it was recommended to me on kobo based on my previous reads of “before i go to sleep” and “the child who” so I was a little anxious about how this book would turn out having really thoroughly enjoyed one and really been a bit “meh” about the other.
It took me a few chapters to get in to the book and I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy it but after the first 70 or so pages I was gripped. Some bits are predictable, some bits you think are going to be predictable really aren’t what you think. Lots of things left unanswered at the end – but they don’t need an answer!

I had to keep reminding myself this books based in the 80s, 90s and 00s not actually in the 40s!!

The book made me feel so many different emotions in the few hours it took me to read it. I read it in one sitting while babysitting my friends’ children and all i wanted to do was rush upstairs and hug my own boys. Thoroughly recommended.  I would put this up there with one of my favourite books from recent years.


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