About The Trysting Tree
A century of secrets...
Four women live in the shadow of the Trysting Tree.
All have something to hide.
A man without a memory walks away from the Somme battlefield, while a young woman grieves beneath the tree that will guard her secret for a hundred years.
Ann de Freitas doesn’t remember what she witnessed when she was five. The truth lies buried in the beech wood, forgotten for forty years. Can love unlock Ann’s heart and mind?
Connor Grenville is restoring the walled garden where his grandmother, Ivy used to play. Before her death, she tried to destroy the family archive. Who was Ivy trying to protect? And why?
When a storm fells the Trysting Tree, revealing a century-old love hidden in its hollow heart, Ann and Connor begin to sift through the past in search of answers. What they discover changes everything.
“The story doesn’t start here. I need to go back. Back to a time when the beech tree still stood, when I didn’t know the truth about my family and Connor didn’t know the truth about his. Right back to a time when the twentieth century was young and the beech still kept its secrets…”
My review of The Trysting Tree
How do I find the words to describe this beautiful book? I honestly don't think that I can do this book the justice it deserves, but I'll do my very best. The Trysting Tree is a nostalgic, romantic, and emotional read rooted firmly in reality. It is quite simply breathtaking.
The story is told both in the present day, 2015, and during the First World War in the year 1915. The storytelling is lyrical, almost poetic at times, especially in the letters that are revealed and from the beech trees in the wood where all of the characters lived. There is such an honest and raw quality to the writing, which is a constant theme throughout Linda Gillard's novels. I first fell in love with her writing having read Star Gazing, that was then shortly followed by the devouring of Emotional Geology. In each and every book we have female characters that are utterly believable and who I can relate to, and this book is no exception.
The novel really helps to shed light on the emotional impact of war, and how it altered the women who were left behind. We hear Hester's views via her journal entries, and although from over one hundred years ago, the fact that we are reading her views in this format, made them appear very relevant and modern.
Relationships are at the heart of this novel. We have the relationship between mother and daughter, both past and present. The relationship between Ann, and her mother Phoebe, is incredibly poignant. Phoebe is a woman who has struggled with motherhood, who says she is not maternal, but there is a warmth to her, and a likeability, that I couldn't shrug off. Deeply flawed, yes, but realistic, I couldn't help but like her. We also have the romantic relationships, both past and present, and although a hundred years apart, share similarities. Both encounters were a joy to read.
The house and wood are pivotal to this story, as is the garden, for both stories. The imagery that is conveyed on the page is just magical and whimsical and echoes the romantic and nostalgic mood that has been created. The beech trees even have their own voice, and their message at the end of the book nearly made me weep.
The Trysting Tee is such a beautiful and moving book about love, family and the devestaing events of war. It really is a must read.
The Trysting Tree was published on 11 Sept. 2016 and can be found on Amazon here.
With thanks to the author who sent me a paperback copy for review purposes.