Thanks to the author, publisher and Love Books Tours for the digital copy of this book in return for my honest opinion.
Let’s start with the blurb: When Evangeline comes across a Victorian plant hunter’s journal at Kew, it is the sign she’s been waiting for. Its author, Edwin ‘Chile’ Morgan, claims to have discovered a living myth: the World Tree. Morgan’s words share life lessons and reflections on the natural world, offering Evangeline a way to overcome the grief of a stillbirth.
With journal in hand, Evangeline sets off to Chile on a journey in search of the tree at the centre of all: heaven, life and the afterlife. In her way are an unprincipled pharmaceutical multinational, an oil company set on deforestation, and an enigmatic art aficionado whose interest in her takes an unsettling turn.
A genre-bending adventure.
Here’s my review: If you had said to me that I would fall in love with a book about botany, I would have scoffed. After all, I’ve accidentally killed several plants over the years which the donors claimed I couldn’t possibly fail to keep alive. Now add in fantasy to the botanical theme and you’ll start to see what drew me in.
The book follows Evangeline, who is a strong protagonist not without some pain in her past. After the shock of a project being pulled out from under her feet, she decides to continue on her journey to Chile.
The setting was rich and came alive on the page, as did the past footsteps of Edwin. The botanical terms made this novel feel very real, even when it entered the mystical realm. The animals in the novel brought something special to the story too.
I found this to be a beautiful novel of adventure in exotic lands, magic and growth and I’d happily recommend it to anyone who likes a story which colours outside the lines of genres.