The Overstory

The Overstory

A Novel

Book - 2018
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A novel of activism and natural-world power presents interlocking fables about nine remarkable strangers who are summoned in different ways by trees for an ultimate, brutal stand to save the continent's few remaining acres of virgin forest
Publisher: New York : W. W. Norton & Company, 2018
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780393635522
Characteristics: 502 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm


From Library Staff

#15 Most checked out Adult Fiction title in 2019 at MCFL

Tuesday, May 26, 2020. Discussion facilitator: Alice Shelton. Co-facilitator: Stephanie Breier.

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IndyPL_CarriG Jan 05, 2021

A sweeping and intense novel about the lives of trees and several different characters, and how they intertwine. Beautiful and at times heartbreaking, read this novel if you love books with gorgeous prose and epic metaphors.

Dec 31, 2020

I struggle to compose my thoughts about this book (what is it? a drama, a fantasy, a thriller, a documentary, a history lesson, ...)
A third of the way through, having been introduced to all the characters, the roots, I loved it and had very high hopes.
If you didn't already know a ton about trees, the revelations about forests and their interconnectedness and impacts are amazing, and these, along with the significant social and philosophical questions that are explored, have to be considered the trunk.
The quotes, excerpts, writing within the writing, and descriptions of nature are poetic and evocative, the beautiful flowers of the story.
The writing is masterful: sentence structure, vocabulary and the realistic characters and their relationships.
The story branches and we follow several branches out to the tips, but we aren't really sure where anything is going, and it just didn't go where I hoped it might.
I was left unsatisfied and not in the "wanting-more" sense, just disappointed.

Dec 27, 2020

I really wanted to like this book as I’d heard great things about it. While I certainly have a great appreciation for the importance of our forests and wetlands (along with honeybees) with regard to the health of our planet and food supply, this work of environmental fiction didn’t do it for me. I got half way thru and called it. Too long, too drawn out, and quite frankly, boring. Perhaps Powers should of incorporated ‘The Fighting Trees’ from Frank Baum’s 1900 classic to add some excitement to the book. DNF

Dec 26, 2020

A little emotionally overplayed and felt a bit self-important for my taste. I appreciate the wealth of tree metaphors and the vegetative narrative structure. It seemed at least one storyline could have been removed without negative impact to the overall storyline.

Dec 17, 2020

A complex novel with a structure that may put off readers of more conventional books. But bear with it. It’s more than worth the read. Just realize that it all adds up in the end to a very compelling realization that we don’t know nearly as much about our natural environment as we think!

Nov 14, 2020

A great book. I absolutely loved it. I felt that the author should have ended it about 2/3 of the way through. But despite that, it was an excellent story with good complex characters.

Oct 19, 2020

Very informative and nicely written but The Legacy of Luna by Julia “Butterfly” Hill is a superior first person account on the topic.

Oct 09, 2020

This book is so innovative... which kept me going in the slower parts. I'm so glad I did keep going - the ending was fantastic.

Sep 27, 2020


Aug 30, 2020

I loved the back stories of the soon to be interwoven characters. At first I was worried that I'd picked up a volume of short stories, but soon some met to propel the plot forward, and others provided philosophical and scientific support to the plot. All were heartfelt. All provided nuggets of wisdom and reasons why we have to value our trees in other than dollar value, in a most entertaining way.

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Aug 09, 2019

Page 84 of the hardback: “...the greatest flaw of the species is its overwhelming tendency to mistake agreement for truth.”

Aug 09, 2019

Page 7 of the hardback: “Life is a battle between the Maker and His creation.”


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