the Language of Trees

Title: the Language of Trees
Author: Ilie Ruby
Pub: 2010; Harper Collins
Pages: 339
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Rating: Skip it
Note: Received via Library Thing's Early Review Program

Initially, I was intrigued by this book because a review (from where?) I read explicitly said: "Heyyyy. If you like folklore then this book is for you." I immediately jumped up and down in my head thinking: "They're talking to meeee!". So I requested it and Ba-Da-Bing, upon my doorstop it came.

What we have here is a story of unrequited love, of desperation, of abuse, of longing, and of magic. And it all takes place in this quaint town called Canandaigua where "restless spirits seem to clamor in the scan breezes on hot evenings."

The Cast

Grant, after a rocky marriage where wifey finally left because he just couldn't emotional connect, returns home. As it happens, Echo, the "one that got away" is returning to visit her family.


The Ellis family is still suffering from the loss of Luke, even though it has been many years since his mysterious death. His sisters are dealing with the devastation. Maya is in an institution and Melanie continues to blame herself even though she has a family now. Leila finally kicked dirtbag Victor out of the house, and although she never could be with the man she loved, she could watch her grandson grow up.


There's about three other love entanglements with other back stage characters.

My Thoughts

Allrighty. This book is going to be yet another one that the crowd adores and I am the Cheese Standing Alone. Such is life. I'm still not quite sure about the positive reviews. I found the characters to be nondescript, the dialogue swaying between bland and over-the-top, and not enough of the folklore that I was enticed with.

But really, how do I honestly feel? Heh.

I don't want to be terribly harsh in this review but if I wasn't reviewing this for the LT program I think I would have set it aside. Ouch, right? There were too many story lines all trying to feed into one and another without any specific plot truly being developed. I guess that's what bugged me. It lacked depth. I didn't find the writing beautiful, I found it tiresome.

Also, do adults really keep their feelings hidden as often as it is portrayed in this book? It moves beyond the "I'm shy and I don't want to get hurt" and into this compulsive, my love for you is a secret that I will take to the grave. For example, our *leading* characters Grant and Echo have known each other since they were kids. Always had eyes for each other even though neither said the L-word. At 17 and right before she moves off to college, Echo and Grant make love for the first time. Echo announces that she is in love with Grant and Grant, feeling too much, can't speak. So, what does the girl do? She takes off running, leaves town the next morning, and when he tries to explain on a phone call she just decides to tell him it was a mistake and that she's seeing someone else. IN WHAT WORLD DOES THIS HAPPEN?
I was probably done with the novel as soon as this was discovered - a mere couple of chapters in.

I say skip it, but everyone else in the world seems to say love it.


  1. Okay I have to admit your negative review actually intrigues me. I'm not sure i'll add the book to my list, but I'll definitely keep it in mind for when I see other people review it later.

  2. Even though it was a "negative" review, I found your review really entertaining, lol! Or at least very informative. I actuall liked this book but wasn't enthralled by it like others. But you make some good points!

  3. Folklore doesn't even entrance me all that much anyway! And I get rapidly very frustrated with characters who ruin their lives by refusing to talk to each other. :p

  4. The book sounded interesting, but the character's reaction in the last paragraph would annoy the hell out of me. It just doesn't happen like that in real life, unless your sixteen and have lived a very sheltered life.

  5. Amanda - If it helps in your decision, it's a book you could probably read in a couple of hours.

    Jenny - Haha, I hate writing negative reviews. I'm glad it was at least entertaining. :P

    Jenny - I only just got into folklore and fairy tales. Still not into mythology though. Weird?

    Viv - Oh gawd, I wanted to slap them for sure. :)

  6. Thanks! for sharing.


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