Book - 2019
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They come for the trees. It is 2038. As the rest of humanity struggles through the environmental collapse known as the Great Withering, scientist Jake Greenwood is working as an overqualified tour guide on Greenwood Island, a remote oasis of thousand-year-old trees. Jake had thought the island's connection to her family name just a coincidence, until someone from her past reappears with a book that might give her the family history she's long craved. From here, we gradually move backwards in time to the years before the First World War, encountering along the way the men and women who came before Jake: an injured carpenter facing the possibility of his own death, an eco-warrior trying to atone for the sins of her father's rapacious timber empire, a blind tycoon with a secret he will pay a terrible price to protect, and a Depression-era drifter who saves an abandoned infant from certain death, only to find himself the subject of a country-wide manhunt. At the very centre of the book is a tragedy that will bind the fates of two boys together, setting in motion events whose reverberations we see unfold over generations, as the novel moves forward into the future once more.
Publisher: [Toronto] :, McClelland & Stewart,, [2019]
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9780771024450
Branch Call Number: F CHR
Characteristics: 490 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm


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Feb 14, 2020

Quite a commitment as it's very long and doesn't always flow, but it's worthwhile given its many narrative strengths. However, the long section with Everett ferrying the newborn baby seemed completely incredible and quite ridiculous. Heart in the right place but sentimental and totally unrealistic. As if...!

JessicaGma Feb 11, 2020

Written like Cloud Atlas where some eras tales spanned either side of the heartwood, Greenwood was an interesting tale of the Greenwood family and the misadventures of the varying generations, held up against trees and forests. I see why it was longlisted for the Giller, and it is definitely more accessible than Cloud Atlas. A great read

Jan 10, 2020

Join us at 2pm on Saturday January 25th at the Nanaimo Harbourfront Library in downtown Nanaimo for an afternoon with Michael Christie! This event will feature an author reading, question and answer period, and opportunities to purchase books and get them signed.

For more information about the event, check out this link:

This event is part of the author reading series Big Names, Little City. All events are moderated by members of the Federation of British Columbia Writers with book sales provided by Windowseat Books.

Don’t miss future events at the Nanaimo Harbourfront Library featuring Susan Juby, Eve Joseph, and Billy-Ray Belcourt. For more information about the series and each event, have a look at this link:

patcumming Jan 03, 2020

Family story that spans many years and Canadian locales. A love letter to the trees that sustain us. Highly readable, impeccably written.

STPL_JessH Nov 23, 2019

"What are families other than fictions?" This poignant and powerful idea grounds the histories contained within this new novel by Michael Christie. Greenwood is at once a classic epic saga of four generations and a peek into a dystopian future. Spanning the range from the upper echelons of society to the precarious existence of people riding the rails in the thirties, this is a tale woven carefully. Secrets are revealed layer by layer and luscious description allows readers to enter into this fictional world as though we stand right next to the players. I appreciated the careful attention to craft and composition and loved all the details. This is a book for people who enjoy sinking their teeth deep into a weighty book. There is so much to notice, so much to savour. At one point, I was disappointed that some key action happened "off screen" and wondered if an editor thought the book needed to be shorter so that scene was cut? It seemed incongruous with the rest of the novel that we do not have a chance to witness such a pivotal moment. That said, this is a book I highly recommend. In fact, I am actively peer pressuring people to add their name to the holds list.

Oct 15, 2019

This novel is incredibly readable. The story told thru time and in the voices of a number of protagonists. Each character was authentic and relatable. Although the novel begins in the year 2038 while the world is in the grip of an ecological dystopia, the environmental message is not strident but meaningful. I'm looking forward to reading more by this talented author.

debwalker Sep 21, 2019

2038. Humanity struggles to survive on a remote BC island. All too real.

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