The Crying Tree

The Crying Tree

Book - 2009
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Irene and Nate Stanley are living a quiet and contented life with their two children, Bliss and Shep, on their family farm in southern Illinois when Nate suddenly announces he's been offered a job as a deputy sheriff in Oregon. Irene fights her husband. She does not want to uproot her family and has deep misgivings about the move. Nevertheless, the family leaves, and they are just settling into their life in Oregon's high desert when the unthinkable happens. Fifteen-year-old Shep is shot and killed during an "apparent" robbery in their home. The murderer, a young mechanic with a history of assault, robbery, and drug-related offenses, is caught and sentenced to death. Shep's murder sends the Stanley family into a tailspin, with each member attempting to cope with the tragedy in his or her own way. Irene's approach is to live, week after week, waiting for Daniel Robbin's execution and the justice she feels she and her family deserve. Those weeks turn into months and then years. Ultimately, faced with a growing sense that Robbin's death will not stop her pain, Irene takes the extraordinary and clandestine step of reaching out to her son's killer. The two forge an unlikely connection that remains a secret from her family and friends. Years later, Irene receives the notice that she had craved for so long---Daniel Robbin has stopped his appeals and will be executed within a month. This announcement shakes the very core of the Stanley family. Irene, it turns out, isn't the only one with a shocking secret to hide. As the execution date nears, the Stanleys must face difficult truths and find a way to come to terms with the past. Dramatic, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting,The Crying Tree is an unforgettable story of love and redemption, the unbreakable bonds of family, and the transformative power of forgiveness.
Publisher: New York : Broadway Books, 2009.
ISBN: 9780767931403
Characteristics: 353 p. ;,22 cm.


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ChristchurchLib Aug 20, 2013

"A year and a half after the Stanley family relocates to Oregon, 15-year-old Shep Stanley is shot and killed in their home. A young man named Daniel Robbins is accused of the crime, found guilty, and sentenced to death, but the family itself finds small comfort in justice and is destroyed by their loss. Shep's mother, Irene, struggles daily with her grief and waits for the day Daniel will die, but she eventually comes to realise that Daniel's execution won't heal her pain. With well-developed characters and a story that focuses on loss, vengeance, and forgiveness, The Crying Tree will appeal to fans of Louise Doughty's equally nuanced Whatever You Love." August 2013 Fiction A to Z newsletter

Jan 31, 2013

Such a worthwhile book to read that is truly unforgettable.

Dec 04, 2012

This was a bit of a challenging book because the POV is different than what I usually read - I don't often get the conservative Christian viewpoint. However, I thought that Rakha had some really great things to say about forgiveness - how sometimes it's done for selfish reasons, to get rid of your own psychological baggage and move forward; how it's a journey that often includes setbacks, and some steps have to be made over and over again; how sometimes it's easier to forgive someone else than it is to forgive yourself. Though I was sometimes frustrated in coming up against a viewpoint that I don't necessarily agree with, it was a very readable book and I'm glad that I read it.

dollfacecrafter Dec 08, 2011

great read about the power of forgiveness!

Aug 05, 2011

I agree with the previous comment - an un-put-downable book and thoughtful character development. Believable characterisation and good discussion of whether capital punishment offers closure in any way.

debwalker Oct 15, 2010

An absolutely mesmerizing novel about tragedy and the redemptive power of forgiveness, plotted around the killing of a boy and his murderer on Death Row. Rakha has written a book that is almost impossible to put down. It is hauntingly beautiful, with wonderfully complex characters; there are a few surprises in the story, but the point is not the mysteries of fact, but the mysteries of the heart. The Crying Tree has won many awards and accolades--it was a 2010 Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award winner, is a 2010 Target Stores Breakout Pick and a favorite handsell at bookstores. Now it has been chosen as the only book by an American author for the relaunch of the U.K.'s Richard and Judy Book Club. "A mesmerizing novel about tragedy and the redemptive power of forgiveness."

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