Underwhelmed with “The Overstory”

I was so excited to read this book. I love trees. We’re in quarantine so a 500+ page book didn’t intimidate me. I got a dog (pictured above) who loves to lie on my lap and sleep (does it get any better for reading?). It took me a couple of times to stick with this book. It was picked for my book club and I was ready to read it, but the first few pages were dense.

Once I got into The Overstory, I was into it. Characters were introduced with short stories giving their history, and they were written so beautifully. I enjoyed each mini-story I could only assume would overlap at some point since the book is broken up into different sections.

Typically I love this kind of setup. It’s a great mystery how these people are going to eventually cross paths, and I can’t wait to discover it. Once that started happening here, I wasn’t really into it. The plot took a sharp turn from where I had hoped it would go.

Throughout, I learned a lot about trees, and fell in love with some of the characters. Some of the characters I feel could have been left out completely; given a separate book for their storyline.

Though I knew this was a story of sweeping proportions, I feel like it was far too long. Maybe that’s because I sort of lost interest in the story. I kept reading because characters I enjoyed were peppered in between bits I didn’t care for.

Maybe you will love this book. It’s a great work that does an incredible job of weaving stories together across time and distance. It won a Pulitzer Prize for goodness sake. But, it just wasn’t my favorite.

What this book did do for me, was make me want to pick up The Hidden Life of Trees again. So you’ll probably see something from me about that in the not too distant future.

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