Very few things shock me anymore. I’m not exactly sure if the fault is entirely literary based (ie. my addiction to all things Stephen King) but the fact remains that I rarely find myself mouth agape, and hand to chest these days. To shock me, you must be original, you must be disturbingly graphic, and if all of these still fail to warrant a response, you must be completely void of boundaries.
In “The Tree Goddess” Tom Raimbault manages to do all of the above, and he does it so well that at times I actually questioned his mental stability.
Mapleview is a small town, and like most small towns, is filled with folklore and an over abundance of urban legends, but UNLIKE the twisted tales of most towns the ones in Mapleview are actually true. Haunted house? No problem. A hand in the bottom of a vase? Sure… got that too. Everyone has a secret, everyone is hiding who they REALLY are, and more importantly… something not so friendly is stalking the Trivelli house.
It’s difficult to describe this novel with the gusto and attention it deserves, not because I’m lazy, (which lets face it… is usually the case) the problem comes with the complexity in which the novel is written. “The Tree Goddess” is NOT a simple read. The plot spans several years and includes a very large collection of characters, (and by large I’m talking may-need-a-flow-chart large) Luckily the extraordinarily detailed and twisty-turny plot doesn’t pull from the overall success of the novel, (which could have very easily been the case.) Instead it brings the BIGGER story to life… one demented piece at a time.
And if all of that wasn’t enough to suck you in, Raimbault (inadvertently) left his readers prizes! Several times throughout the novel he would jump from his (current) narrative to address the reader in first person. (For example: If you are reading this book in 10 years…) And…he wrote an introduction explaining his writing process and inspiration (which we all know I LOVE.)
Simply put… this was a fantastic novel. The writing was great, the story was warped and even though it ended at measly 308 pages… it could have very easily kept going, and I (without a doubt) would have kept on reading.
If you are a fan of horror (King, Strand, Nicholson etc.) you will not be disappointed. For the rest of you I issue this warning. Ugly things live in this book, if you are the sensitive type you might want to take a wide step to the left.
Happy reading my fellow Kindle-ites and remember: If you see a woman riding her bike into the woods… turn around and leave immediately. Don’t ask why… just do it.
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