Time and the Tree by Róisín Sorahan
Publisher: Adelaide Books, NY (September 6, 2021
Category: Literary Fiction, Fantasy, Modern Fable, and Self-actualization
Available in Print and ebook, 282 pages
A modern fable about the nature of time and the quest for happiness. It’s darkly funny, deceptively simple, and a necessary read for testing times. In this gripping philosophical tale, a boy awakens beneath a tree in a forest in summer. He is soon joined by Time and his slave, a withered creature hooked on time and aching to disappear. The story evolves over the course of a year as a host of characters are drawn to the Tree for guidance. The unlikely cast grapple with choices and grope towards self-knowledge in a world where compassion is interwoven with menace. As the seasons bring great changes to the forest, we watch the child grow while the trials he faces mount. Then the time for talk and innocence passes as the forces of darkness rally, threatening the lives of his friends. Lyrical, honest and heart-breaking, Time and the Tree confronts readers with a unique perspective on the challenges life presents. A wise and hopeful book, it is uplifting and unsettling by turns.
Guest Book Review by Sal
First, we are introduced to the Boy and then, to the Tree.
Róisín Sorahan’s eclectic and enchanting tale has a truly timeless aura. This is the type of story that will be immediately familiar to anyone who read fairy tales as a child. The forest setting, the child protagonist, the struggle, and the morals that he learns along the way. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start at the beginning as all good stories should.
This story begins with a boy waking up in the forest. He is parched from thirst and a wise, old tree tells him where to get a drink of water. The Boy and the Tree quickly become friends and achieve ultimate peace and harmony as they watch the clouds and the Boy sleeps in the Tree’s branches. However, the world soon intrudes.
Of course, any good fairy tale has to have conflict. This fairy tale’s conflict comes in the form of time itself. Not ‘time’ as the inexorable concept, but Time as an actual physical manifestation.
Time is man who wears a brass hat and silk cravat. He has a creature that follows him around who is called Shadow and who he jauntily refers to as his slave. Time is strange, obviously, and Time is manipulative.
But Time is not the last of the travelers that the Boy and the Tree meet. Lots of wanderers happen by the Tree and not all of them are so rude or spiteful. But ultimately, the seasons pass and the Boy must learn many lessons about himself and nature that give the story its moral backbone.
When I tell you this story is magical, I’m understating it. Sorahan tells a tale that seems both familiar and new, and one that would be treasured by any reader. Definitely add ‘Time and a Tree’ to your list if you haven’t already!
About the Author
Róisín Sorahan is an Irish author currently living in Vermont. She has published numerous stories about her adventures on the road, as well as life as an English teacher in China. Prior to becoming a nomad writer, she pursued a decade-long career in public relations. She holds a Master of Letters from Trinity College Dublin, specializing in Samuel Beckett. Time and the Tree is her debut novel.
Buy Time and the Tree
This giveaway is for 3 print or ebook copies, One for each of 3 winners. Print is open to Canada and the U.S. only and ebook is open worldwide. This giveaway ends on March 12, 2022 midnight, pacific time. Entries accepted via Rafflecopter only.
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Praise for Time and the Tree
Time and the Tree by Roisin Sorahan is truly a masterpiece…A fable full of thought-provoking metaphors, knowledge, and awareness of the bigger picture…I would recommend it for all who relish beautiful literature, especially stories with a deeper meaning.”-San Francisco Book Review (5/5 star rating)
“Time and the Tree explores matters of spirit, intention, kindness and how to live the time that is offered through a series of revelations that will often prompt readers to set aside the tale to consider their own relationships with time and life. Sorahan’s…ability to bring to life some basic tenets of existence and the existential questions many come to feel during the course of a lifetime creates an insightful read on the level of The Velveteen Rabbit classic.”- D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
“A genre-busting masterpiece, full of pacy storytelling, wry dialogue and philosophical challenge…”-Declan Kiberd, Author (incl. Inventing Ireland), Professor Emeritus at the University of Notre Dame, and international authority on modern Irish literature
“Time and the Tree is unlike anything I’ve read in contemporary literature – a beautiful fable fit for difficult and confusing days.”-Luke Gerwe – Associate Editor, PBS NewsHour, and formerly Managing Editor, Voice of Witness book series
“An uplifting and tranquil allegory filled with positivity and hope, ‘Time and the Tree’ by Róisín Sorahan is a magical tale of a young boy who lives in a forest, a wise and caring tree which offers shelter and guidance and numerous other characters that appear in order to challenge and change under the tree and the boy’s influence. This book is filled with lessons: to be mindful and present instead of constantly rushing towards a tomorrow that’s just out of reach; the importance of healing past trauma and self-love and acceptance, or showing empathy for others. Hope and positivity flows from the pages of this lyrical story as we navigate the ever-changing seasons in this magical forest. ‘Time and the Tree’ is well-written, its characters compliment each other, with the naivety and curiosity of the young boy setting up many of the lessons. There is a level of spirituality in this book, it encourages meditation and gratitude while also promoting that it’s ok to be you, to embrace your unique qualities and to follow your own path. Told with an emphasis on nature, ‘Time and the Tree’ is an uplifting read that will infuse any reader’s day with positivity. It’s imagery and storyline are gentle and easy to follow with its underlying message about looking to the light in all things will leave readers with warm feelings of hope and positivity. I found this book entertaining and witty in places, but ultimately it left me with a sense of peace and calm.”-LoveReading
“This is a lovely story that, on the surface, appears like a simple fairy tale. But it is much more than that. It is full of symbolism and knowledge…this book has a beautiful message that is sure to stay with me.T ime and the Tree is a beautiful debut from a talented author.”-Manhattan Book Review