What if trees are able to communicate with ourselves? How can we stop and listen? Author Richard Powers’ book, The Overstory, follows a cast of nine characters, dealing with the history of migration to America. We meet, a plant biologist Patricia “Plant-Patty” Westerford, whose research into the world of trees is controversial and bold; the Hoel family, a set of Norwegian immigrants whose dedication to a great chestnut tree represents the passing of time; and, Olivia Vandergriff, a bored college student, who finds herself fascinated by ecology after nearly dying due to a drug-induced escapade.
“This book is beyond special. Richard Powers manages to turn trees into vivid and engaging characters, something that indigenous people have done for eons but that modern literature has rarely if ever even attempted. It’s not just a completely absorbing, even overwhelming book; it’s a kind of breakthrough in the ways we think about and understand the world around us, at a moment when that is desperately needed.”