by Naseem Rakha
$14.00, 368 pages. Paperback. <–releases on Tuesday, July 6th!
$22.95, 353 pages. Hardcover.
Award-winning journalist and author Naseem Rakha’s debut novel, “The Crying Tree,” is a moving story of a mother’s journey from loving her son to forgiving his murderer. This page-turner is both intense and dark. As a journalist, Rakha’s stories have been heard on NPR’s All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Marketplace Radio, Christian Science Monitor, and Living on Earth.
In the spring of 2009, award-winning journalist and author, Naseem Rakha, contacted The Book Nook about having a signing for this novel. I picked up the book out of a sense of duty, because (since she was a first-time novel author) I had low expectations. I was happily surprised to find the novel to be an engrossing read. The Book Nook had Rakha for the signing in June of 2009, and I had long-since finished the book by then.
Rakha generates suspense from the first sentence, exploring what happens to a family after their 15-year-old son is tragically murdered in a home invasion. However, as the reader delves deeper into the book, the question of the death penalty begins to figure more and more strongly in the plot, and the mixed emotions of this question begin to swirl.
The Crying Tree is a fabulous family drama that focuses on what happens to surviving loved ones when a violent unexpected tragedy occurs. Some of the subject matter is painful and difficult but very important to the powerful story of grief and forgiveness. This book would be great for discussions and book clubs.
As an avid fan of Jodi Picoult, I say to the community: If you are a fan of Jodi Picoult, you will love this book! The twists and turns of Rakha’s plot are reminiscent of Picoult’s own unpredictable plot masterpieces.
This was, perhaps, the best book I read in 2009. (It’s only competition being The Day the Falls Stood Still.)
Overall Rating: 9.5/10
Patricia Donovan, The Book Nook, 6/1/10