Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Christmas Tree

The Christmas Tree. Julie Salamon. 1996. Random House. 118 pages. [Source: Bought]

The Christmas Tree is technically a reread for me, although I haven't reviewed it on my blog. I picked this one up because I remembered enjoying the movie adaptation of it. It didn't disappoint. What I like best about this feel-good Christmas story are the flashbacks.

The chief gardener for Rockefeller Center narrates Julie Salamon's The Christmas Tree. In his own words, this gardener tells of his search, his on-going, never-ending search for THE tree. If he's not looking for this year's tree, his mind is already on finding NEXT year's tree. The book is about one special tree in particular, one that led to an ongoing friendship.

One day the narrator spots THE tree from a helicopter. He learns it's on the property of a convent. He goes. He talks. He asks. He meets Sister Anthony THE nun who will decide if he can have the tree or not. They have more in common than he was expecting certainly. But. She's not ready or willing to part with the tree called, TREE.

Sister Anthony is a storyteller. She is. And the narrator turns out to be a good listener. Over several years at least, he keeps coming back to see her, to visit with her and hear her stories. He has things to share as well. Through these sections, readers learn of Anna.

In the flashbacks, readers meet a young orphan named Anna who eventually came to be raised at the convent. Her story is very personal, and it reveals her affection, her connection to nature. The young girl as you've probably guessed IS Sister Anthony herself.

I loved Anna. I did. Her part in the story is what made it work for me. It was her connection with the tree--in the past and present--that kept me reading.

© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Christina T 11:58 AM  

I have read a children's picture book about the Rockefeller Center tree and when I saw your review I thought perhaps this was a different version of that story but it isn't. It sounds really good and I will have to look for The Christmas Tree for next Christmas.

Thanks for sharing your review!

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