The Trees is a bold, intriguing conceit for a dystopian environmental novel…The strength of the novel – Shaw’s third – is in the visceral descriptions of the forest: the reader feels, smells and hears the trees, convincingly portrayed as sinister, formidable and with unnerving intentions of their own. Shaw gradually builds up a sense of the supernatural, including “whisperers” – small twig-and-leaf creatures visible only to selected humans.
It happens in the deepest hours of the night: the trees claim back what once was theirs. Suddenly the world is a forest and civilisation is shattered. Adrien has to leave what he once called home to find his wife on the other side of the sea. But it’s what he will find at the heart of the forest that will change him forever.
3.7 rating based on 2,430 ratings (all editions)
Author(s): Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (UK)
There came an elastic aftershock of creaks and groans and then, softly softly, a chinking shower of rubbled cement. Leaves calmed and trunks stood serene. Where, not a minute before, there had been a suburb, there was now only woodland standing amid ruins…
There is no warning. No chance to prepare.
They arrive in the night: thundering up through the ground, transforming streets and towns into shadowy forest. Buildings are destroyed. Broken bodies, still wrapped in tattered bed linen, hang among the twitching leaves.
Adrien Thomas has never been much of a hero. But when he realises that no help is coming, he ventures out into this unrecognisable world. Michelle, his wife, is across the sea in Ireland and he has no way of knowing whether the trees have come for her too.
Then Adrien meets green-fingered Hannah and her teenage son Seb. Together, they set out to find Hannah’s forester brother, to reunite Adrien with his wife – and to discover just how deep the forest goes.
Their journey will take them to a place of terrible beauty and violence, to the dark heart of nature and the darkness inside themselves.