The Memory Tree
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
When Paulina dies mid-dance, leaving 12-year-old Zav and 7-year-old Sealie with Hal, their loving yet often unstable father, the family decides to plant a tree in her memory. This beautiful magnolia tree grows apace with the children, standing proud in the garden, a special place where secrets are whispered and feelings can be confessed. As the memory tree grows, Hal, in pure grief for Paulina, feels increasingly suspicious of the world, and turns to his own brand of salvation to make sense of the voices he hears. Mrs Mac, the housekeeper and second mother since Paulina's death, cooks, cleans, loves and worries about 'her family'. She is even more concerned when Hal brings a stranger, Godown Moses, to the house for a beer. But Pastor Moses B. Washbourne of the Church of the Divine Conflagration, ex-sergeant of the US Army, soon becomes part of the family, with surprising and far-reaching consequences. As the seasons pass, Sealie blossoms into a lovely young woman, the apple of Hal's eye; Zav, having spent his childhood quietly trying to win his father's lost attention, marries young and has a daughter, born while he is on his first tour of duty in Vietnam.And all the while, the voices continue to murmur poisonous words to Hal, who knows to keep them hidden...until he is persuaded into the most tragic of acts. Written with humour, compassion and poignancy, The Memory Tree is an unputdownable story of love, grief and forgiveness.
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