Year 15, Book 42

42. The Overstory by Richard Powers

The first quarter of this book is almost like a series of short stories connected by each one containing something to do with trees. Even though I am not usually one for short stories, I thought that part of the book was lovely. The stories were beautifully written and I loved how the author imbued them with so much meaning from the trees. I should have quit reading there because the remaining 450 or so pages were nothing but diminishing returns. Some of the stories become interconnected during the remainder of the book, but characters from a couple of them inexplicably move forward with no connections to any of the others. I didn’t feel like I really learned anything more about the characters than I got from their stories at the beginning. I also didn’t really care about what little plot occurred over the great expanse of the book. If you like short stories I would actually highly recommend reading the beginning of the book, but then save yourself and stop when you get to the chapters named after tree parts rather than people. It’s hard to rate this book since I really liked about a quarter of it, but really disliked the vast majority of it. I guess I’ll average it out and give it a 5 out of 10.

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