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The Green Trees Beyond: A Memoir Hardcover – June, 1994

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Readers who enjoyed Lawrence's The North Runner and Secret Go the Wolves will welcome these memoirs of his active, adventurous life. Son of an English father and a Spanish mother, he spent his childhood in Spain. At 15, during the Spanish Civil War, he enlisted in the Republican Army and fought in the infantry. Lawrence escaped to France in 1938, returning to England to enlist in the British Army. He was evacuated at Dunkirk, then transferred to the 7th Royal Tank Regiment, saw action in the desert and, in June 1944, was severely wounded in Normandy. After a long convalescence, he studied biology at Cambridge and found his way into journalism. Dissatisfied with life in postwar England, Lawrence went to Canada in 1954, to homestead in western Ontario. He was totally unprepared for a Canadian winter, and deeply grateful to his neighbors for their help. Relating events of his life in Canada, his love of the North and its wildlife, Lawrence pens a fitting postscript to his other books. Photos.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

An author of more than 20 books (e.g., White Puma, LJ 4/15/90), Lawrence is best known for his writings about wildlife and wilderness conservation and especially about wolves. Now in his seventies, he turns his observations inward, telling his own story. Some of the passages here have appeared in other works. The first several chapters, covering Lawrence's childhood in Spain through his service in World War II, read like journal entries featuring lots of action but very little emotion or reflection. The second half of the book is almost lyrical in its descriptive passages, and the narration of his life's events are paced with a storyteller's ear. Here Lawrence reveals the emotion behind his ambition and reflects upon his chosen path. Told with modesty, gentle humor, and an honest perception of one man's place in the world, Lawrence's memoirs are a pleasure to read. Because of his reputation, libraries with environmental collections will want to consider, as will libraries strong in biography and nature writing.
Denise Sticha, Carnegie Lib. of Pittsburgh
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 318 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt & Co; 1st edition (June 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805012974
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805012972
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,946,774 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Peach Blossom Lane on January 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I had never heard of R.D. Lawrence before I checked this book out of the library and then became such a fan, I had to track down the rest of his writings.
Lawrence, who died a few years back, had an extraordinary life. He was a British citizen born of an English father and Spanish mother and reared in Spain. At the age of 14 he fought in the Spanish Civil War, sustaining wounds himself and watching his boyhood friends die beside him. By the time he got out of that army and back to England, he was drafted into World War II. Following some horrific experiences and more wounds, he suffered from what we would today call PTSD. Realizing that he felt calmest in quiet, people-free environments, he traveled to Canada and bought land in an isolated area. The early chapters prior to his finding a home in Canada are interesting and his experiences unique, but it is only when he begins to write of nature that his passion for all wild things is seen. His early memoir chapters are told mostly without emotion, but as he "finds himself" in the wilds of Canada, he begins to heal and start to feel emotions within himself that he thought no longer existed. Particularly riveting is his story of the wolf dog who brought his emotions back and taught him to love again. Lawrence's later book, The North Runner, is a riveting story of man, dog, and nature, but this book contains a sample of the later one. This book is a good place in which to discover the lyrical writings of R.D. Lawrence (once you get to the second half of the book, but it is in his later books that he truly shines.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
R.D. Lawrence has become one of my very favorite authors in the year since I discovered his books. He has a way of taking the reader right into the forest with him and giving us deep knowledge and understanding of the animals among which he lived.

This book is somewhat darker and has some surprises that won't be found in his other books. Being autobiographical, he shares stories of his childhood on the coast of Spain, and tells of his involvement in battles during the Spanish Civil War and WWII. In some of his other book we see some glimpses of the emotional scarring he had from the wars, but this book explains a lot more about what can only be described as Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. He had a hard time relating to human beings, but found acceptance and peace among the forests and animals in Canada's wilderness.

The reader will also learn additional details about some of the stories he included in other books. I suggest reading this book after you've read his others - it helped me better understand this deep and complicated man.
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