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The Lion Trees by [Thomas, Owen]
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The Lion Trees Kindle Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews

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Length: 827 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews


"Highly addictive, spectacular,and mind blowing... Thomas is a wizard of fiction." -- U.S.Review of Books
[FOURSTARS]... "...[A]n amazingly entertainingpiece of literature ... and do I dare say it, a serious novel that providesyou with some genuine laugh out loud moments. ... Owen Thomas's writing leavesyou richer with emotions and contentment even before the ending arrives. Ifthere is only one book that you are going to read this year, make it The LionTrees." -

[FIVE STARS]..."I've been an avid reader for well over thirty-fiveyears. I've been a reviewer for over a dozen. I've been bombarded by today'scookie cutter story assembly and I despise it. ... Then, someone like OwenThomas comes along and reminds me what the book world CAN offer, what a storyCAN be. ... [T]his was an astounding read for me. Not only was the storytelling mesmerizing, but Owen's writing style is inspiring. His writing isseamless and flawless and makes me yearn for more." --
[A] cerebral page turner...a powerful and promisingdebut.--Kirkus Reviews
[FIVE STARS]..."This is a powerful, gripping and realistic story.Once, a few decades ago, many authors would set out to write "The GreatAmerican Novel," hoping to tap into whatever it is which makes the US andits people so unique and hopeful, particularly at a set point in time. ...These days it doesn't seem like anyone tries to write those kind of seminalnovels anymore... until now. ... The Lion Trees does what so very few greatnovels can: it will take a lot out of you, but leave you with much more thanyou had when you began." - Pacific Book Review

About the Author

Owen Thomas, a life-long Alaskan with an abiding love of original fiction, is a product of the Anchorage School District and a graduate of Duke University and Duke Law School. While managing an employment litigation practice in Alaska, Owen has written three novels: Lying Under Comets: A Love Story of Passion, Murder, Snacks and Graffiti; The Lion Trees, winner of thirteen international book awards (including the 2015 Kindle Book Award, the Eric Hoffer Book Award, the First Horizon Award, the London Book Festival, the New York Book Festival, the Beverly Hills International Book Awards, and the Amsterdam Book Festival); and a novel of interconnected short fiction entitled Signs of Passing, winner of nine book festival awards (including the Pacific Book Awards for Short Fiction and the Great Southeast Book Festival). Owen maintains an active fiction and photography blog on his author website at

Product Details

  • File Size: 3912 KB
  • Print Length: 827 pages
  • Publication Date: August 25, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00N245T0M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #880 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Owen Thomas's new two-volume novel, The Lion Trees, arguably lacks the "increasing economy of expression" that he attributes to the writing of one of his central figures. However, it is precisely the Socratic detail with which he examines the lives of his characters, the leisurely and time-shifting unpeeling of the onion layers of their personalities, that makes these books such a worthwhile pleasure to read. A lesser writer could have set forth declarative statements of existential philosophy with more succinct expression, but only a master novelist can lead his readers to experience the rich contours of his characters' lives and to draw their own conclusions and meanings from them, as Thomas has done in this powerful work.

In a previous review of The Lion Trees, Part One: Unraveling, I wrote about a central theme of identity that was introduced in the first volume. Are we doomed to replay the central elements of our characters over and over again, like an actress playing a part, or perhaps even being recast in the same persona for multiple iterations of a film production? Can we ever escape that wheel of pain by finally getting it right, nailing the role? Is this high Buddhist philosophy or the insightful comedy of Groundhog Day?

In Part Two: Awakening, answers are provided, or at least suggested, and they are, I am pleased to say, hopeful. The story of the lion tree, recounted by a fictional persona played by an actress, is a metaphor that combines survivor guilt, abandonment and the cycle of return. It is emblematic of the lives of Susan, the mother in the dysfunctional Johns family, and Tilly, her daughter. Yet, both are able to break out of the cycle, largely through their own strength.
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I’m not sure I can put into words how I feel about these books (parts one and two). At more than 800 pages each, I was a little nervous about getting started. I hoped I would like them, but never dreamed how quickly and deeply I would be drawn in. Told from four different viewpoints, it’s the story of a family – a very dysfunctional one, at that. Hollis, Susan, and David’s chapters are set in the same relative time frame, Tilly’s moves around some, and there are occasional insertions of dialog from the fictional book (within the book) The Lion Tree by Angus Mann. I’m sure it sounds confusing but, trust me… it’s not. After reading just one chapter from each character, I was hooked and read every free opportunity I could find. Intelligent, thought-provoking – I love the author’s writing style and how he brought the characters totally to life. My only complaint would be how often I ran across the incorrect usage of they’re/their and your/you’re. I didn’t expect it given the overall quality of the writing and blamed it on poor editing/proofing so as not to let it spoil the overall experience.

Perhaps this was just a good foil for me as a way to escape the problems of my own life, by immersing myself into another far more problematic than my own. Then again, I think I would have been drawn to these characters regardless. They came alive for me and I found myself thinking about them often throughout the day. By the time I reached the end, I hated to let them go – even if the story did conclude satisfactorily.
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This is a follow up to my review of Part One, the Unraveling.

The second book was even more pleasurable reading than the first, in that I was already intrigued with the main characters and wanted know how their complicated lives would unfold. It was satisfying to be able to travel with them all through many more years and witness (and believe) the outcome.

I would concur with other reviewers that these books are not "light" reading. The weight comes from the intense introspection, beautifully sculpted character studies, and careful and authentic attention to the many surrounding circumstances.
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Format: Kindle Edition
“Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans” - John Lennon

As I finished reading the novel which fully deserves that loosely and widely used epithet ‘magnum opus’, I realized that The Lion Trees was much more than what it claims to be and definitely wiser than what I could comprehend in the first reading. And yet, it is those first impressions that matter most of the time and of which I’m about to share with you. As I close my eyes and look back at the book, certain images that my mind crafted while reading this novel comes alive to me in spurts and in solitary, of connecting with another individual, experiencing their angst, their remorse, their resolve, their happiness, their endings. And when I think about it, it sometimes feels like I’m drifting in and out of sleep, recollecting images from a dream that I’ve seen or perhaps one I’m seeing right now but I know they were from a book, from a novel that is as real as fictionalized reality gets or perhaps and funnily enough from pure fiction shot with an absolute dose of honest reality.

Author Owen Thomas’s two part saga on family and the lives of individuals that make up such a social unit form the base for his novel, ‘The Lion Trees’. Juxtaposing with the moral and social environment of America circa 2005, his novel reads as a part impressionistic memoir and part anecdotal account of the lives of five individuals of a family. They are the Johns family; papa Hollis, mom Susan and siblings David and Tilly’s separate narrative intertwines with each other’s and sometimes stays afloat on its own. But the one thing that unites them all is Ben, Hollis and Susan’s third child and the one constant presence in all their lives.
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