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The Willow Tree Paperback – January 20, 2014
In Twenty Years: A Novel
When five college roommates gather after twenty years, can the rifts between them be repaired? Learn More
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Top Customer Reviews
Well, let's start by saying that this isn't a book for the faint of heart. It deals in hyper-realistic abuse and tragedy and the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
I was abused myself as a child. The opening of this book brought a flood of memories and heartache.
She captures the sense of loss and worthlessness incredibly well, she doesn't leave out a single thing, which is surprising, since the description of Elan above, in her "About the Author" section doesn't seem to indicate anything about her having been abused; I'm assuming this was written with the help of someone who was. The images portrayed, the feelings discussed... These don't come from an idle mind wondering "What must it be like?" These are raw, real emotions and not for people with a weak stomach.
Elan has a wonderful way with words. The way she writes seems to flow from one page to the next. You don't read this book, you're pulled along by it. Moments come up when you need to go do something and you suppress it, make time for it later, simply to keep reading.
One thing I didn't really buy was the ostracizing behavior exhibited by the 'black culture' of Detroit that was showcased, for several reasons.
Firstly, I am from St. Louis. I went to East St. Louis, which is far worse on it's best day than Detroit on it's worst. Nine murders a night in a city an eighth of the size. I knew plenty of black people who preferred to hang with white people, they got some jeers and jabs, but at the end of the day, they were still black. They were still loved by their black friends and family.Read more ›
Emma’s struggles aren’t unlike the average teenage girl who seeks to be something more than what she is, who pursues popularity and acceptance, and desires to be beautiful and admired. The years that she was abused physically, mentally and sexually forced deep pitted gashes inside the twisted crevasses of her mind. They control her, pushing her to depression, and actions that place her on the edge; reminding her that she is alive, putting pain into her numbness.
Elan Carson uses a lyrical sing songy poetic tone in her writing. The images flow easily from one page to the next within visual scenes drawn by the words of the text. The novel places the reader front and center in Emma’s horrific world where they witness her pain, suffering and anger but also her unnatural feelings towards her step father as both a “lover” and a torturer. Few authors have such a profound ability to illustrate emotions, and feelings bringing the reader on an impassioned journey with the protagonist.
The Willow Tree is a novel I envision as a beloved paperback; crinkled edges, sagging binding, countless pages twisted over in a familiar book marking pattern, and borrowing disallowed by the owner in fear of it not being returned. This novel is timeless and will be endeared every bit as much in a hundred years as it is today.
Where the story falls short for me is that it is over written, needlessly purple prosey, and exhaustively introspective. There were many chapters, especially in the beginning of the story where Emma is playing lingual gymnastics with how metaphorically she can relay her feelings or a brutal act that the scene and the characters become completely lost. I began to wonder after several paragraphs where we were and who we're with, only to find myself not really caring all that much when the story finally clued me in paragraphs latter. This aspect greatly improves as we move from Emma's high school life to college life, but it's definitely an uphill sludge to get there and there are still instances where it creeps back in drastically slowing the pace the story.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I discovered this author completely by accident, got loaned a copy of her book, and am thrilled to get to review it. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Eve's Folly
I received a copy of "The Willow Tree" from the author against an honest review.
“The Willow Tree” is the dizzying emotional journey of Emma’s experience as a... Read more
THE WILLOW TREE
by Elan Carson
Elan Carson has written a sensitive, first-person account of Emma, a young woman who has suffered abuse from her stepfather. Read more
I received a copy of this book free in response to an offer of review. I have to say that I struggled with it in parts, although I immediately recognized the writer's extraordinary... Read morePublished on April 7, 2014 by Rainbowriter
Poignant, chilling and relevant come to mind as I reflect on The Willow Tree, by Elan M Carson. Be prepared for the facts of life and raw emotion that comes from those who live... Read morePublished on March 1, 2014 by Trenna
I really enjoyed reading this book! I was looking for a good story to keep me entertained and I sure did find it with The Willow Tree. Read morePublished on January 25, 2014 by serenity