The Waiting Tree — Review

June 13, 2013

I recently finished reading The Waiting Tree by Lindsay Moynihan, which I received as an e-galley via NetGalley.

The Waiting Tree follows Simon, a gay teen whose life has recently been dashed to pieces and is dealing with more than anyone his age (or anyone ever, for that matter) should have to.

The Waiting Tree is stunning and raw and I couldn’t stop reading. The easy adjective to use would be “depressing,” but that isn’t quite right. There is so much darkness, doubt and uncertainty in Simon’s life and Moynnihan does not tie everything up in a neat little bow at the end. I can’t call it uplifting, but there are glimmers of hope and in that I think maybe The Waiting Tree, though it is a work of fiction, is a guide to salvation for those going through similar struggles. Perhaps I’ve been watching too many spoken word performances tied to the It Gets Better campaign on YouTube, but that’s what I’m choosing to take away from this. As Winston Churchill said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

The Waiting Tree will not be for everyone. There are funny moments and moments of beauty sprinkled throughout, but many readers might not be able to get beyond the grittiness of the story. If you can stomach going through the day-to-day life of a teen ostracized not only in his community, but in his own house, then I certainly recommend it.

The Waiting Tree came out in May, so I expect that we’ll be hearing a lot about it in the coming months. Clearly you should read it now so that you’ll be ahead of the pack when everyone starts buzzing about it.

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