[PDF] The Memory Tree By Tess Evans – serv3.3pub.co.uk

[PDF] The Memory Tree By Tess Evans – serv3.3pub.co.uk [Reading] ➿ The Memory Tree Author Tess Evans – Serv3.3pub.co.uk When Paulina dies mid dance she leaves 12 year old Zav and 7 year old Sealie with their loving but unstable father Hal The grieving family decides to plant a tree in her memory a magnolia which growin When Paulina dies mid dance she leaves year old The Memory Kindle - Zav and year old Sealie with their loving but unstable father Hal The grieving family decides to plant a tree in her memory a magnolia which growing along with the children offers a special place where secrets are whispered and feelings can be confessedBut as The Memory Tree grows Hal bereft and increasingly suspicious of the world turns to his own brand of salvation to make sense of the voices that bewilder and torment him Mrs Mac housekeeper and second mother since Paulina's death cooks cleans loves and worries about her 'family' She is even concerned when Hal brings a larger than life stranger to the house for a beer; but Pastor Moses B Washbourne founder of the Church of the Divine Conflagration ex sergeant of the US Army soon becomes part of the family with surprising and far reaching conseuencesAs the seasons pass Sealie blossoms into young woman the apple of Hal's eye while Zav having spent his childhood uietly trying to win his father's lost attention is conscripted for duty in VietnamAnd all the while the voices continue to murmur poisonous words to Hal who knows he must keep them hidden until he is persuaded into the most tragic of actsWritten with humour and compassion The Memory Tree is a poignant and compelling story of love loyalty grief and forgiveness.

10 thoughts on “The Memory Tree

  1. Sharon Sharon says:

    With the sudden death of his wife Paulina Hal must find the strength to get through each day if not for himself then for his two young children Throughout this story we are taken on a pretty sad journey at times on how a family must struggle through and try to pull together and be there for one another in the good times and the bad times A beautifully written tale about love family death friendship mental illness and so much For some who read this you may want to keep the tissues close at hand as it is rather sad at times but in saying that it's well worth reading Recommended

  2. ☼♄Jülie  ☼♄Jülie  says:

    The Memory Tree by Tess EvansWhen Hal's adored wife Paulina dies suddenly whilst dancing with her seven year old daughter Selina Sealie in the kitchen of their home it is than he can comprehend or bearPaulina is an exceptionally good and highly regarded ballerina with a great career ahead of her and she is the love of Hal's lifeNow Hal's adored wife and Sealie and her 12 year old brother Zav's mother is suddenly and inexplicably gone from their livesone minute laughing and dancing in the kitchen next minute dead on the kitchen floorwith no apparent signs of death or life about herWhen Sealie realizes this is not part of the game she starts screaming The housekeeper MrsMac finds them first then ZavAs MrsMac takes control and makes all the calls Sealie finds her brother Zav locked in his special hiding place under the stairs and she joins him thereAbsolutely bereft and inconsolable Hal takes to his bed and refuses all attempts to be roused from his grief and as he sinks deeper and deeper into his state of oblivion MrsMac is left in sole charge of caring for his children and keeping a grip on the tenuous strings that connect them allThe day comes when Mrs Mac puts her foot down and uses threats to rouse Hal from his torpor succeeding in getting his attention long enough to make him think about his children and what they can doHe finally dresses and comes down to join them for breakfast where he tells his children that they will go out and buy a Magnolia tree to plant in the garden as a memorial to their mother The tree will grow with them and as they watch it grow they will be able to visit their mother there at any timeThe days pass slowly and although their grief eases small cracks begin to appear in the foundations of this little familyHal's behavior starts to become erratic as he gropes forwhat??he doesn't know After insulting his priest and forsaking his religion Hal is looking for some sort of balance to fill the huge void that his lost love has left and as he wanders aimlessly his mind starts to wander alsoThe only times he feels anything is when he can hear things clearly and then he is grateful for those guiding voices in his headIn his search for that something Hal makes some rash decisions and judgements which upset and destabilize his family even He causes radical changes to their living conditions after he finds a ray of hope in a stranger; Pastor Moses B Washbourne founder of the Church of the Divine Conflagration whom on the spur of the moment Hal invites to come live at his houseHis family's concern for his apparent declining mental stability is ever increasingThe story follows Hal's slow descent into a sort of madness which is seemingly not bad enough to cause too much alarm for his friends and family because he always comes out of it yet is bad enough to occasionally raise doubtsYears go by and Hal's mood swings become an accepted part of his changing personality not altogether preferable among his family and friends but still they decide not cause for too much concernThen one day seemingly out of nowhere and without rhyme reason or warning something unthinkable happens that will rock the foundations of this small family once againBut how will they ever survive this? How could they ever recover from this??My goodness what a journey I had no idea that this book would take me on such a journey as this It is the journey of a lifetime or the lifetime's of the people in this story spanning some 40 odd yearsWe watch as they grow and suffer and grow and decline and suffer some as they continue to grow individually and collectivelyWith several strong key personalities involved the dynamics within this family household are a constant source of tense curiosity for the reader as we watch or await their individual reactions to the unfolding eventsTess Evans has an amazing acuity for describing the conditions surrounding the emotions at play at any given circumstance or shocking event making this a hard to put down bookI must admit to being deceived by its cover as it does not except for its reference to a magnolia imply any of the drama and anguish withinThis is not a criticism just an observation as I was not expecting it to go uite so deepTess Evans' insight into the wiles and thought processes of this man's slow decline into a kind of madness is uite amazingBy no means a light read it does give the reader a lot of insight into mental illness and how deceiving to all concerned can be the decline of the human mindIt will have you uestioning your own capacity for all things such as faith patience love friendship resilience and not the least of all for Forgiveness and GraceThis is the second book by this author and my second read of her work I already have a copy of her third book Mercy Street here waiting to be read soonMany thanks to the author Tess Evans for gifting me a signed copy of this thought provoking book4★suotes I likedShe died to Les Sylphides Her last dance was the Pas de Deux Waltz What was worse he wondered to follow the wrong religion or to have no religion at all?We are believers in search of a homeIfis such a little word but it punches way above its weight

  3. The Cats’ Mother The Cats’ Mother says:

    This moving Australian family drama has been sitting in my book club pile for a few years but I am making a concerted effort to reduce it and have again found myself really liking a book that I had low expectations of Beginning in the 1950s this is about the Rodriguez family from Melbourne and the devastating effects that the father's mental illness has on the family over the following decades When their mother dies suddenly seven year old Sealie and twelve year old Zav are left in the care of their boisterous father Hal and their loyal housekeeper Mrs Mac but Hal's grief sets off his latent manic depression and an obsession with religion that will have terrible conseuencesTold from the point of view of Grace the grand daughter in a wonderfully warm and empathetic voice this beautifully written story is terribly sad but totally worth reading If you are struggling with the slow pace I strongly recommend pushing on past page 200 before considering giving up The ending felt very appropriate too

  4. Marianne Marianne says:

    The Memory Tree is the second novel by Australian author Tess Evans It is the late 1950s in the rural Victorian town of Yarra Falls When ballerina Paulina Rodriguez suddenly dies mid dance her family are devastated Seven year old Sealie Selina and twelve year old Zav Xavier are lovingly cared for by the family’s housekeeper Mrs Mac Eileen McLennon But suddenly a widower Hal Heraldo is finding it hard to cope without the love of his life Although they plant a magnolia tree together in her memory Hal’s moods swing wildly and it is often only Sealie who can bring him some measure of calm Then he meets Godown Moses former US Sergeant Moses B Washbourne Pastor of the Church of the Divine Conflagration Convinced that this larger than life black man can help him find the answers he needs in the scriptures Hal brings him home to join the family Evans chooses Hal’s granddaughter Grace to narrate the events that bring joy sorrow and tragedy to this family As these are gradually revealed Evans paints a vivid picture of various mental illnesses Depression Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Paranoid Delusions and Bipolar Disorder are very well described The Vietnam War psychiatric hospitals deinstitutionalisation of patients and dreams unrealised also feature This novel has a plot that is not predictable from the cover blurb; the characters are easy to love and care about; the prose is often beautiful and evocative “He held back on the power of his voice when he sang to me and it had a sweetness then that fell softly on my ears” and “she learned to cope She did this by packing her feelings out of sight the way she did the objects in the boxes that crowded the room at the top of the stairs In the attic of her mind lay a box into which she folded and lay the terrible wrenching loss of her dream of the ballet” are just two examples While there is much sadness in this novel readers will need plenty of tissues for the last chapters there are also laugh out loud moments and Hal’s limericks for his family are a true delight This is a novel about love and loyalty about regret “’If’ is such a little word but it punches way above its weight” about sorrow and compassion Readers who enjoyed “Book of Lost Threads” will not be disappointed in this second offering from Tess Evans This moving story will stay with the reader long after the last page is turned

  5. Shelleyrae at Book& Shelleyrae at Book& says:

    The Memory Tree is the story of a family shattered by the unexpected death of wife and mother Paulina Spanning a period of almost 40 years the novel reveals a family fractured by grief devastated by tragedy and longing for freedom from the losses that torment them Tess Evans explores the everyday and life changing moments that bind the Rodriguez family in joy and sorrow with compassion and tendernessThe narrative moves between the past and present revealing the changes wrought to the family in the aftermath of Paulina's sudden passing Hal is broken by the loss of his wife and while he rallies briefly with the help of housekeeper Mrs Mac and lay preacher Godown Moses he slowly slips into a cyclical fugue of depression and mania Zav Xavier and Sealie Selina witness their mothers death but it is the aftermath that changes who they are Hal pulls away from Zav in a misguided attempt to 'raise a man' seeding bitterness and resentment Sealie's good nature protects her from her father's developing eccentricities but traps her in the role as first her father's and then her brother's carer The Memory Tree has an uniue narrator whose identity is not confirmed until late in the novel I thought this added a particular poignancy to the story and provided an unusual twist The third person point of view allows the reader to explore events from multiple perspectives providing insight into Hal's distorted thinking Sealie's self sacrificing anxiety and Zav's simmering anger Evan's protagonists are complex characters shaped by both nature and nurture They provoke both sympathy and frustration but are intriguing precisely because they are so contradictoryThe story of the past is obviously building to a pivotal event that explains the issues the family is facing in the present It is difficult to say much that that without spoiling the plot The tension simmers uietly throughout the novel so you know something is coming but at times the story seems to meander aimlessly until it is pulled sharply together at its denouement Wonderfully written there is much to admire about this literary family drama The Memory Tree is an insightful novel that examines the strength and fragility of familial relationships the devastation of mental illness and the grace of forgiveness

  6. Renae Renae says:

    I struggled majorly for the first half of this book Trying to follow the story was really hard and nothing seemed to make sense or connect But Im glad I pushed through as once I reach the middle you are told something that makes it all start to make sense I wont tell you as that would give away the storyThis is the story of a family that stuggled through many different tragities Unfortunately in times were they should have worked together to get through it all it was left to one to hold it all together and take care of everyone It also opens you eyes to how people deal with others they dont understand

  7. Book Bazaar Book Bazaar says:

    I totally loved Tess Evan's debut novel so this one had a great deal to live up to I didn't fall in love with this one as I did the first but still found it a really enjoyable read An interesting narrator is used and the effects of war and grief upon a family are tenderly examined Definitely worth a read when this one is released

  8. Nomie Nomie says:

    This is Tess Evans second novel very different from her first It is about a family that deals with the mental illness suffered by Hal after the death of his wife Paulina it looks at the effects of his illness on his two children and friends and the conseuences bought about by delusions very sad at times with an interesting ending I enjoyed it and I love to read books by Australian authors

  9. Helen Helen says:

    I have not read Tess Evans previous book I found this in a second hand book store while on holiday I found it an easy read and an interesting one It is a sad story looking at griefmental illnesslovefamilysacrifice In fact there are many elements to this storyThe ending was not one that I wanted and I was left feeling saddened I am now curious to read her first book

  10. Judy Judy says:

    Disappointing I loved Tess Evans's first book The Book of Lost Threads But this one? Not so much The lovely characterisations and sub plots that made 'Lost Threads' so enjoyable were missing and the main plot was dark with no light relief

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