Harry's Trees

Harry's Trees

by Jon Cohen

Overview: Thirty-four-year-old Harry Crane works as an analyst for the US Forest Service. When his wife dies suddenly, he is unable to cope. Leaving his job and his old life behind, Harry makes his way to the remote woods of northeastern Pennsylvania’s Endless Mountains, determined to lose himself. But fate intervenes in the form of a fiercely determined young girl named Oriana. She and her mother, Amanda, are struggling to pick up the pieces from their own tragedy—Amanda stoically holding it together while Oriana roams the forest searching for answers. And in Oriana’s magical, willful mind, she believes that Harry is the key to righting her world.

Now it’s time for Harry to let go…

After taking up residence in the woods behind Amanda’s house, Harry reluctantly agrees to help Oriana in a ludicrous scheme to escape his tragic past. In so doing, the unlikeliest of elements—a wolf, a stash of gold coins, a fairy tale called The Grum’s Ledger and a wise old librarian named Olive—come together to create a golden adventure that will fulfill Oriana’s wildest dreams and open Harry’s heart to a whole new life.

Harry’s Trees is an uplifting story about the redeeming power of friendship and love and the magic to be found in life’s most surprising adventures.

Faith Bowers (09/29/18): I read the book based on Deanna's review and enjoyed this book as much as Deanna. It was a modern fairy tale while following another fairy tale in the book. I rooted for all the good guys to achieve their desires and for the villians to get their due. I am sure everyone will just enjoy this story. And I will be reading Cohen's other books as well.
Rating: ****

Deanna Boe (09/14/18): This is a delightful book, even though it first starts with a tragedy, the beautifully written storyline leaves you with a smile on your face. I wasn’t exactly sure when I first started to read this book just where it was going and wondering if I would like it. It definitely left me with a happy feeling inside of me when I finished which isn’t true with far too many books today. In some ways it is a like an adult “fairy tale.” When we were children didn’t we want our stories to end with “everyone living happily ever after?”

Harry works for the National Forest Service, but unfortunately that is an office job and not in the actual forests. Harry has always loved trees and wishes his job actually had him working with them and not inside at a desk. In order to escape this job he felt he needed to win the lottery so he would have money to do just that. He and his wife, of twenty years, are going to the movie. On the way he insists that he quickly needs to run across the street and buy a lottery ticket. His wife doesn’t want him to but he convinces her it won’t take but a few minutes. All she had to do was could simply stand there while he ran across the street. As he exits the store Harry sees a wrecking ball knock over a wall that in turn lands on his wife, killing her. They had been very happily married and now Harry feels his life is over all because he had insisted on getting that stupid lottery ticket.

Eventually Harry escapes his job by trying to lose himself in the woods of northeastern Pennsylvania’s Endless Mountains. What are his true intentions when he finds the right spot in the woods? How does this drastically change by his meeting a young girl by the name of Oriana? Oriana and her mother, Amanda, are also suffering from a recent tragedy which adds to the complexity of the storyline. Harry’s brother, Wolf, sees a way to help Harry and naturally himself. Wolf manages to get Harry lots of money because of the untimely death of his wife. Does the money justify the tragedy that happened to Harry? What can he do with it? This is where Orinda comes to the rescue. What can it possibly be? It is rather quirky but leaves everyone with a very satisfied feeling.

The author does an amazing job developing all the characters in the book, even leaving the worst ones with some redeeming characteristics. I dare you to not have a smile on your face when the story ends and also wishing that all tragedies could end so positively. Cohen has written two other books, guess I will have to check them out to see if all of his writings are as unique as this one.
Rating: *****

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