From the award-winning author of If I Fall, If I Die comes a propulsive, multigenerational family story, in which the unexpected legacies of a remote island off the coast of British Columbia will link the fates of five people over a hundred years. Cloud Atlas meets The Overstory in this ingenious nested-ring epic set against the devastation of the natural world.
In 2038, scientist Jake Greenwood is working as an overqualified tour guide to ultra-rich eco-tourists in one of the world's last remaining forests. As the rest of humanity chokes on the dust storms that follow the environmental collapse known as the Great Withering, Jake finds temporary refuge on Greenwood Island, a place whose connection to her own family name she had thought just a coincidence -- until someone from her past reappears with a journal that might give Jake the family story she's long craved. As we move backward in time from the Great Withering to the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, and then forward into the future again, we meet an injured carpenter facing the possibility of his own death, an eco-warrior trying to atone for the sins of her father's rapacious timber empire, a blind tycoon with a secret he will pay a terrible price to protect, and a Depression-era drifter who saves an abandoned infant from certain death, only to find himself the subject of a country-wide manhunt. At the very centre of the book is a tragedy that will bind the fates of two boys together, setting in motion events whose reverberations will be felt for over a century.
A magnificent novel of inheritance, sacrifice, nature, and love that takes its structure from the nested growth rings of a tree, Greenwood spans generations to tell the story of a family living and dying in the shadows cast by its own secrets. With this breathtaking feat of storytelling, Michael Christie masterfully reveals the tangled knot of lies, omissions, and half-truths that exists at the root of every family's origin story.
MICHAEL CHRISTIE is the author of the novel If I Fall, If I Die, which was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Kirkus Prize, and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and was selected as a New York Times Editors Choice Pick, and a linked collection of stories, The Beggar's Garden, which was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, shortlisted for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, and won the City of Vancouver Book Award. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Globe & Mail. A former carpenter and homeless-shelter worker, he divides his time between Victoria and Galiano Island, where he lives with his family in a timber frame house that he built himself.