Gillian Davies is six years old when her mother sends her to Croessfordd to escape the Blitz. But can she escape her child-molesting cousin Angus? Alternating between WWII Wales and present-day Canada, The Monkey Puzzle Tree is the story of Gillian's struggle to accept her childhood trauma, forgive her mother, and confront Angus-who, it seems, is as dangerous as ever.
" The Monkey Puzzle Tree is no soft sell. It is a well-written, clear-eyed look at the evacuation of small children from British cities during the Second World War." - Ottawa Citizen
"The novel transitions easily between present and past...in The Monkey Puzzle Tree, Sonia Tilson gently leads us into paragraphs of deep emotion...a very readable book." - The Winnipeg Review
"The Monkey Puzzle Tree is filled with references to domestic and cultural life, both good and bad, in 20th-century Britain. Along with the comforting beef jelly, marmalade, Everyman's Library, Shirley Temple dolls and 'We'll Meet Again,' the reader is presented with insidious anti-Semitism and blatant discrimination toward Irish Catholics. Tilson depicts time and place with expert handling...The Monkey Puzzle Tree is a fine first novel." - The Telegraph-Journal
"An engrossing and ambitious debut novel...Tilson is a very competent writer, with a gift for authentically describing moments of historical significance through the eyes of a child...deeply gratifying." - The National Post