The Trees (Hardcover)

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The story is unlike any I’ve ever read. Present day, on a rainy English evening, forests blow out of the ground in a fierce and violent eruption, covering England and Ireland and possibly the entire planet with enormous trees of all kinds, tearing through buildings and people and life as we know it. In hours all things tech or electric are gone. Our hero, Adrian, a depressed ex-school teacher, with major identity issues, is befriended by a woman and her teenaged son, and they leave their destroyed village to find her brother and Adrian’s wife who was in Ireland when the trees came. The journey is full of wonder and disappointment, violence and basic survival, and a growing awareness of another kind of nature, one far more connected and complicated then it seems on the surface. But the internal story is about the human condition, and all the choices we have when culture and order disappear. When all we have left to guide us is our conscience and our gut. When morality is blurred by survival. Shaw writes an exquisite exploration of these themes with no judgement or pretense, and I found it fascinating and believable. His writing is clean, descriptive, and has a wonderful rhythm to it.

— From Staff Recommendations


The Trees. They arrived in the night: wrenching through the ground, thundering up into the air, and turning Adrien's suburban street into a shadowy forest. Shocked by the sight but determined to get some answers, he ventures out, passing destroyed buildings, felled power lines, and broken bodies still wrapped in tattered bed linens hanging from branches.

It is soon apparent that no help is coming and that these trees, which seem the work of centuries rather than hours, span far beyond the town. As far, perhaps, as the coast, where across the sea in Ireland, Adrien's wife is away on a business trip and there is no way of knowing whether she is alive or dead.

When Adrien meets Hannah, a woman who, unlike him, believes that the coming of the trees may signal renewal rather than destruction and Seb, her technology-obsessed son, they persuade him to join them. Together, they pack up what remains of the lives they once had and set out on a quest to find Hannah's forester brother and Adrien's wife--and to discover just how deep the forest goes.

Their journey through the trees will take them into unimaginable territory: to a place of terrible beauty and violence, of deadly enemies and unexpected allies, to the dark heart of nature and the darkness--and also the power--inside themselves.

About the Author

Ali Shaw is the author of The Girl with Glass Feet, winner of the Desmond Elliott Prize, and The Man Who Rained. He has worked as a bookseller and at the Bodleian Library. He now lives in Oxford, England, with his wife and daughter.@Ali_Shaw
Product Details
ISBN: 9781632862839
ISBN-10: 1632862832
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication Date: August 2nd, 2016
Pages: 496
Language: English