The Forgetting Tree: A Novel
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
A New York Times Notable Book!
From Tatjana Soli, The New York Times bestselling author of The Lotus Eaters, comes a breathtaking novel of a California ranching family, its complicated matriarch, and the enigmatic caretaker who may destroy them
When Claire Nagy marries Forster Baumsarg, the only son of prominent California citrus ranchers, she knows she's consenting to a life of hard work, long days, and worry-fraught nights. But her love for Forster is so strong, she turns away from her literary education and embraces the life of the ranch, succumbing to its intoxicating rhythms and bounty until her love of the land becomes a part of her. Not even the tragic, senseless death of her son Joshua at kidnappers' hands, her alienation from her two daughters, or the dissolution of her once-devoted marriage can pull her from the ranch she's devoted her life to preserving.
But despite having survived the most terrible of tragedies, Claire is about to face her greatest struggle: an illness that threatens not only to rip her from her land but take her very life. And she's chosen a caregiver, the inscrutable, Caribbean-born Minna, who may just be the darkest force of all.
Haunting, tough, triumphant, and profound, The Forgetting Tree explores the intimate ties we have to one another, the deepest fears we keep to ourselves, and the calling of the land that ties every one of us together.
turn to go the next week. * * * Marie slept in Amélie’s fragrant bed—a bed carved by Amie’s father from a special wood only from the islands—its narrow hold like a boat transporting her back. She was in Maman’s kitchen, watching her make one of her special dishes, chicken with rice. They were hungry, so looking forward to eating, but no matter what spices Maman used, the dish grew saltier and saltier until it was finally inedible. Maman tasted it, tried to give Marie a spoonful, but it was
came,” Hanni confessed. “Didn’t you want to make it your own?” “The ranch changes you, not the other way around.” Already Claire was growing tired of these homilies, but she did not run out of the kitchen that day. Slowly, over time, she came to love the sensibleness of the house, how it stripped her of small vanities one by one, made her come to hate waste and ostentation. * * * For the first months of the marriage, Hanni sat back and watched her new daughter-in-law work. The only half
an understanding already. Gwen coughed. “Lucy told us you were taking classes.…” Minna turned toward her, her profile sharp, suddenly businesslike. “I did my undergraduate work at Cambridge. I started my PhD in political science at Berkeley, but decided to take some time off. Too much stress.” “What are your future plans?” Mrs. Girbaldi asked. Minna sat back and smiled, showing that she was answering these intrusive questions only for politeness. “I think I’d do well in diplomacy. My father
bookshop in Santa Monica, a dusky backwater of a store that barely made enough to sustain them. Each afternoon, a half-dozen expats would gather and talk about what they had left behind. Things and places and people that over the years no longer existed except in memories. Almos and Raisi had one daughter and, grateful, were afraid to push their luck for more. They had learned to conserve, to hoard, to save for a time of need. After she’d traveled thousands of miles, Raisi’s life had ended not
had a jaundiced, yellowish-brown hue. A network of tattoos spread across his chest and arms, partly covered by a T-shirt. Great, dusty coils of hair sprang along his head, gathered and partly tucked inside a large knitted tam. What she saw in his eyes terrified her. Eyes like shattered glass. Crazy eyes. His look answered all the questions she’d been avoiding. “You fou, woman?” he yelled. “Who are you? You are trespassing.” Of course, she was crazy. But she was returning. She had simply been