Eliza's Forever Trees by Stephanie Lisa Tara, November 20, 2012. 290 pages. Published by Brown Books. Source: CBB Book Promotions.
Suddenly Mother jumped to her feet and ran to one of the trees, a three-hundred-foot-tall redwood. "Forever tree! Forever tree!" she cried, smiling. She swept the skinny girl up into her arms. The child's pale skin shimmered in the golden forest light. "Forever trees, forever trees," they sang, spinning in circles. The memory melted into the fog, and Eliza felt very tired. The question came again to her. It appeared out of the gray, out of the damp, out of the cold corners of this new house. The question whispered it always did the kind of whisper that sounded very loud indeed: Where had Mother gone? Shadows appeared and disappeared in Eliza's mind. Still, she couldn't remember. She simply could not remember anything after that last story in the forest. For some reason, she wasn't terribly worried. She was a little worried, for sure, but not terribly worried, because a strange calm held the shadows and the question. It held Eliza, too. Because love is forever.First Sentence:
Where had mother gone?It might just be me, but I was definitely not expecting Eliza’s Forever Trees to have a slightly sad side to it when agreed to read it. The beginning of the book kind of took me by surprise because I was expecting the book to be…well not a little on the sad side.
Definitely one of the high points of Stephanie Lisa Tara’s writing and storytelling in Eliza’s Forever Trees is that she knows how to create a world, characters, and a storyline that is engaging to readers. I also enjoyed that throughout the book there was the underlying message of
It may just be me, but I was a little confused, mainly because it was unexpected, by the way the book ended. It was a little on the strange side, even if it fit nicely into the story the author created. So, while it made for an interesting and different way to close out Eliza’s story of her search for her mother it left me with a mixed feeling. O_o
While the ending of the book left me with mixed feelings, I do believe that the author did a good job with the direction she chose.
What I really enjoyed about Ms. Tara’s charming tale would have to be how Eliza came alive as she journeyed to find Mother Redwood and the friendships that she made with the creatures of the forest. I loved the way the author brought the cast together and the way that both the animals and Eliza worked together for the good of all.
It was nice to see the author’s vision of how everyone, in the forest, depended upon one another. I admit that the bats were my favorite because they were off on their own until Eliza pulled them into the greater story of the forest.
Even though I really enjoyed reading Stephanie Lisa Tara’s novel, Eliza’s Forever Trees, the one thing I did not enjoy was the character’s name. I know, such a trivial thing to not like about a book, but I have always been put off by characters with that name (it’s like they can’t decide what they want their name to be). Other than my weirdness over character names, the only other thing that left me feeling unsatisfied about this book was that you never really learned what happened to Eliza’s mother…unless I was too under-the-weather to notice the how and why answer to that question.
Final Verdict: Eliza’s Forever Trees was a charming, and heartwarming tale.