An amazing exercise in experiencing time and earth more like trees. It is a beautiful critique of humanity's collective blindness to the damage we're bringing to the natural world.

While reading Richard's book The Overstory, I am captivated by the sheer scale that the perspective of trees allows us to appreciate. The story of dynasties shapes more room for the tragedies that befall non-human webs of living humans. I think that especially the stories of dementia and suffering parents affect me. My dad's slow decline of mental sharpness pains me to witness. He must have been so much smarter than I experience him now. And I fear that this is how I will remember him forever.

I started reading this book while on a festival in the forests in Germany. Lying among the trees, with resin dripping down all around me, that is the perfect way to read this book. It starts out by introducing us to some eight different characters, all in the form of their own short story. These were really well done and fit the theme of the book perfectly. These short stories often started from a few ancestors up in the line of heritage. They slowly described their way through life down to the actual "protagonists". This consciously long scale primes us really well to appreciate the "otherwordly" timeframes that trees and so much other life operates on.

The remainder of the book slowly weaves all of these characters together as they end up in some way or form within the ecological activist movement. This bulk of the book felt less engaging to me. Especially because after its perceived natural ending (setting fire to the construction pit for luxury villas, when Olivia gets killed, and everyone splits up to try to avoid the authorities), the pages dragged on for a few hundred more. But even though we were playing in extra time, Richard treats us to moving prose and gentle descriptions of our natural co-inhabitants of this world.