If you’re tired of focusing on the global crisis presented by COVID-19, dear reader, might I suggest focusing on the global crisis presented by climate change and environmental destruction?
Richard Powers’ 2018 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “The Overstory,” however, is a must-read not because it hammers home the doom and gloom of our impending ecological catastrophe, but because it so beautifully highlights all that we have to lose. “The Overstory” gracefully weaves together the stories of a number of environmental activists, beginning the novel by detailing the individual lives that these affectionately rendered characters led before their activism, then satisfyingly bringing the characters together around a common pursuit. The novel is an enthralling contradiction: It is a page-turner about trees and a story about the natural world that highlights what makes us human. It’s also really long, perfect for filling up your suddenly free hours. Read it, and then find a secluded forest to stroll through. I guarantee you will not look at trees the same way after diving into this book.
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