The Singing Trees

Lake Union: Amazon. Aug. 2021. 430p. ISBN 9781542019125. pap. $14.95. F
Walker’s (An Unfinished Story) beautifully written coming-of-age novel is set during the Vietnam War. Artist Annalisa Mancuso, who lost her parents as a child, remembers how marriage stifled her mother’s creativity, so she’s determined to live in solitude. But when she meets Thomas, he changes the trajectory of her life. Annalisa escapes her small Maine town for Portland, where she finds a thriving art community, a teacher, and an art dealer who recognizes and encourages her talent. Meanwhile, Thomas’s wealthy family threatens to cut him off unless he ends things with Annalisa; then he loses his draft deferment and is sent to Vietnam. Annalisa breaks up with Thomas so she can concentrate on painting, but they keep corresponding and spend a week together in Hawai’i when he gets some leave. Annalisa is torn between following her dream or her heart and has many difficult decisions to make.
VERDICT Ideal for book groups and for readers who enjoyed Taylor Jenkins Reid’s Daisy Jones & the Six, Susan Elizabeth Phillips’s Dance Away with Me, or Nicholas Sparks’s novels.
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