Popsugar Reading Challenge: Book 48

Prompt: A cli-fi book

So cli-fi is short for climate fiction – learned something new for this challenge. This is a genre I’ve never really read before.

Cli-fi refers to books that deal with climate change either in the contemporary world or in the future. Lots of the “best cli-fi” lists included novels set in the future where climate change has catastrophic consequences.

A colleague mentioned The Overstory by Richard Powers which I think fits perfectly into this category and won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Literature.

What’s it about?

The Overstory is about trees. The importance of trees to the planet and people’s relationships with them.

The first half of the novel introduces none different characters and their background stories. They come from completely different backgrounds and cultures and have different experiences of life.

The thing they have in common is a relationship with trees.

The second half of the book brings their stories together. Characters meet and interact leading either to salvation and tragedy.

What I think:

I listened to this on the audiobook read by Suzanne Toven who reads it brilliantly.

This is a whopping read – 640 pages it’s 23 hours of listening.

It takes a while to immerse yourself into this book. I found that just as I was fully engaged with one story it introduced the next character and it took a while for the connections to emerge.

This is one of those books where a lot happens and not much happens. It spans a long period of time introducing families and generations. Time for humans and trees is different.

This book is beautiful and circular. It repeats themes and ideas, language and images are returned.

The central idea is simple. Humans and trees are connected. The more we lose the connection, the more trouble for the human race.

The book is descriptive and thought provoking and makes you think about your own connection with nature and trees.

I really enjoyed this – the audio version was fantastic and the distinctive voices of the characters really come alive.

If you want to add The Overstory to your 2020 TBR pile, head to:

Waterstones: click here

Amazon.co.uk: click here

One comment

  1. Cli-fi was a new genre to me only just discovered it while searching for some reading lists for a nature themed reading challenge. Read you review with interest, also really enjoyed Overstory, found it complex and thought provoking.


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