Product page: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0042X9C8C
Moving at a deliberate pace, setting itself up for the more gripping second half, The Elephant Tree follows two solemn young people in a dismal, unnamed city. This is a dark book, full of seedy characters, filthy bars, the worst outcomes of the drug trade commonplace. Not a book for the light of heart! Some of the reviews that got me to buy the novel portrayed it as fast moving. I don’t think that does the story justice: there are many purposeful “slice of life” moments. But it kept my attention. I was finished in two days.
Scott, one of two protagonists, struggles with a fractured family life and a desire to retire big on a lucrative job. Opposite him is Angela, whose life is tied intimately with Scott’s, a decent foil for his gloominess. The drama shifts back and forth as the two characters battle inner demons and try to navigate the terrible circumstances around them. You get an assortment of low lifers, though few of them stuck with me. The Elephant Tree probably could have used some comic relief, just to ease the bubbling tension. While I’m on criticism, some of the comma splices were strange, maybe a print-to-ebook artifact. It didn’t take away from the story, though.
About two thirds of the way through this, I had a dilemma. Was this pot fiction? I’ve read plenty of books, but the main characters in this one always had a drink in hand, and the drugs were much heavier than the synopsis led me to believe. Weed seemed to fade into the background. You were getting a review of this book whether you liked it or not, but I was nervous.
Ye of little faith rejoice, for cannabis becomes a major part of the plot. I enjoyed that aspect quite a bit. Continue on, pot fiction reader!
This starts as a crime novel, but family and romance take the wheel as you get to know the main players. Weaved throughout is the police procedural you see in the synopsis, though that really takes a back seat to the two main characters, and that’s a good thing in this case.
All in all, I think this one is worth a bowl and a read!