The Language of Trees

The Language of Trees Cover

The Language of Trees

By Ilie Ruby

Avon A, Paperback, 9780061898648, 339pp.

Publication Date: July 20, 2010


Gripping, suspenseful, magical, and richly atmospheric . . . Ilie Ruby's haunting debut novel, The Language of Trees, is exhilarating fiction that announces the arrival of a truly extraordinary storyteller.

Echo O'Connell knows that the summer holds its secrets. They are whispered in the rustling trees, in the lush scent of the lilacs, in the flurry of the mayflies batting against the screen door, and in the restless spirits that seem to clamor in the scant breezes on hot evenings. It is in summer that she returns home to Canandaigua, to confront these spirits, both living and not, and to share a secret with her first love, Grant Shongoa secret that will forever change the lives of many people in the town and put to rest the mysterious disappearance of a little boy more than a decade earlier.

Grant, a descendant of the Seneca Indians who call this place "The Chosen Spot," has also come back to face his past. After a broken marriage, he has moved into his childhood home, a lake house that has withstood happiness and tragedy. He knows the spirits of the past must be dealt withthat of the little boy who disappeared all those years ago; the boy's sister, who never overcame the loss; and the love Grant still has for Echo. But before the healing must come the forgiveness. . . .

About the Author
Ilie Ruby is a painter and short story author. She lives near Boston, Massachusetts, with her husband and the three children they adopted from Africa.

Praise For The Language of Trees

“The Language of Trees, like Whitman’s Leaves of Grass though in a magic realist vernacular, refreshingly asserts that deeply American conviction: the gravest natural instinct is to heal and be healed. A shimmeringly heart-felt story.”
-Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked

“Painter and short story writer Ruby debuts with a haunting, lyrical novel of love, loss, and second chances set in upstate New York and greatly informed by the Seneca Indians, whose lore imbues the book with spirituality...a worthwhile story filled with mysticism and symbolism.”
-Publishers Weekly

“The Language of Trees is a haunting novel about the enduring power of love. Crafted with suspenseful pacing and delicate imagery, Ilie Ruby’s book combines the qualities of an irresistible ghost story with a healing tale of redemption. It’s a vivid and compelling read.”
-Elizabeth Rosner, author of Blue Nude and The Speed of Light

“Ilie Ruby’s haunting story seems to spring fully formed from the mystical setting she so beautifully describes. The Language of Trees will make you believe that spirits live on, that hands can heal, and that if you open your heart wide enough, the world is full of second chances.”
-Diane Chamberlain, author of Summer's Child

“Eloquent and compelling, this book is a luminous gem in the hypnotic waters of seduction. Ilie Ruby’s prose has at once a deeply lush and evocative serenity, poetically imagistic and rhythmically mastered...”
-James Ragan, author of Too Long a Solitude

“Haunting…a literary, emotionally intense ghost story about family secrets and regrets.”
-USA Today

“Rarely do debut novels cover the complicated emotional terrain of The Language of Trees. This is no simple right-of-passage story but rather an eloquently written journey that explores our strengths and vulnerabilities, our love of those who most need us, and whom we need most.
-James Brown, author of The Los Angeles Diaries

“[Ilie Ruby’s The Language of Trees] may just be my favorite book of the summer!”
-Katrina Kittle

“Ilie Ruby’s THE LANGUAGE OF TREES is as atmospheric as the lake where it takes place--a mesmirizing meditation on the spirit, both of this world and the one beyond.”
-Jenna Blum, New York Times bestselling author of Those Who Save Us