Gale’s novel repays careful reading with its themes of organic growth, dismemberment and integration, culminating in a healing denouement. Gale’s story develops with such subtlety that the workings of Lawrence’s healing process must be taken on faith. Gale fashions a patient, worthy transformation as Lawrence develops from a boy who does not understand his whole self, especially the violent extremes, to a man whose work as a tree surgeon is a metaphor for the growth of his soul and his family.

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