What the Trees Know by Nancee Cain
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
No Need to Tell the Trees, But Do Tell the Bees
Nancee Cain sure knows how to write stories with Southern charm. Instead of an Alabama setting, this book takes place in the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina — lush and enchanting with herbal remedies and magical spells.
The story begins when Queenie, a kind, eccentric woman, takes in Skylar, a homeless young girl who just survived a trauma. Queenie is already caring for another child (Jed, her grandson) whose parents died. Skylar and Jed forge a tight bond, growing up playing and exploring with a neighbor boy, Caleb.
Fast forward years later and Skylar is caring for the aging Queenie. Though Caleb is a good friend to Skylar, she has missed Jed since he absconded to the Army. Skylar summons Jed back to their home to find that their childhood friendship has morphed into adult romance, much to the dismay of Caleb. Too bad Skylar feels unworthy, and Jed is mired in PTSD.
To help them through their turmoil, Skylar and Jed will need Queenie’s bedtime saying:
“Day is over; night has come. Today is gone; what’s done is done. Embrace your dreams, through the night; tomorrow comes with a whole new night.”
The narrative builds to an exciting climax including fire, poison, and sacrifice. Someone will need to tell the bees that one life ends and another begins.
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The trees shiver. They know, too. They always do.