About the Book
Title: The Tree of Life
Author: Dawn Davis
Publisher: Friesen Press
Genre: Historical Fiction
The Tree of Life by Dawn Davis is her debut novel. It is part of a series, but does stand alone. Each book will represent new characters and a different time period in Canda’s history.
The Tree of Life starts in 1999 but spends most of its time in 1939. It is a fun and lively adventure through time with Charlotte as she strives to solve the mystery of the missing brooch, The Tree of Life. She lives the history she has been taught.
Charlotte is a precocious 11 year old girl. She is headstrong and some think she acts like a know it all. She is always getting Henry, her best friend, in trouble, bossing him around.
She will learn first hand about the wealthy, discrimination, and hard work.
Gwendolyn is prim and proper, a perfect example of the snobbish and haughty air of the privileged.
I feel this is a very creative way to write a coming of age story. A heartwarming story of life – its rights and wrongs, its hopes and dreams, its wants and desires, its loves and loss…
There are no bells and whistles, no blood and guts of the thriller and horror novels I love, but a wonderful story just the same.
I received a copy of The Tree of Life by Dawn Davis in return for an honest review.
Two accidental time travelers explore Canada in 1939 in THE TREE OF LIFE, the first installment in the Tower Room series by Dawn Davis.
As THE TREE OF LIFE opens, Charlotte Hansen and her friend, Henry Jacobs, are hanging out in the old mansion where Charlotte and Leo, her grandfather, live. Henry is there to practice the piano, and Charlotte is waiting for him to finish so that she can supervise his work on a massive school project researching the 1930s. When Leo leaves the house to pick up his friend Gwendolyn Fenton—whom Charlotte does not like—the two eleven-year-olds prepare tea and cookies for the grown-ups’ visit and then rush to the Tower Room. The room is located on the top floor of the mansion. Charlotte is not allowed in the room without permission; but she is headstrong and ignores the directive. After leaving the tray of tea and sweets on the tabletop, Charlotte pulls Henry underneath the table with her.
The children soon hear Gwendolyn telling Leo about a magical brooch from her childhood. Suddenly, a large hand grabs Charlotte, who clutches Henry tightly before the hand thrusts the pair into nothingness. After Charlotte regains consciousness, she and Henry meet the younger version of Gwendolyn, a spoiled force of nature determined to appropriate the brooch her late mother left her brother. The friends learn that they are still in Rose Park, the neighborhood they both call home, but the year is 1939.
As Charlotte and Henry realize that they have traveled backward to move forward, the purpose of their time travel is revealed: Charlotte is there to help Gwendolyn resolve the pain of her past. During the adventure, Henry advocates against the anti-Semitism and racism of that time, and Charlotte learns to look beyond her own desires to help a person in need.
The idea for THE TREE OF LIFE and the Tower Room series came to the author after she attended a centennial celebration at her daughters’ school. “What might happen,” Davis thought, “if two children lived their research instead of simply reading about it? This one step outside the restrictions of time became the foundation for the series.”
As in THE TREE OF LIFE, the next three books will highlight different time periods in Canadian history, with the one constant being the appearance of Charlotte and Henry. Although the children will appear in each book with different names and bodies, they will be easily recognizable as eternal soul mates, and the harbingers of love and connection for those who have stumbled and lost their way.
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