My rating: 4 of 5 stars
4 haunting stars to The Which Way Tree! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
The Which Way Tree was recommended by my friend, Diane S. Thanks, Diane!
Living in the Texas frontier, Benjamin Shreve has quite the story to tell written in his own twangy voice in letters of “testimony” to a judge. The Which Way Tree is considered a pursuit narrative, and I would add that it was very much an adventure in that pursuit.
Benjamin and his sister, Sam, are pursuing a panther that not only scarred Sam’s face, her childhood, and her future, but also tragically killed her mother. She wants revenge.
I absolutely loved hearing Benjamin’s voice and his natural gift for storytelling. Sam is a strong, invincible girl, and I rooted for her throughout. The abiding and enduring sister/brother relationship between Sam and Benjamin was beautiful to watch unfold. Their struggle to survive was impactful.
There were some triggers (violence human-to-human and between animals and humans), and living on the wild frontier “some” violence is certainly understandable.
Overall, The Which Way Tree is a well-written, engaging, and beguiling tale of the brother and sister bond and a thirst for revenge no matter the cost.
Thank you to Elizabeth Crook, Little, Brown and Company, and Netgalley for the ARC. The Which Way Tree is available now!
The poignant odyssey of a tenacious young girl who braves the dangers of the Texas frontier to avenge her mother’s death
Early one morning in the remote hill country of Texas, a panther savagely attacks a family of homesteaders, mauling a young girl named Samantha and killing her mother, whose final act is to save her daughter’s life. Samantha and her half brother, Benjamin, survive, but she is left traumatized, her face horribly scarred.
Narrated in Benjamin’s beguilingly plainspoken voice, The Which Way Tree is the story of Samantha’s unshakeable resolve to stalk and kill the infamous panther, rumored across the Rio Grande to be a demon, and avenge her mother’s death. In their quest she and Benjamin, now orphaned, enlist a charismatic Tejano outlaw and a haunted, compassionate preacher with an aging but relentless tracking dog. As the members of this unlikely posse hunt the panther, they are in turn pursued by a hapless but sadistic Confederate soldier with troubled family ties to the preacher and a score to settle.
In the tradition of the great pursuit narratives, The Which Way Tree is a breathtaking saga of one steadfast girl’s revenge against an implacable and unknowable beast. Yet with the comedic undertones of Benjamin’s storytelling, it is also a timeless tale full of warmth and humor, and a testament to the enduring love that carries a sister and brother through a perilous adventure with all the dimensions of a legend.