Tell it to the Trees

Front Cover
Alfred A. Knopf Canada, 2011 - City and town life - 255 pages
22 Reviews

One freezing winter morning a dead body is found in the backyard of the Dharma family's house. It's the body of Anu Krishnan.
 
For Anu, a writer seeking a secluded retreat from the city, the Dharmas' "back-house" in the sleepy mountain town of Merrit's Point was the ideal spot to take a year off and begin writing. She had found the Dharmas' rental through a happy coincidence. A friend from university who had kept tabs on everyone in their graduating year - including the quiet and reserved Vikram Dharma and his first wife, Helen - sent her the listing. Anu vaguely remembered Vikram but had a strong recollection of Helen, a beautiful, vivacious, social and charming woman.
 
But now Vikram had a new wife, a marriage hastily arranged in India after Helen was killed in a car accident. Suman Dharma, a stark contrast to Helen, is quiet and timid. She arrived from the bustling warmth of India full of the promise of her new life - a new home, a new country and a daughter from Vikram's first marriage. But her husband's suspicious, controlling and angry tirades become almost a daily ritual, resigning Suman to a desolate future entangled in a marriage of fear and despair.
 
Suman is isolated both by the landscape and the culture, and her fortunes begin to change only when Anu arrives. A friendship begins to form between the two women as Anu becomes a frequent visitor to the house. While the children, Varsha and Hemant, are at school, Anu, Vikram's mother, Akka, and Suman spend time sharing tea and stories.
 
But Anu's arrival will change the balance of the Dharma household. Young Varsha, deeply affected by her mother's death and desperate to keep her new family together, becomes increasingly suspicious of Anu's relationship with her stepmother. Varsha's singular attention to keeping her family together, and the secrets that emerge as Anu and Suman become friends, create cracks in the Dharma family that can only spell certain disaster.

  

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This was an interesting book with a good plot. - Goodreads
Anita Rau Badami is an excellent writer. - Goodreads
And yes, the ending was revealed to me ahead of time. - Goodreads
But no, the ending wasn't a shocker. - Goodreads

Review: Tell It to the Trees

User Review  - Vivian Choi - Goodreads

Badami is a Canadian author and I think she did justice with this book. As it is written from a different character's perspective per chapter, it gets confusing at the start when you're getting to ... Read full review

Review: Tell It to the Trees

User Review  - Orla Hegarty - Goodreads

A desperately sad book but an important piece of fictional (Canadian) herstory set in the isolation of the BC mountains that have been home to legions of Indian immigrants for well over a century. Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
5
Section 3
15
Section 4
20
Section 5
37
Section 6
51
Section 7
64
Section 8
75
Section 16
147
Section 17
154
Section 18
159
Section 19
177
Section 20
190
Section 21
194
Section 22
202
Section 23
212

Section 9
82
Section 10
95
Section 11
98
Section 12
111
Section 13
118
Section 14
124
Section 15
135
Section 24
215
Section 25
222
Section 26
232
Section 27
239
Section 28
249
Section 29
256
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

ANITA RAU BADAMI's first novel was the bestseller Tamarind Mem. Her bestselling second novel, The Hero's Walk, won the Regional Commonwealth Writers' Prize and Italy's Premio Berto, was named a Washington Post Best Book, was longlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Orange Prize for Fiction, and was a finalist for the Kiriyama Prize. Her third novel, Can You Hear the Nightbird Call?, was released in 2006 to great acclaim, longlisted for the IMPAC Award, and a finalist for the City of Vancouver Book Award. The recipient of the Marian Engel Award for a woman writer in mid-career, Badami is also a visual artist. She lives in Montreal.

Bibliographic information