Our Father Who Art in a Tree
Judy Pascoe’s metaphorical, deeply affecting debut novel is about a family, and how loss and grief can be moved through and overcome.
In a voice reminiscent of that of Scout Finch, the narrator of To Kill a Mockingbird, Judy Pascoe’s heroine, Simone, observes with candor and fresh insight the ways in which her mother, brothers, neighbors, and community deal with the death of her father. While her mother functions on only the most basic level, and her older brother buries himself in schoolwork, Simone conceives the idea that her father’s spirit lives in the tree in the backyard. She can go out there, climb up and sit in the tree’s branches, and talk to her father. It is only when Simone’s mother takes on a suitor that a confrontation is forced between the power of the past and the hope of new life in the future.
Rich in understanding about the power of love, the spirit, and belief, imbued with unexpected truths about people’s deep levels of connection and feeling, and written in prose that combines lyricism with rare humor and insight, Our Father Who Art in a Tree is a wonderful novel that deals, in a unique and profound way, with some of the eternal themes in fiction, and in life.
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achar asked aunts back door back fence back stairs back steps backyard beach bedroom black air branch breath brothers calf muscles called caramel cards Cath cicadas climb the tree clouds cupboard Dad's death dark Dawn dead drain dress dropped Edward eucalyptus eyes father feel feet felt floor garden Gerard Gladys Gladys's going gone grass hair hated head hear heard hibiscus inside James Judy Pascoe Kings kitchen table knew legs linally living looked luJy Pascoe Megan mother move Mum's neighbors never night plumber priest pulled pushed roots Salvation Army scream seemed septic tank side silence Simone sleep someone stay stood stopped suburb tell thing thought took top step tree frogs trom trying turned Uncle Jack veranda voice Vonnie waited wall wanted watched week wind window women yelled