The Lion Trees: Part One: Unraveling, Part 1

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Otf Literary, Aug 13, 2014 - Dysfunctional families - 826 pages
13 Reviews

What if survival required you to unlearn who you are? How far would you fall to save yourself? Sometimes happiness is a long way down.

The Johns family is unraveling. Hollis, a retired Ohio banker, isolates himself in esoteric hobbies and a dangerous flirtation with a colleague's daughter. Susan, his wife of forty years, risks everything for a second chance at who she might have become. David, their eldest, thrashes to stay afloat as his teaching career capsizes in a storm of accusations involving a missing student and the legacy of Christopher Columbus. And young Tilly, the black sheep, having traded literary promise for an improbable career as a Hollywood starlet, struggles to define herself amid salacious scandal, the demands of a powerful director, and the judgments of an uncompromising writer.

By turns comical and poignant, the Johns family is tumbling toward the discovery that sometimes you have to let go of your identity to find out who you are.

[A] cerebral page turner...a powerful and promising debut.-Kirkus Reviews

[Five Stars]...[A] powerful, gripping and realistic story...The Lion Trees does what so very few great novels can: it will take a lot out of you, but leave you with much more than you had when you began -Pacific Book Reviews, a five star review.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - thicks - LibraryThing

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. This is a story about a dysfunctional family. The characters are very well developed and you can even relate to them in someone you know. That's ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - JessicaSim - LibraryThing

It took me a long time to get through this book, but it's been a worthwhile journey. With the four main characters each having their own voice, at times I wished they had been given separate books or ... Read full review

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About the author (2014)

Owen Thomas, a lifelong Alaskan with an abiding love of original fiction, is a product of the Anchorage School District and a graduate of Duke University and Duke Law School. While managing an employment litigation practice in Alaska, Thomas has written three novels: "Lying Under Comets: A Love Story of Passion, Murder, Snacks and Graffiti"; "The Lion Trees," winner of 13 international book awards; and a novel of interconnected short fiction entitled "Signs of Passing," winner of the 2014 Pacific Book Awards for Short Fiction. Owen maintains an active fiction and photography blog on his author website at

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