10 February 2022

Time and the Tree by Róisín Sorahan Excerpt, Review and Giveaway!

Time and the Tree by Róisín Sorahan
Time and the Tree by Róisín Sorahan 

Publisher: Adelaide Books, NY (September 6, 2021
Category: Literary Fiction, Fantasy, Modern Fable, and Self-actualization
Tour dates: January-February, 2022
ISBN: 978-1955196635
Available in Print and ebook, 282 pages

Time and the Tree

Description Time and the Tree by Róisín Sorahan


A modern fable about the nature of time and the quest for happiness.

It’s darkly funny, deceptively simple, and a necessary read for testing times.

In this gripping philosophical tale, a boy awakens beneath a tree in a forest in summer. He is soon joined by Time and his slave, a withered creature hooked on time and aching to disappear. The story evolves over the course of a year as a host of characters are drawn to the Tree for guidance. The unlikely cast grapple with choices and grope towards self-knowledge in a world where compassion is interwoven with menace. As the seasons bring great changes to the forest, we watch the child grow while the trials he faces mount.  Then the time for talk and innocence passes as the forces of darkness rally, threatening the lives of his friends.

Lyrical, honest and heart-breaking, Time and the Tree confronts readers with a unique perspective on the challenges life presents. A wise and hopeful book, it is uplifting and unsettling by turns.

Excerpt Time and the Tree by Róisín Sorahan

Winter

Now that your path has led you here, what adventures await? Time asked. Your quest, it appears, is done.

The Wanderer rose from the comfort of the fireside and walked to the centre of the clearing. The boy thought that perhaps she had not heard Times question and almost repeated it, a little louder, for he too was anxious to know what she would do next. She dropped her shoulders and raised her face, seemingly oblivious to the cold. Snow gathered on her eyelashes and she stood very still. Energy gathered and poised. She breathed in and she breathed out and she faced the Tree.

I have learned so much, but I know so little, she began.

I am neither a sage nor a hermit, a priest nor a tree.

I live amongst people, not in a cave.

The mountains are my refuge, yet the road is my home.

The world is seldom beautiful, but its ugliness is also part of me.

I cherish happiness, but I battle anger.

How can I live well, being who I am?

I am a Wanderer.

You are a Warrior, the Tree amended.

She acknowledged the Trees revision with a nod, and continued, I do not wish to shut myself off from the world. It astonishes me every day with its capacity for beauty. It also burdens me with its filth, stupidity, thoughtlessness and greed. People trample on the weak, tumble into strangers arms, trade in lies and inanities, trapped in minds that look no further than a billboard to tell them what to think and what to dream. Words lose all meaning as they are used as wallpaper to cover cracks in the silence. Thoughtless words, rote conversations, empty lives that bore through life and bore to death.

If I am to embrace the world, I must accept all of it with equanimity - the ugliness as well as the beauty. This, Tree, is my quest, and I am in great need of your guidance.

Lord yes, Time chimed in. Is there anything duller than conversation?

 Conversation petered out as the Tree gathered its words carefully.

It is easy to be a tree in the forest.

Supplant it, and the sun may no longer dapple its leaves; electricity wires may rustle through its eaves; its roots may crackle along concrete paths; and noxious fumes may seep into its seams. Yet still it will reach for water and light. Birds will continue to nest in its branches. It will strive to grow and be what it is. Beyond the forest, it is still a tree.

It is easy to be happy in the mountains.

Live in the world of people and your spirit may encounter darkness; noise and confusion may splinter your nerves; anger may seethe through your veins; and disappointments may wrack your dreams. Yet your spirit will still struggle for light and love. Others will continue to seek your protection and guidance. You will fight to fill your skin and be who you are. Beyond the mountains, you are still a Warrior.

The Wanderer carefully considered the Trees words.

I am beauty and I am pain. I am the celebration and I am the stale room the morning after the party. Knowing who I am, how can I be a Warrior? she pressed.

The Warrior must embrace their capacity for love and command their propensity for anger. Love is the Warriors greatest strength; anger is the sword they wield. This weapon should be controlled by the mind and only unleashed by the heart.

The Warrior must slash a path through the fears and the failings of the spirit that whisper of disillusionment and disappointment. They must fight to control their response to the world, so that the darkness is met with their light.

They must stand strong in the face of those who nettle their will and speak with fools’ tongues. They must seek to understand before they stand on judgment. They must protect those who are weak, and offer guidance to the lost.

Life is a war. In battle the old ways are destroyed, and a space is cleared for the new. Destruction is the fertile soil of growth. The Warrior has the potential to be an instrument of great change on the battlefield of the spirit.

Sounds dangerous to me, Time commented. Youd be much better staying at home and minding your own business.

 Life is a dangerous business, if left unchecked, the Tree responded. To live well and fully requires work and commitment.

Interaction with the world often leads down alleyways of discontent, as we test ourselves and find ourselves wanting, and trust others who let us down.

Time looked pointedly at the prone Shadow, I hear you, Tree. But sing it louder.

You cannot control how the world will treat you, the Tree continued, but you can control your response to those with whom you engage, and circumstances in which you become involved.

For example, wealth, prestige and power need not be negative trappings, once theyre treated as tools to sow goodness and grow wisdom. If they become a substitute for joy, then lives of great misery follow.

Neither can poverty, loss or disappointment be excuses for living meanly.

Nothing is gained by blaming the world for the absence of happiness. The light is always within, waiting for the Warrior to rise up and release it.

No matter the hole in which you fall, get up. Fail again. Strive harder. Do better.

Mistakes may occur. Temptations indulged. Anger unleashed, directed unchecked. Light may be doused; a rug over a flame. Darkness embraced, head lowered in shame. But do not give up; the wars not won. Forgive yourself. Start again.

And afford the same kindness to others. The Wanderer nodded her head slowly, thinking on the words.

It is easy to be happy in the mountains, the Tree said again. But happiness does not reside there. It can be found on the battlefield of the spirit. The Warriors task is to fight in the muck as well as in the clouds, against the darkness and against the odds, with the certainty that happiness is worth fighting for.

Time and the Tree by Róisín Sorahan


Guest Review by Laura Lee

'Time and the Tree,' by Róisín Sorahan is a book unlike anything I've ever read before. This book is somehow both familiar and entirely new. Part fairy tale, part parable, everything about this story glimmers with that keen magical touch that only few such tales possess.

Sorahan's writing gives off the feeling of modern-day folklore being crafted before the reader's very eyes. Every sentence of this is lyrical, from the descriptions to the dialogue and, while reading, I found myself creating images in my head that reminded me of beautiful illustrations from old fairy tales like the ones that Hans Christian Anderson created.

The story revolves around a little boy, a wise, old tree and all of the characters they meet while living in the forest together. Each section takes place during a different season of the year and each season features a different meeting with one of these characters.

First, they meet the physical embodiment of Time, a cranky, duplicitous man for whom nothing ever seems good enough. Next, they meet Weaver, a strange old woman who casts spells by knitting clothing. Then the Wanderer, a mysterious woman who arrives at the tree at the end of a long journey, and tells the boy an unexpected tale. Lastly, the Woodcutters, who help to solve a problem when Time returns having lost someone close to him.

Each section seamlessly blends into the next and each one brought such beautiful descriptions that I found myself in awe of Sorahan's captivating writing. This is a book that has to be read to be experienced, and it is certainly worth the read! 

Time and the Tree by Róisín SorahanAbout Róisín Sorahan


Róisín Sorahan is an Irish author currently living in Vermont. She has published numerous stories about her adventures on the road, as well as life as an English teacher in China. Prior to becoming a nomad writer, she pursued a decade-long career in public relations. She holds a Master of Letters from Trinity College Dublin, specializing in Samuel Beckett. Time and the Tree is her debut novel.

Website: https://roisinsorahan.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/roisinsorahan
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Roisin.Sorahan.Author
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/roisinsorahan/

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Giveaway Time and the Tree by Róisín Sorahan

This giveaway is for 3 print or ebook copies, One for each of 3 winners. Print is open to Canada and the U.S. only and ebook is open worldwide. This giveaway ends on March 12, 2022 midnight, pacific time.  Entries accepted via Rafflecopter only.

Follow Time and the Tree by Róisín Sorahan


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Time and the Tree by Róisín Sorahan

5 comments:

  1. Laura, thank you so much for your insightful and generous reading of "Time and the Tree." - Róisín

    ReplyDelete
  2. Laura, I am so glad you enjoyed 'Time and the Tree'! Kathleen, thanks so much for hosting!

    ReplyDelete
  3. interesting blurb

    ReplyDelete

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