Harriet Springbett’s debut novel will launch on 9 January
ISBN – 9781907605994 by Watchword eBooks (an Impress imprint)
Tree Magic is the story of an isolated child who misuses her talents to cause harm. The ensuing accident propels Rainbow out of childhood and into her teenage years. As she seeks her place in the world, we feel the impact of that trauma and watch Rainbow shape her adult self.
Springbett uses the analogy of a tree to show how the girl is the mother of the woman and treats us to a broad exploration of the life of sapling as it matures. In this deceptively gentle novel, we see two kinds of adolescent – the rebellious and the obedient – and discover they are two sides of the same coin.
The author shows her empathy for young adults in a tumultuous preface, that speaks with the voice of a teenager caught in a stream of bubbling thoughts and ideas. And in a generous layer of detail, that hints at the wealth of influences and decisions that add up to form our personalities.
We grow to wonder if Rainbow’s gift of Tree Magic is real or part of a deep metaphor that entwines its structure with her story. With a subtle flair, Springbett grows interest and sympathy for her characters; this reader wanted to know how they turned out and had her fingers crossed. I also found that I hope the Tree Magic is real.