This is late news, but we just want to congratulate our friend Natalie Standiford, author of the wonderful new novel The Secret Tree, for her glowing Times review. The Secret Tree is one of our absolute favorite books of the year and we hope it will be yours, too. Well done, Natalie.
Here’s our favorite excerpt from the review:
Natalie Standiford (“How to Say Goodbye in Robot”) harks back to the time when helicopter parents didn’t exist and free-range children didn’t return home until dusk. Is there a middle-class neighborhood in America where parents fling open the back door and 10-year-olds roam free until supper? Yet “The Secret Tree” is also a very contemporary tale, one that deals with changing friendships, sibling relations, betrayal and neglectful parenting — while still imbuing childhood with a sense of mystery.
It reminds us of what our very sharp teen reviewer, Diana R., said about the book just the other day:
I think that one of the reasons it was good was that some of the elements of the book are definitely from the present, but other aspects would definitely be from a long time ago. I think it’s great that she combines all these elements and makes them from her own time period. I think that the book has a pretty good moral: everybody has flaws. I think the writer really shows that even the people who seem flawless aren’t always.
Our thoughts exactly. Buy this book. Read it on the grass. Read it in your backyard (or fire escape, New Yorkers) while the fireflies are out. It is imbued with simple, neighborhood magic. And it won’t let you down.