Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Hanging Tree by Michael Phillip Cash

By Carrie Anne

Seventeen year old Arielle is at a crossroads in her life.  Disenchanted with her father, she is testing the boundaries of his trust by dating someone he does not approve.  Under the moonlit sky in Long Island, Arielle and her boyfriend meet under the infamous hanging tree.  The couples'destiny is rooted too the five spirits in the tree whose lives and deaths are determined by an ancient curse. Will her future be determined by the past or will Arielle's choices alter the course of her life?  (taken from the back of the book)

For Arielle and her boyfriend, it's that time in their relationship; will they or won't they?  Chad's ready to take their relationship to the next level, but Arielle isn't as sure.  Taking all of this in are spirits in the trees, who eventually start telling their own tales of life and death.  Each spirit is from another time period, from the 1600's through the early 1900's, making their stories all the more interesting.  They've spent the time since their deaths together in the tree, and we can tell they've developed friendships over the years; I enjoyed the banter between them.  As always, Cash has one character, the Gibson girl, whose story has to be put together from clues.  Though they're easy to pick up and jump into, I always have something to think about when I read his books!

Yes, there's an ongoing story about a curse that ties everything together and provides a suitable ending, but I think the 'good stuff' comes from their individual stories.  A short book at just 75 pages, it's the perfect introduction to Michael Phillip Cash.

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