Deep Roots

books_hawthornI have a new book review in the current issue of the Missoula Independent that hit newsstands last Thursday. It’s a cool bit of nonfiction called Hawthorn: The Tree That Has Nourished, Healed, and Inspired Through the Ages by Bill Vaughn. You may read the review HERE. I enjoyed the book very much; dig this excerpt for some insight as to why:

Still, for all the delight I gleaned from the copious historical details and minutia scattered throughout the rest of Hawthorn, it is in its ninth chapter, “A Tree for All Seasons,” that the book really claimed me. And it has little to do with wit or literary talent. In chapter one, Vaughn describes his home on the Clark Fork near Missoula as “the same sort of redneck backwater where I spent my motherless, feral boyhood.” I naturally assumed it was somewhere upstream, maybe around Turah or possibly even Clinton. I mean, who around here wouldn’t? It didn’t take long, though, for me to deduce that the area he was describing was actually very near where I live, about halfway between Missoula and Frenchtown along Mullan Road. A little exploration up and down some of the side roads in the area and I soon discovered that Vaughn’s Dark Acres is actually, as the crow flies, at most a mile from my own manufactured home in an ugly subdivision, the likes of which he also references in the book.

This is one of those books that probably doesn’t get a lot of attention because it’s kind of quirky. I think it’s fantastic, full of odd bits of history and information, delivered with both intelligence and humor. It’s well worth your time.

Author: Chris

Chris La Tray is a writer, a walker, and a photographer. He is an enrolled member of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians and lives in Missoula, MT.

5 thoughts on “Deep Roots”

  1. This sounds interesting…. I have read several “natural histories” of trees, including one by a friend Michael Cohen, on the bristlecone pine. I have added this to my tbr pile.

    1. I’m new to the genre, actually, but I don’t believe this one will be my last. Fascinating stuff. The natural world never ceases to amaze.

  2. This is so in my wheelhouse it might hit me between the eyes. Sounds fabulous, Chris, thanks for highlighting it, I would have missed it entirely.

  3. Definitely put that one on my TBR list – always looking for MT authors and this one is getting great reviews on goodreads, too. Thanks!

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