Synopses & Reviews
The year is 1811. Having suffered a loss of faith, Thomas Keene, Congregational minister from New England, abandons the East and moves to Richland County on the Ohio frontier. The Tree of Life is Keene's journal: stories and jottings appear alongside accounting entries and poems, coarse jokes and sermons, woodcuts and maps. In this "waste book," Keene conveys his longing for a young widow; his fascination with John Chapman (Johnny Appleseed); and his resolve in the face of the growing enmity between his fellow settlers and the Delaware Indians on the eve of the War of 1812. The Tree of Life a man of intellect and passion as he confronts the raw country.
"It is a tale more moving and haunting than one thinks it can possibly be." The Village Voice
"Hugh Nissenson has caught the voice of the old-time diary keeper just exactly. The book is a work of art and no one who reads it will ever forget it." David McCullough, author of Truman and John Adams