The Crying Tree – Naseem Rakha



Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Broadway; 1 Reprint edition (July 6, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0767931742
ISBN-13: 978-0767931748
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Irene Stanley – A mother torn over the loss of her son.
Nate Stanley – A father, policeman, and a man facing his own pain.
Bliss Stanley – Sister to Shep Stanley.
Shep Stanley – A 15 year old boy, loves music and exploring.
Daniel Robbins – A 19 year old mechanic sentenced to death for killing shep.


How would you react to the man who killed your 15 year old child? Would you be able to find forgiveness in your heart? That is just part of what Irene Stanley struggles with in Naseem Rakha’s The Crying Tree. Fifteen year old Shep Stanley is shot during a routine robbery. The shooter, 19 year old Daniel Robbins is arrested and sentenced to die. This book follows the events and the struggles of each of the family members in trying to deal with the untimely death of a loved one.


This book was beautifully written. I could relate to the characters. They were very conservative in their beliefs and values. This seemed to be captured in a very accurate manner. Irene Stanley struggles though with forgiveness. You can feel her internal struggles with her faith, with her sense of right/wrong and what the reaction of her family/community would be to her feelings.

Nate Stanley is a man with a lot of regret. You can feel this regret eat at him. Eventually he’s driven into his own world and Irene in her’s. That leaves Bliss out there to more or less fend for herself and stuck in a position of having to take care of her parents.

The character of Daniel Robbins is written in such a way that you have some sympathy for him as well. He’s not a maniacal murderer like you’d expect of someone on death row.

I’d really recommend this book, it draws you into the situations and the characters, and you find yourself not wanting to put it down. There are many moments that make you think What would I do in this situation? And perhaps that’s the purpose, make you question your own view on things. There is strong language, and situations, so I’d say keep this to older Teens/Adults. If you want to read a moving story though, definitely pick it up.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Sarah at Terra Communications for a review copy of this book.  It in no way influenced my review.

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