The Palaver Tree by Wendy Unsworth (Review & E-book Giveaway)

4.5 Stars!
Berriwood village, Cornwall, England; quiet, uneventful like the pace of schoolteacher Ellie's selfless existence.
One fateful meeting. One tragic event ......and one chance to do something more meaningful with her life.
The African school where Ellie volunteers seems like the perfect place to make every day count, but very soon there are more questions than answers. Is the school, where Ellie teaches, the place of loving and caring she had first thought it to be? And is headteacher, Gabriel Cole, really their guardian angel?
As deceit and lies begin to surface, Ellie's unquestioning faith in fate and fair play is shattered. With time comes the awful realization that the betrayal stretches back, across the miles, all the way to her sleepy, village home.
Finally the time comes when she must choose between holding on to her principles or taking matters into her own hands. 


Wendy Unsworth was born and raised in Lincolnshire; her passions are her family, travel, beautiful gardens and reading and writing stories. Wendy lived in Ndola, Zambia and Nairobi, Kenya throughout the 1980's and early '90's before returning to the U.K. to acclimatise back to the English weather in a Cornish cottage close to Bodmin Moor! She is currently based in the north west of England. The African continent has left a lasting impression; The Palaver Tree, is set in a fictional Central African country and Cornwall. At present Wendy is working on her second novel, Beneathwood, re-introducing cameo characters from The Palaver Tree and telling their own individual story. 

Wow, this was a VERY powerful powerful book! This book was almost two different books for me because the last half of the book was so different. In the beginning I was thinking of giving the book a 3 rating at best, it was a little slow and it took me a while to really get a feel for the characters (and there were a lot of characters). Then finally around page 60 the characters started to take on personalities and I really started to get to know them. By the time I was half way through the book I was ready to give it a 5!

I loved the storyline - it was very original and very interesting! The last half of this book was definitely a page turner. It also took me a while to get used to the writing style, I don't really know what there was about it, it was just different. I would say there was a learning curve to reading this book. But once you got past that curve - it was great! 

The story flipped between the main characters which I liked. You got to know each one separately and saw exactly what they were doing. Also I like that the Author clearly labeled each one with the characters name (I have read books that take you a while to figure out who they are talking about). I loved being able to see into the lives of each character.

There was a lot of political stuff in this book (which for me was good and bad) I know nothing about any of the politics in Africa. There was a new leader taking over, an election, an uprise, people having to leave the country, etc. I am still not sure I fully understand everything that was happening, but I thing its OK. I don't really feel that I missed anything, I just kept reading.

I loved some of the main characters. I loved Ellie, she was very naive, but sweet and just wanted to help the children, and always thought the best of people. I also loved her new friends Marc and Pax! Great people, and the kind you want as friends in time in need. They would always have your back.
Gabriel, you knew right away something wasn't right with him. When all these women started appearing in his life and business I knew he must be scum, LOL. He tried to come across as a Saint but soon became the ultimate "bad guy".

Just to give you a small taste of the drama -
"Thirst was her overriding need; she scooped water from the pool. First to drink, then to fill the buckets and pans. She had no desire to be stuck inside the house again at night without a plentiful supply.
Please God; don't let me BE here by tonight.
When that task was done the more difficult one began. She took up her place by the wall. carefully removing the stone and holding it in her hand as she watched and waited."
 I absolutely loooooooved the ending!!!!!!!! This was probably one of the best endings I have read in a long time.  But when you read this - don't be tempted to peek! It is worth the wait.

All in all I would describe this as a book that starts out very slow but ends fantastic! Well worth the read.
A few warnings - Quite a bit of swearing and a few violent graphic scenes (you know, blood and guts kind of thing). It is actually quite sad and shocking in parts. But this is a book that will stay with you!
I loved this book so much more than I thought I would.

Thank you to the author for sending me this e-book to read and review!

The Author has agreed to give away one e-book copy of this book!!!!
I will give the Author your email address and she will contact you herself to get you the book.

To win my copy of this book - fill out the form below.
And please only enter once -  (I go through and delete double entries).
* Winner will be chosen on Sept. 13th.
* Winner will have 48 hrs. to respond.

Buy from Amazon - HERE
And from B&N - HERE


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