The Waiting Tree by Lindsay Moynihan: review

The Waiting TreeThe Waiting Tree by Lindsay Moynihan
Stand Alone
My Rating: 
1 out of 5 Stars
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary, Realistic, LGBTQ+
Publisher: Amazon Children’s Publishing
Release Date: May 14th 2013
Synopsis: Eighteen-year-old Simon Peters wants to stand up for the truth about who he is. His love for Stephen is unwavering, but does he have the courage to defend it when his entire church community, including his eldest brother has ostracized him? Trapped in a cashier’s job he hates, struggling to maintain peace with his brothers after their parents have died, and determined to look after his mute brother, Simon puts everyone else’s needs before his own. It takes a courageous act of self-sacrifice on Jude’s part to change both of their lives forever. Jude, who knew that when the fig tree in their yard began to bloom, it was his time to finally be heard and to set Simon free.

My Thoughts:

The Waiting Tree first caught my interest when I saw the dazzling cover that the book proudly showed off. Just look at the greens and blues and the tree mosaic! The cover is an absolute beauty. Unfortunately the contents are not nearly as good as the cover. In fact, I really wish that I just admired the cover from afar and didn’t read the book at all. This novel just made me angry.

The story isn’t centered on Simon being gay as much as it is centered on the cruelties of people and the unfairness of life. Most of the cruelties Simon has to endure is because of the gender he is attracted to, but that isn’t all the book is about. It’s about how people seem to push away and hate people who are not ‘normal.’

First and foremost, I felt that The Waiting Tree is just very extremely negative with its portrayal of things. Almost all the characters in this book, aside from Simon and his friends, are thought of as either hypocrites or people who are just cruel. The members of the church are specifically portrayed in a negative manner. This book doesn’t show the other side of the church that is accepting and caring. I know that there are people who are devoted Christians that don’t mind that you like people of the same gender as yourself. But that isn’t shown anywhere in this novel.

The characters weren’t all to great either. I can’t say that I loved them, much less liked them (except for Jude. Bless his heart). I just couldn’t feel any strong emotion for them other than rage. Not a good sign when the book’s purpose is to pull on heartstrings.

Another major flaw is the ending. Nothing is resolved by the time the ending comes. It’s vague and literally ends with a “this is just the beginning” line. If this was a series, I might forgive that, but this isn’t a series. So I basically just trudged through a ton of things that offended me greatly and sent me into rage only to feel unsatisfied. The Waiting Tree is only 218 pages. Surely the author could have added 50 or a 100 more pages to tie things up, right?

If you are looking for a book that writes the issue of being ostracized in a sensitive way I would recommend Speechless by Hannah Harrington, a book that not only has amazing characters that are rough around the edges, but also an ending that doesn’t make me want to throw my Kindle across the room.

An advanced copy was provided in exchange for a honest review via Netgalley.

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13 thoughts on “The Waiting Tree by Lindsay Moynihan: review

    • It’s such a sad scenario isn’t it? I always wish that good covers always held good stories…

      You reading this book makes me giddy. If I could force everyone in the world to read it, I would 😛

  1. I actually really liked this one, but some of the things you mentioned annoyed me greatly too. It was by FAR a really depressing read, and I do wish there had been a bit more evenness on some of the portrayals you pointed out. And the summary’s pretty misleading– like you said, the story really isn’t about Simon being gay(it’s just part of it), which the summary seems to suggest.

    • Oh, I’ll go read your review right now! I’m always open to others’ opinions! I’m okay with depressing reads. it’s just that the offending content just offended me way too much…

  2. I’m torn. I was drawn to the cover like you were but I’m still willing to give it a shot. You wrote a great review though and I feel that I’m entering the book prepared.

  3. This is one of those books you would buy for the cover alone.. it’s pretty. Haven’t been visiting your blog for some time… but feeling real greedy now..

    Want them all! 😀

    • Hehe, the cover is one of the prettiest covers I have ever seen. I love mosaics… and trees 😛 Which is why I am so disappointed that the contents aren’t as pretty as the cover…

      Do you want all the books or the covers? Either way, I want them all, too!

  4. Very beautiful review, Lottie!. Well, the cover and even the title is nice and inviting. No wonder you got enticed!. When you said nothing is resolved in the end, it made me so angry. I can totally understand why you wanted to throw your kindle in the end!

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