Hedge is a typical human—fat and bald, not pretty but not ugly, with a round, doting wife and a farm where he tends beehives. Except Hedge is not a typical human. In fact, Hedge is not human at all, but a plant sent by the Council of Plants and the Plant of Ultimate Knowing to observe humanity and determine whether or not humanity is a threat to the universe. A task he has blithely performed for twenty years. Until the night he receives a message to report back to the Council and realizes he has to leave everything behind.
Pursued by an agent of the notorious Visitors, whose appearances have heralded the end of civilizations, torn between his fellow plants and an awakening affection for his earthwife, Anna, and armed only with a toaster, Hedge must find a way to save humanity from Visitors, plants, and themselves.
Published January 8th 2012
ReviewThere comes a time when we must learn from our mistakes, take responsibility for our actions, accept the consequences, and move on. Stronger, greater, more knowledgeable than we were. Sean DeLauder in a humorous, witty, quirky way explores these themes.
Hedge, a plant come to Earth in human form, has been sent to study humanity, to learn their ways, what makes them tick. It was fun to see us through his eyes. How our everyday, without-much-thought routines can seem trivial and ridiculous.
Even understanding why and how we love someone and how to express that love was hilarious:
She gave him a half smile.
"You're always so weirdly sincere," she said. "I guess I love you for that." The half smile found its other half and became full, but she was staring at him in the intense, patient way that told him she was waiting for something. Not just something, an equal acknowledgement of the love which she had just expressed.
Hedge thought a moment, then smiled in return.
"I find you highly symmetrical."
(Kindle Locations 427-433).
Even some of our greatest pastimes were analyzed, shaken down, and exposed at their basest levels:
He thought he'd wasted time with Anna, watching the glamorized violence on the television; wasted time sitting on the porch as he waited for the magical moment when the sunlight fell behind the willow and exploded it with radiant orange; wasted time gazing at Anna while the toaster buzzed in his hand before slinging him across the cosmos to end up standing here—in the mud, dripping wet, waiting indefinitely. The only wasted time, he decided, was not the moments idled away in pursuit of foolish pleasure, but that period of empty time where you did absolutely nothing and the next foreseeable event loomed somewhere beyond the horizon.
This, Hedge felt, was an unprecedented waste of time.
(Kindle Locations 532-537).
I did a little looking around on Goodreads, seeing how others rated this book, and noticed that there were some discussions people had started. One was related to the subtitle of the book: A Love Story. And I was perplexed because I didn’t notice that when I started the book. And it truly was. The love between Anna and Hedge spanned miles, hours, planets, galaxies. It was a genuine, real, sweet love. There was nothing more satisfying about this book than that love and it’s many representations in the story.
I don’t want to give anything away, but the ending is just wonderful. I smiled. I mean, y’all, it was that sappy smile, that all-is-right-with-the-world smile. And it was real. At that moment, everything felt right with the story, the world, the universe.
I so enjoyed this book that if I could give away copies to y’all, I would, but I can’t. So, you just need to go buy this for yourself. It is not what I expected it to be, and I am thankful that it wasn’t. The Speaker for the Trees is perfect the way it is, taking it at face value, no additions, subtractions, or substitutions.
Y’all, read this book.
Get to reading,
*This book was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review*