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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
Life Tree is a young adult drama by Martha Amabile. While preparing himself for the next day's funeral, Peter McKinney starts thinking about his childhood. His memories transport him back to the year 1964, just days before Christmas, when he was a mischievous eleven-year-old living with his Aunt Joan and Uncle Leland. Due to the tragic deaths of his parents in a boating accident, his aunt and uncle raised Peter as their own. The past threatens to repeat itself when Peter and his best friend Luke have a close brush with death. Peter also discovers the truth about his parents, which turns his world upside down. Soon, he finds newfound respect for an unassuming friend. But can he learn to let go and embrace acceptance?
A captivating coming-of-age tale doused in nostalgia and adventure, Life Tree is a heartwarming read you won't want to put down. Martha Amabile crafts a moving story about a young boy's journey to self-discovery while searching for the truth about his parents' deaths. With credible characters and an absorbing plot, the narrative pulls you in and keeps your attention until the end. Peter is a likable protagonist, and despite his curiosity sometimes getting the better of him, you find yourself rooting for the boy. I particularly liked how his perception of William changed throughout the story. His relationship dynamic with his aunt and uncle was another highlight of the book. If you're a fan of coming-of-age stories full of heart, this is just the book for you.