The Ghost Tree by Barbara Erskine

This review is brought to you courtesy of the LoveReading UK ambassador book buzz. Thank you to HarperCollins Publishers for sending me a copy of this book! 🙂

The Ghost Tree by Barbara Erskine is an insidious tale about the newly divorced Ruth Dunbar, who begins to uncover enchanting secrets about herself and her ancestors, through the recent death of her estranged father. As she plunges deeper into the history of her family tree against the backdrop of a scam threatening to undermine her father’s last wishes, Ruth stumbles upon an unsettling mystery about her past that will make her question everything she believes.

Erskine captivates in this novel, with story-telling that pulls the reader into her world. This is especially true when describing Ruth’s frequent retreats to the river of the Old Mill House and Thomas’ exploits in the castle ruins of St. Andrews, where I could picture myself in the scene and almost smell the salt of the sea.

Frequent time shifts occur, as the story changes from the perspective of Thomas’ archaic past to Ruth’s modern present, and there is a shift in language to reflect these time jumps however, at times, these shifts have a suddenness that makes particularly Thomas’ narrative feel less antiquated and more contemporary.

Despite the various plot lines, Erskine creates some well-developed characters whose motivations we empathize with, though not wholly agree with, as in the case with April and Timothy. I enjoyed reading the gradual unfolding of the story and seeing how the different arcs converged into a satisfying ending.

The Ghost Tree is an immersing novel with a dynamic plot that maintains momentum and holds the reader’s intrigue throughout. I especially loved the descriptive story-telling and the darker themes which gave the novel a chilling yet alluring quality. This novel was a lot of fun to read and really easy to get into. All in all, I award The Ghost Tree.. ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

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