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Monday, July 16, 2012


By Elizabeth Leiknes

254 pages; Bancroft Press, Published June 1, 2012

The Understory by Elizabeth Leiknes is an ultimately uplifting tale that shows the power of endurance of the human soul, even under the most tragic circumstances.  The lives of Story Easton and a handful of other residents of Phoenix, Arizona unwind before our eyes; revealing intertwinings and connections of a complex nature between those we would otherwise consider strangers—much as the plants and animals of the rain forest are all interconnected to form a dense and complex, living, breathing ecosystem.  The rain forest does, indeed, feature prominently in this story.

Our heroine, Story Easton is a bit down and out and views herself as a failure at pretty much everything.  A domineering mother has quashed any self confidence ever mustered up by Story.  Through a series of seemingly unrelated circumstances, she meets some people who are about to change all that. These people, although never having met each other, are very much interconnected with each other; and now with Story is about to become a part of their lives, too.  They include a little boy, who has been crushed by a devastating loss and only Story has the key to set his life back on track.

It’s heartening to watch as Story realizes that for the first time, she just may succeed at something!  Not only that—she MUST succeed.  And in the process, she may just have found Mr. Right, as well.  Her path to a better perception of herself and those around her, is a heartwarming one for us to follow.   Story finds herself both a tool and a recipient of the power of healing.

This novel was a very enjoyable read and I found myself getting hooked on the story early on.  I heartily recommend The Understory to anyone looking for a good read and some motivation to carry forth!

Note:  I would like to thank both the publisher and Netgalley for providing a copy of The Understory to me for review purposes

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