Thursday, January 21, 2021

Book Review | The Mulberry Tree by Allison Rushby

The Mulberry Tree is a horror-adjacent middle grade mystery by Allison Rushby.

The Mulberry Tree by Allison Rushby

Is the eerie tree beside their bucolic cottage really a threat to ten-year-old Immy? Legend and hearsay give way to a creepy series of events in a captivating mystery.

Do naught wrong by the mulberry tree, or she’ll take your daughters . . . one, two, three.

Ten-year-old Immy and her family have run away from their storm cloud of problems to a tiny village in Cambridgeshire, England, where her depressed physician father can take a sabbatical and get back on his feet. Luckily, they find an adorable thatched cottage to begin a new life in. But their new home comes with one downside: in the backyard, there is an ancient, dark, and fierce-looking mulberry tree that has ceased bearing any fruit. There’s a legend that the towering tree steals away girls who live in the cottage on the eve of their eleventh birthday, and villagers even cross the street when they pass by the house. Of course, Immy thinks this is all ridiculous. But then she starts to hear a strange song in her head. . . . In a page-turner perfect for middle-graders, Allison Rushby folds themes of new-school travails, finding friends, being embarrassed by parents, and learning empathy into a deliciously goose-bumpy supernatural mystery.

I love, love, love creepy trees. As soon as I read the description for The Mulberry Tree, I knew I needed to read it.

For the most part The Mulberry Tree lived up to my expectations. The tree was indeed a character in this book, and it didn't come across as some literary analogy with a deeper meaning to be extracted by the reader. It was a creepy tree with creepy intentions, and I loved that about this book.

Some of The Mulberry Tree was hard hitting. The dad was dealing with depression, and Immy was dealing with a parent who just wasn't around the same way that they used to be. It really pulled on my emotions, and I loved the relationship that Immy had with her dad and with the people around her in the village.

My only complaint was the ending. It wasn't a bad ending at all, but it took something away from my overall experience with The Mulberry Tree. I felt like the book deserved a little bit more of a messy ending instead of one so neatly wrapped up. I still highly recommend it, though. My creepy tree loving self is so happy to have read it. It's one I'm definitely passing on to my kids. I think they'll love it, too.

4/5 stars


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  1. Yes, creepy tree books! There aren't enough of them. This sounds pretty good😁

  2. I'm not much into horror stories but I do love trees, even weird ones, and wow, I could look at this cover all day !

  3. I'm intrigued by the creepy tree! :)

  4. I love the sound of this one.

  5. This sounds great and that cover - I would want it for sure.
    Lynn :D

  6. Sorry to hear the ending wasn't good in an otherwise good book.

  7. I am glad you enjoyed this one even with the ending not being what you hoped. I am definitely interested in reading this one!

  8. I think I'd probably prefer a messier ending too but aside from that, this sounds fantastic. I'll definitely have to see if my son would be interested in reading it.


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