Gregor Thompson gives a shining review of Tree of Strangers


Gregor Thompson reviews Barbara Sumner’s evocative memoir, Tree of Strangers

Tree of Strangers is Barbara Sumner’s first literary work. Her newly published autobiography is consistent with her previous work in the sense that it is exceptional.

Displayed on the front cover is an image of the author playing alone on a lawn, presumably the backyard of one of her numerous childhood homes. The photo was taken by her adopted father when she was three years old, it conveys an impression of resolute loneliness. Perhaps the perfect portrayal of Sumner’s fascinating life.

Released earlier this year [the book] is divided into 27 six-page evocative and deeply revealing chapters that span Sumner’s life: focusing predominantly on the period from just before motherhood to her life as a recent Grandmother living in the Hawkes Bay. Throughout she relates back to stories of an unusual upbringing marred with transiency and personal confusion.’

Read the full review here