THE FIG TREE by Nancy Bruff Gardner

THE FIG TREE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An allegorical tale, a symbolic tree whose beneficent branches overshadow the surly lot of humanity and a Christ-like figure doomed to suffer martydom...What more could a righteous reader want? Fewer cliche characters perhaps, plus less intoning of moral lessons in inane dialogues. This tree grows in a tenement in Manhattan. Its creator and caretaker, Mario, is equally loving and sheltering to the hapless denizens of the pavement morass. Actually, the tree is an extension of his own brotherhood: ""People are the real thing;"" ""How can you love if you're ice bound with hate and how can you hate if you have thawed the ice with love."" Unfortunately, his wife Lisa does not share these sentiments. In fact, she's Jealous...""Bitch"" she screams at the tree in a fit of pique. And his gangster brother Gill connives to gain control of the tree so that his brother will be forced to show him some respect. But there are neighbors who rather selfishly donate to the cause of preserving the tree and as the opposing factions clash, the Oasis becomes the scene of a double murder. The tree, however, survives until Lila administers the coup de grace. Mario is left stumped until a greater symbolism strikes him, along with his neighbors' stones. A murky parable.

Publisher: Obolensky