A tale of obsession so fierce that a man kills the thing he loves most: the only giant golden spruce on earth.
The Golden Spruce has architectural weaknesses, but Mr. Vaillant is absolutely spellbinding when conjuring up the world of the golden spruce. His descriptions of the Queen Charlotte Islands, with their misty, murky light and hushed, cathedral-like forests, are haunting, and he does full justice to the noble, towering trees - the Ent-like sequoias, Sitkas, red cedars and Douglas firs - that once stretched, in an unbroken line, from Kodiak Island down to Mendocino. The treacherous waters of the Hecate Strait, which divides the Charlottes from the mainland, inspire some memorable, rip-snorting passages. The chapters on logging, painstakingly researched, make high drama out of the grueling, highly dangerous job of bringing down some of the biggest trees on earth.