Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Rebecca Tree

29467340The world is running out of time as the American political system is trapped in an accelerating death-spiral into irrationality. The country becomes increasingly polarized as rapidly rising seawater separates ‘wet’ states from ‘dry’ states. Parts of South Florida surrender to the sea as carcasses of once-chic beachfront hotels poke out from the ocean floor. ‘Guest’ agricultural workers from Mexico hand-pollinate fruit trees and vegetable crops in a desperate effort to maintain the country’s food supply. California’s once plentiful fruits are now as rare as caviar in post-Tsarist Russia.

Out of this chaos emerges Rebecca Tree, the rebellious granddaughter of America’s most powerful politician, Merewether Tree. A successful inventor and businesswoman, Rebecca’s life is marked by a string of tragedies, having lost both parents at the age of two, and her twin sister Allison at the age of four. The loss of her sister stirs her heart to beat for two, propelling Rebecca forward into a life of accomplishment, developing technologies that might help reverse global warming. When Rebecca's brother, the current president of the United States, dies in office during an election year, her grandfather blackmails her into entering the race for the White House.

After shockingly winning the election in a dysfunctional near-future America, she begins a journey uncovering family secrets while trying to restore rationality to an embittered country . . . if only she can avoid the brother-and-sister ‘Native Force’ team that seems hell-bent on assassinating her.

Beware of whiplash—

*May Contain Spoilers*

When the President of the United States, Sam Tree, dies, his sister is pushed into the run for office at the insistence of her grandfather in Michael Abramson's novel, Rebecca Tree. Merewether Tree, an evil man hidden behind lies and sealed files, wants to control the highest office in the country, but he's mistaken if he thinks he can force Rebecca Tree to do his bidding. 

Rebecca Tree is a global advocate for healing the Earth. She's a savvy business woman who focuses on clean energy and loyalty. When her grandfather insists that she run for the Presidency, she thinks he's mad, but she soon realizes that she can do some good in politics, maybe even reverse some corruption and scandal. Rebecca is a good and decent human being. She was in the Army and lost the love of her life while in the military. Readers will enjoy her initiative t-shirts and progressive ideas. They'll also understand her need to know what really happened to her sister, Allison, which may be the biggest scandal she uncovers as President. However, I'm not sure how I felt about the use of government and presidential tools to fight a family battle. I also think that the political terminology and situations may be better suited to a reader who is more knowledgeable in those matters, but the family secrets and life or death moments will draw readers across genres. 

The plot was a little confusing at times as the story begins with the death of President Sam Tree, a man painted negatively throughout the entire novel. At first it seems that the novel will focus on Rebecca Tree's wave of change to remove corruption from Washington, help citizens, and tackle Global Warming. However, when clues about what happened to Allison, Rebecca's twin, are discovered, the book's focus shifts to unraveling the mystery surrounding her death. The assassination plot also adds a mortal air to the novel, intriguing readers with the mystery and mayhem caused by unknown murderers. All of these dominoes align, along with her health condition, to place readers on Rebecca Tree's side. As more and more stress is piled atop her plate, Rebecca struggles with anxiety and it's debilitating effects. These events and details work together to bring readers into the fold, allowing them to like Rebecca and root for her survival. 

Rebecca Tree is a complicated political thriller that drafts the future of the United States in a harsh light unless change is implemented in the system. 

Rating: 3/5 cups

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