What’s Why The Yew Tree Lives So Long all about?:
This is a story about a particular group of yew trees including what they have seen through history and how they bemoan the folly of men.
What did I think?:
Well, this was an interesting little piece! I believe I’ve mentioned before, what I really enjoy about this collection is that after each story, Kate Mosse puts in a little afterword to explain what inspired her to write it which gives you a very fresh perspective, straight from the horse’s mouth so as to speak, and a great insight into the mind of the author whilst she was writing. This tale is remarkably short compared to the others and couldn’t be more different to what I’ve read in this collection so far. The author mentions that this particular tale was actually commissioned for The Woodlands Trust in order to protect certain trees from being destroyed and focuses on a particular group of yew trees in Kingley Vale which have been suggested to have been present since the time of the Vikings.
The yew trees at Kingley Vale, amongst the oldest living things in England.
The yew trees in this story describe their beautiful surroundings and appear to be peaceful and contented until the invasion of the Vikings is the beginning of many wars on their land. As they decay into the ground, they once again rise up and live on and grow to see more wars and horrific fighting between men. They are not only dumbstruck by why men would fight amongst themselves but are also saddened that blood is being spilled for no good reason. The story doesn’t really have a definitive sort of ending, we just feel bad for the trees as the reader when they continue to witness acts of violence. As a story promoting nature and the importance of these “immortal” trees, I think it’s a fantastic piece of writing and I loved that it took on a historical, mythological stand as we see events through the eyes of these ancient, knowledgeable trees. Personally, I would have loved a bit more length and perhaps a bit more detail about what the trees saw but rest assured, I think it does its job splendidly of illustrating how important these trees are.
Would I recommend it?:
Star rating (out of 5):
NEXT SHORT STORY: A Child’s Problem by Reggie Oliver from the collection A Book Of Horrors.