Based on real events, Grey Pine is a gripping story of one man's struggle to survive amidst the chaos of the forces of nature and the inner workings of a troubled mind.

Grey Pine tells the story of Phillip, a young man with an alcoholic father and a mother who died of cancer. The story starts with the Mount Saint Helens eruption and resultant ash fall around the surrounding areas. If you've ever been through the aftermath of a natural disaster, Phillip's account of cleaning up his yard and home will bring those feelings back. I was reminded of the evacuations and devastation left behind after Hurricans Rita and Ike here in Southeast Texas.

The ash left behind after the volcano eruption reminded me of the scenery in Cormac McCarthy's The Road. Along with the natural disaster, Phillip is dealing with severe personal problems, namely depression. Grey Pine is very well executed. I found myself compelled to keep reading, even though the book made me sad at times.

Grey Pine is a book that will make you think. It made me think about people's prejudices, the differences in medicine now and thirty years ago, parent-child relationships, addiction, and domestic violence. I don't usually read this kind of book (I'm more into escapism reading), but I enjoyed Grey Pine. It reminded me a lot of The Road, in a good way.

Just One Gripe:
I was sad for most of the book, until the end, which left me with a feeling of hope.

The Best Thing About This Book:
I like that it addresses the stigma associated with mental illness.

Appropriate for a younger audience:
Probably not. Parents, read it first and then decide.

Characters: 3/5
Plot: 3/5
Setting/Imagery: 4/5
Originality: 4/5
Ending: 4/5
Total Score: 18/25