The Drago Tree

Romance - Contemporary
372 Pages
Reviewed on 04/06/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Miche Arendse for Readers' Favorite

The Drago Tree by Isobel Blackthorn sees Anne Salter, a woman fleeing her failed marriage, find refuge on an island called Lanzarote. There she attempts to come to terms with her failed marriage and find some sort of solace through writing. Through her journey on this island, she meets two men who will change the course of her plans of living a simple life. She meets the renowned novelist Richard who stays on the island occasionally as part of his ‘getaway’. The other man she meets is a local potter by the name of Domingo. The three form a complicated relationship as they explore the island and the written word.

The Drago Tree by Isobel Blackthorn is a work of art in a book. Blackthorn does such an amazing job of setting a beautifully descriptive scene from the get-go and continues with this throughout the story. With deeply complex characters and a multi-layered plot, you cannot help but be utterly transfixed when reading this book. Although touching on the theme of romance, the author does not focus on it; instead, we are met with descriptive landscapes and a historic overview of the island itself. It also touches on themes of exploitation and the impact of tourism on islands such as these. This shows the work put in by the author and makes it more worth the read. I highly recommend this book and I think any literary fan would easily enjoy reading it.

Manik Chaturmutha

The Drago Tree by Isobel Blackthorn is a riveting story of grief, abuse, and self-discovery. The main character, Ann, is a forty-year-old geologist with a love for literature. At the beginning of the story, she faces the end of her marriage. She flees to the island of Lanzarote to escape the reality of her situation. There she meets a pompous writer, Richard, and a mysterious local, Domingo. And with these two men, Ann dives deeply into the island's rich history. While doing so, Ann unconsciously explores her past, going over every relationship in her mind. This exploration forces Ann to face her fears and the memories she has been suppressing for a long time. In this new chaos of her mind, she realizes she is also falling in love again.

This story was truly engaging, and it did make its mark. To begin with, the symbolism and metaphors used in the tale were intriguing and, from the first sentence, the story grabs the reader's attention. As the main character, Ann makes a deep impression. She has many flaws and her character has both negative and positive traits. At times, we as readers will sympathize with her and simultaneously want to shake her and scream at her. Ann's journey and character development were pleasing, while the characters of Richard and Domingo are also well written. Isobel Blackthorn has succeeded in portraying emotional abuse and its after-effects, both by a parent and a lover.

The book goes into detail about the history of the island and the research Blackthorn has done shines through. Most of all, this book is poetic, the descriptions are beautiful, and they take the reader straight to the island. Overall, this book is exceptionally successful at portraying the journey of self-discovery with delightful writing. Readers who love stories of women taking the reins of their life back into their hands would enjoy The Drago Tree.

Rabia Tanveer

The Drago Tree by Isobel Blackthorn is the story of Ann Salter who was looking for a refuge from her troubles but gets so much more in the end. Ann is a hydrologist hoping to recover from a broken marriage. Her wounds still fresh, Ann decides to step away from her sadness and spend some weeks in Lanzarote, Canary Islands. She started to write down her grief about her broken marriage and her tough relationship with her sister while staying on the island. Ann meets Richard Parry, a charismatic author, and Domingo, an indigenous potter on the island. Ann starts to explore the island with the two men and discovers the peace she was looking for was staring her in the face. Lanzarote had the answers; all Ann had to do was ask the right questions at the right time.

The Drago Tree was magical, and the narrative made it even more beautiful. The character-driven plot was interesting, to say the least. Ann’s journey led her to understand her circumstances, overcome her grief, look for love inside, and find someone that unconditionally loved her more than anyone or anything else. I had a love/hate relationship with Richard’s character. He was charismatic, but I could not understand him in the beginning. Domingo, on the other hand, was a favorite of mine. He was the voice of Lanzarote and a guide for Ann around the island. Together, the three characters made the story irresistible. The descriptions of the island were magical. Author Isobel Blackthorn described the local culture and the heritage of Lanzarote with care and gave readers the intensity they needed with the pace. I loved this entertaining and fun novel!