Review of O. J. Cade, “The Tree of Life in Lisbon,” Luna Station Quarterly 23 (2015): Read online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.
Cade used a story structure that I hadn’t ever encountered before, each different scene/setting being prefaced with a parenthetical description. It was a bit odd in the first instance, but as soon as I hit the second one I was immediately “oooh, I want to see how the same characters and issues will unfold in each different setting,” so it proved to be effective. And so we see Eve, over and over again, in each of her different gardens, in Lisbon, in Jerusalem, in Alexandria, in Athens and elsewhere, as she continually plants “one creation at a time”. The result is an intriguing portrait of one of the most written-about women in history, and one that feels novel and fresh.