Born and raised in the Free Territories, Magnolia Lee Winthrop, prefers the company of trees and nature to spending time with most people. Although she’s not much of a talker, she’s got plenty of strong opinions about life and how it should be lived, just like her mother and grandmother.
After the settlement’s forest farm is burned to the ground, Magnolia’s life can never be the same. To cope with her grief, she’ll have to leave behind everything she’s ever known and loved for a hard journey through a foreign, paved, and abandoned world.
The Tree Hugger is a dystopian retelling of Han’s Christian Andersen’s “The Dryad."
I loved Magnolia from the moment I saw her, I reckon. Sept I caint rightly remember when that was. It must have been when I was a tot, cause I’ve never not loved her. Somethin about her dark green eyes, pale white skin, and cocoa-brown hair draws me to her. She’s the shade of a tree on a high summer day when your face gets sunburnt just crossing the yard, a necessity. We good friends. I’m the best friend she got, although I confess that’s not saying much since I’m the only friend she got. Mags aint real friendly. I don’ blame her. A lot of folks think she’s lazy, on account of she can stay quiet and still for so long. But she aint lazy, she’s thoughtful and deep. Real thoughtful and real deep.
I’m not the best lookin guy in our settlement. I’m also not the smartest or the strongest, but I reckon, one day, I’m gonna be the tallest.
One day Mags and I was stretched out in the field watching the clouds float on by when she announced, “None of that other stuff matters, Graham, cause you got a right true heart, and a right true heart is the thing in this world that’s got the most value.”
I’d been lying still with her for half the day when she spoke up and said that. It kinda made it worth it. My Pa sez being quiet and comfortable in another person’s presence is proof of companionability.
Mags and I is definitely companionable.