"I learned, I laughed, I sighed, I swooned. What an absolutely delightful romp through the forest."—Kate Harris, author of Lands of Lost Borders
"Intimate, open-hearted. . . A personal introduction to one of the most profoundly alive places on earth."—John Vaillant, author of The Golden Spruce
A funny, deeply relatable book about one woman's quest to track some of the world's biggest trees.
Amanda Lewis was an overachieving, burned-out book editor most familiar with trees as dead blocks of paper. A dedicated "indoorswoman," she could barely tell a birch from a beech. But that didn't stop her from pledging to visit all of the biggest trees in British Columbia, a Canadian province known for its rugged terrain and gigantic trees.
The "Champion" trees on Lewis's ambitious list ranged from mighty Western red cedars to towering arbutus. They lived on remote islands and at the center of dense forests. The only problem? Well, there were many. . .
Climate change and a pandemic aside, Lewis's lack of wilderness experience, the upsetting reality of old-growth logging, the ever-changing nature of trees, and the pressures of her one-year timeframe complicated her quest. Burned out again—and realizing that her "checklist" approach to life might be the problem—she reframed her search for trees to something humbler and more meaningful: getting to know forests in an interconnected way.
Weaving in insights from writers and artists, Lewis uncovers what we’re really after when we pursue the big things—revealing that sometimes it's the smaller joys, the mindsets we have, and the companions we're with that make us feel more connected to the natural world.