The Forgetting Tree

The Lotus Eaters

Winner of UK’s James
Tait Black Prize

New York Times Notable
Book 2010

New York Times Bestseller

ALA 2011 Notable Book

LA Times Book
Award Finalist

A Kirkus Reviews
Top Debut Fiction  

Bookmarks Magazine
Best Literary Fiction 

The Forgetting Tree

New York Times Notable Book 2012

New York Times
Editors' Choice

"Daring... haunting... The lesson Soli has to teach... is a salient one for the modern world: even a remote citrus ranch can be a crossroads where cultures collide, and those collisions can be life-changing for everyone involved. Soli writes with patience and wisdom about both sides of this relationship, allowing both of her central female characters the freedom to be eccentric and inconsistent, but also to learn from each other."

"This novel has it all—mystery, psychological insight, emotional truth, and—most important—characters whose lives matter. You'll fall in love with these families. Soli writes with such passion it is inescapable, lyrical, and profoundly moving. The Forgetting
 goes on my top ten list."

—Jonis Agee, author of The River Wife

Especially in California, one was reminded of the fragility of one’s tenure on the land. One felt the rattle and rock of the earth’s crust, saw hairline fractures appear like visions in concrete driveways, plaster pools, rock walls. One made a pact with the devil to stay on borrowed time, while the honeycombed cliffs crumbled into the ocean, while giant, unseen excava- tions hollowed out sinkholes that suddenly devoured a car. Foolish to pin all one’s love on an orchard or a house... read more


When Claire Nagy marries Forster Baumsarg, the only son of prominent California citrus ranchers, she knows she's consenting to a life of hard work, long days, and worry-fraught nights. But her love for Forster is so strong, she turns away from her literary education and embraces the life of the ranch, succumbing to its intoxicating rhythms and bounty until her love of the land becomes a part of her. Not even the tragic, senseless death of her son Joshua at kidnappers' hands, her alienation from her two daughters, or the dissolution of her once-devoted marriage can pull her from the ranch she's devoted her life to preserving.

But despite having survived the most terrible of tragedies, Claire is about to face her greatest struggle: An illness that threatens not only to rip her from her land but take her very life. And she's chosen a caregiver, the enigmatic Caribbean-born Minna, who may just be the darkest force of all.

Haunting, tough, triumphant, and profound, The Forgetting Tree explores the intimate ties we have to one another, the deepest fears we keep to ourselves, and the calling of the land that ties every one of us together.