The Overstory unfolds in concentric rings of interlocking fable that range from antebellum New York to the late twentieth-century Timber Wars of the Pacific Northwest and beyond.
An air force loadmaster in the Vietnam War is shot out of the sky, then saved by falling into a banyan. An artist inherits a hundred years of photographic portraits, all of the same doomed American chestnut.
A hard-partying undergraduate in the late s electrocutes herself, dies, and is sent back into life by creatures of air and light. A hearing-and speech-impaired scientist discovers that trees are communicating with one another.
These and five other strangers, each summoned in different ways ovarian cancer virgin trees, are brought together in a last and violent stand to save the continent's few remaining acres of virgin forest. There is a world alongside ours-vast, slow, interconnected, resourceful, magnificently inventive, and almost invisible to us.
This is the story of a handful of people who learn how to see that world and who are drawn up into its unfolding catastrophe.