by Lucy Hemphill, Michael Joyal
In this final installation of the Overhead Series, Lucy Hemphill once again transports the reader with intimate revelations on identity by exploring both her personal and ancestral relationship to the forest and the quiet sentinels that root together everything. Hemphill’s prose is extraordinary in its combination of self awareness yet unselfconscious honesty and skillful restraint, creating a sense of connection under the tangle of foliage and limb that ever-reach skyward. Masterfully illustrated by artist Michael Joyal, his evocative dendrological drawings contribute to the overall sensory and transcendent experience.
Lucy Hemphill has done a marvellous thing. Her book is a passkey that opens a door into the forest of her childhood. Her voice is gentle but direct, the author tells us the story of trees, their gift and our loss if we are not careful. Enhanced with Michael Joyal’s rich illustrations, Hemphill uses her Indigenous language to teach us that trees are our ancestors, living spirits, and as such we are to honour them.– Mary Barnes