As part of the Odyssey books family, It is an honour to be included in Isobel Blackthorns online book tour. I know that most of you out there, still recognise the importance of new material to swell the literary shelves. The Drago tree gives a unique interpretation to issues and landscapes that we are, in some way, familiar with in our own experiences. If you love reading as much as I do, this is a good addition to any collection.
The Drago Tree
With the planet on the brink of climate change catastrophe, the release of Isobel Blackthorn’s The Drago Tree, a novel set on the fragile desert island of Lanzarote, could not be more timely.
It’s 2013, and Lanzarote—a Canary Island off the coast of Morocco—is an island on the brink, with oil-drilling explorations off its pristine coast poised to commence, and native regeneration in its windy, desert-dry climate all but impossible. Lanzarote is a tiny volcanic gem of an island, with a third of the land smeared with lava, much of the rest coated in volcanic ash. The whole island was declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 1993, but that doesn’t stop the developers.
Lanzarote is a island of triumph. For centuries locals have tilled the land using dry-land farming techniques, the result a novel and highly productive method of growing crops in cinder pits. Always on the edge of survival, locals have gone to extreme lengths to access and harvest water. Artist and ecologist Cesar Manrique, along with other artists, have campaigned to ensure that all of Lanzarote’s tourist sites retain their natural beauty. From underground restaurants to spectacular lookouts, all constructed using the local basalt and exhibiting pottery and other works of art.
Yet the island remains on the frontier of survival. In The Drago Tree, protagonist Ann Salter finds out how.
The Drago Tree
Haunted by demons past and present, geologist Ann Salter seeks sanctuary on the exotic island of Lanzarote. There she meets charismatic author Richard Parry and indigenous potter Domingo and together they explore the island.
Ann’s encounters with the island’s hidden treasures becomes a journey deep inside herself as she struggles to understand who she was, who she is, and who she wants to be.
Set against a panoramic backdrop of dramatic island landscapes and Spanish colonial history, The Drago Tree is an intriguing tale of betrayal, conquest and love in all its forms.
“This beautifully constructed novel reveals the complexity we invite into our lives when we open our hearts to passion.” Robert Hillman, The Honey Thief
Isobel Blackthorn was born in London and has lived in Spain, Lanzarote, (Canary Islands), and Australia. She’s been a teacher, market trader, project manager and PA to a literary agent. Isobel received her PhD in Social Ecology in 2006. She now lives in rural New South Wales where she follows her passions for social justice, philosophy, current affairs, books and art.
Isobel is the author of a collection of short stories, All Because of You (Ginninderra Press), and the novel, Asylum (Odyssey Books). Her writing has appeared in e-journals in Australia and the US. Her second novel, The Drago Tree, was released by Odyssey books on 1 October 2015.
Isobel’s page can be found here for more information on her, or her other books.
For other links included in the book tour, see the following pages.