hmmm...well, i found this book to be very well written, with beautiful descriptions and haunting images. the author has clearly done her research, and i was fascinated by the botanical aspects. i also liked the trial sequences interspersed between flashbacks. i wanted to keep reading to find out what happened, but i certainly didn't enjoy it. i found the characters sophomoric, and not very well developed. SPOILER....while i don't consider myself to be a puritan, or even overly religious, one or two of the plot points were very offensive, inappropriate and disturbing, even. some ending threads tie together a bit too neatly (for example, one character who comes off as very negative in the beginning becomes a grandfather figure, with no explanation or development). i gather the book will be marketed towards teens, and perhaps if i were a teen, the book would've worked for me; on the other hand, having children myself, i'd definitely want to discuss the book with any young readers before, during and after!!