This is a fascinating book about the interconnected community of trees, how they can communicate and care for each other, and the amazing things that author Suzanne Simard has learned over “her” years of studying the forest ecosystem. Now, in “her” first book, Simard takes us into “her” world, the intimate world of trees, where “she” brilliantly illuminates fascinating and vital truths: trees are not just a source of wood or cellulose, but a complex and interdependent life cycle; forests are social and cooperative creatures connected by underground networks through which trees communicate their vitality and vulnerability to a common life not so different from our own. Simar writes of “her” own life, of “her” birth and upbringing in the rainforests of British Columbia, of “his” childhood catalog of the trees in the forest and how “he” came to love and respect them – embarking on a journey of discovery and struggle. And when “she” writes about “her” scientific quest, “she” writes about “her” own journey–of love and loss, observation and change, risk and reward. She makes us realize that the human scientific quest goes beyond data and technology, that it is about understanding who we are and what our place in the world is, and writing about “her” own life makes us realize the true interconnectedness of the mother tree that feeds the forest as deeply as human families and societies, and how these unbreakable connections make our survival possible. Suzanne Simar is known for “her” work on the interaction and communication between trees through underground fungal networks. This work led to the discovery that there are central or mother trees in forests, large trees that are highly interconnected and play an important role in the flow of information and resources in the forest. Simar writes in an inspiring, informative and lucid way about how trees have evolved, living side by side for hundreds of years, how they perceive each other, learn and adapt their behavior, recognize their neighbors and remember the past; how they determine the future, warn and protect, compete and cooperate with each other – traits attributed to human intelligence, traits that are the essence of civil society – and at the center of it all are the mother trees: mysterious and powerful forces that bind and support other trees around them Simar caught my attention early in the introduction by pointing out that the complex underground fungal communication network that trees use to transmit information bears a striking resemblance to the structure of synapses and nodes in the human brain. How do trees go through cycles of growth and rest, and how does this compare to the joys and hardships my family has experienced in a fraction of the time? Some circles were wider because they grew abundantly in rainy years or perhaps in sunny years after the neighboring tree burst, and others were almost too narrow to see because they grew slowly during drought, cold summers, or other stress. But after that it’s just a long text without much science, but a familiar story that includes the usual knowledge and behavior you would expect from an academic, certainly well researched, which is of interest to the reader, but not exceptional material worthy of a book that lacks fascinating scientific information about tree mushroom networks–you’d better read something else, if that’s what you are interested in this book. Given the level of communication and the ability to share information about potential threats, it really seems that people need to rethink their relationship to trees and the entire forest ecosystem. Speaking of humor, I loved this book! It differs from other science books I’ve read before in that it has an amazing memoir and adventure as well as incredibly creative and insightful science.