Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Sound of the Trees

The Sound of the Trees

A Novel

Robert Gatewood

Henry Holt and Co.



An extraordinary debut that brings together a hypnotic quest, a thrilling Western, and an unforgettable love story.

Set in the 1930s, The Sound of the Trees tells the story of Trude Mason, who, seeking to escape a brutal father and a violent past, sets out with his mother on horseback on a grueling journey through the extreme desert and mountainous terrain of southwestern New Mexico. Their destination is Colorado, a place Trude imagines to be abundantly fertile, wild, and free. But along the way, Trude finds himself in the clutches of a small New Mexican border town, once again a victim of brutality and lawlessness, this time in the form of a pitiless sheriff and his posse. When they arrest and sentence to death a young woman whose life Trude has saved, he must face an explosive collision between conscience and self-preservation.

Affecting yet unsentimental, written in piercing, unadorned prose, Robert Gatewood's The Sound of the Trees marks the arrival of a vital new literary voice.


Praise for The Sound of the Trees

“Gatewood's subtle, lyrical language gives this first novel a quiet grace....This cowboy tale has all the charms of a horseback ramble.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“This is a remarkable first novel....Gatewood makes us care about his characters and keeps us turning the pages. He shows enormous promise....It will be a pleasure to watch his progress.” —The Denver Post

“[A] remarkable debut novel...A haunting treatise on the conflict between free will and fate in an implacable world. The Sound of the Trees makes real one young man's struggle between personal conscience and survival. Gatewood is a stunning arrival.” —The Santa Fe New Mexican

“Robert Gatewood, in his very fine first novel, has written a timeless tale, eloquent and verbose, vivid as a conflagration.” —The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tennessee)

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Robert Gatewood

Robert Gatewood was born in 1974. He spends time in Colorado, New Mexico, and western New York. The Sound of the Trees is his first novel.

Robert Gatewood

Robert Gatewood