The Midas Tree by Lesley Phillips

Smudge & Waffles being used as bookstands.
Smudge & Waffles being used as bookstands.

Why I Read It: It was a combination of the cover & the concept of adventuring through a tree.

Where I Got It: A review copy from the author (thanks!)

Who I Recommend This To: Folks into meditation might enjoy this.

Publisher: ArtVision Enterprises Inc. (2012)

Length: 294 pages

Joshua starts off in a kind of paradise, the Garden of Color and Light. Joshua ends up chasing an acorn to a secret door at the base of a tree. Later he comes to learn this is The Midas Tree. He becomes trapped in the tree and gains assistance from several of the inhabitants of the tree, chiefly a variety of Devas. At first he can only think of finding a way back to the Garden of Color and Light. But eventually he learns to live in the moment, tackling the tasks and life lessons in front of him.

Lesley Phillips built a story around meditation techniques and adventures through a natural environment. The tale is told simply, so that even children with an interest could enjoy this book. I also enjoyed the artwork, both on the cover and the illustrations at the beginning of each chapter. Several nature elements provided lessons for Joshua, both as teachers and as quests. The Devas act as guides, often leading Joshua, but sometimes giving him a push, in the direction of his next life lesson.

At first the meditation bits were intriguing to me, being a part of the way of life in the Midas Tree. Such ideas as grounding your self, removing energy blocks, and connecting with your personal cosmic energy all started off as background to the larger story. However, towards the end it became a little preachy and I found myself skimming over those bits to get back to the main story line. I enjoyed the Devas; each of the main Devas had main tasks to keep the tree healthy. Through them, Joshua got to explore the tree from root system, to trunk, to the topmost tree canopy. Often, there were natural animals to help him along such as a spider, a woodpecker, a bat, and a grub. Some of the lessons involved Joshua assisting another to learn their lesson.

The overall tone of the book was simple, easy to read. In fact, most of the chapters could be read individually, such as a bedtime story to an interested child. Each of the main characters had their own personalities that did not blend together as the story went on. However, there was one Deva, Devalicious, who’s character sometimes dropped into that for a more mature audience; her flirtatious behavior jarred with the rest of the novel. In the end, while I can appreciate the craft that went into this novel, many of the concepts did not ring true to life for me and I found myself loosing interest.

What I Liked: The art work, especially the cover; strong use of nature elements; Joshua is an average guy thrown into a life where he has to learn everything; the cubicle ants made me laugh; while a little preachy, I appreciated the message about the evils of consumerism.

What I Disliked: The character Devalicious seemed to be transplanted from another, more worldly book to this one, jarring my reading; towards the end, the book got a little preachy on concepts that don’t ring true for me.

7 thoughts on “The Midas Tree by Lesley Phillips”

    1. Hi T.B.M.

      It might help to look at some of the other reviews for The Midas Tree.

      Obviously my goal as the author of this book was not to preach, but to offer some tools that I have found useful in my life and to present them to readers in an entertaining way.

      I hope that the readers of the book will also find them useful – as have the many people attending my meditation classes have done. But I also hope that people enjoy the story and have an entertaining read!

      The reviews are all listed on the books website http://themidastree.com/reviews/

      You can also get a preview of some of the art work that Susan enjoyed!

      Dr Lesley Phillips

    1. Hello George

      You are not the first to suggest this.

      The Midas Tree can definitely be approached as a series of smaller stories within a larger adventure.

      The foreword by Mary Ellen Flora makes a point of saying this
      http://themidastree.com/foreword/

      Once I completed the novel I did some research into fairy tales and related genres. In a way most chapters are a bit like “fables” as they involve overcoming a challenge and gaining some new knowledge. They therefore can stand alone.

      I actually think read this way they make great bedtime stories for kids!

      1. Thank you for answering! That’s interesting. Some books are meant to be read slow. I can see why you chose the format that way because certain subjects and concepts require more time to digest, such as those that are not solely fiction. Then in combination, they are more palatable.

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