The Elijah Tree is the story of a young boy who is birthed in the fire of a mystical vision. Around him move Chava, Shira, Eli, and Jael—the adults who love him but who live in conflict with one another. Estranged from Chava, Shira struggles to find her place in the world while raising Elijah and mourning the death of her lover. One day at the beach outside her cottage retreat, Shira loses sight of Elijah and fears he has drowned. But then a stranger, Jael, finds him hidden within the rotting trunk of a tree. Jael’s act of returning son to mother brings her and Shira together through bonds of desire and faith.
The Elijah Tree can be read simply as the story of women dealing with loss and abandonment who find solace through the love of a young child. Or it can be read as a mystical allegory of the relationship between an absent or ineffable god and the prayer, scripture, or prophecies that, nonetheless, call the individual to faith.
Cynthea Masson is a professor in the English Department at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo, Canada. Her academic research and publication areas comprise medieval visionary literature, medieval alchemical poetry, and the contemporary works of Joss Whedon, including Buffy, Angel, and Firefly. The Elijah Tree is her first novel.