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My Mostly Happy Life: Autobiography of a Climbing Tree

382 pages3 hours


After serving in World War II, Samuel Swerling, a family man and inventor, created a wonderful park filled with large, leafy trees that were trained to grow in such a way that they would be easy to climb. People fell in love in the Samuel Swerling Park. Painters painted pictures, dogs chased Frisbees, and pretty girls basked in the sun. It was an idyllic place where time stood still.

Most of all, though, children did what Sam had created the park for them to do. They climbed trees.

The narrator of this book is one of those trees. He and his fellow trees thrive on human contact, and in their long and happy lives, they have had few disappointments.

Time passes.

Sam’s grandchildren, particularly Esther Swerling, are now in charge of the park. Esther is young, beautiful, and like Sam, an inventor. When a hurricane floods the area, she and her family provide food, warmth, and shelter to those in the park seeking refuge from the storm. At the same time, Jarvis Larchmont, a power-hungry politician who was thrown off the grounds years ago for bullying, is put in charge of the city’s recreational facilities. Still bitterly resentful about his treatment as a child, he joins forces with ecco-terrorists to destroy Samuel Swerling's dream.

Suddenly, our narrator and his fellow climbing trees are separated from the very life-force that they were created to serve. They are separated from children.

The trees cry, and they begin to die.

Then Esther, her friends, and her family organize.

And they fight back.

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