The Unicorn Tree by Cynthia Collins

The Unicorn Tree by Cynthia Collins

Oct. 22, 2016: Book Review, Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers’ Favorite ****

The Unicorn Tree by Cynthia Collins is a great novel for a younger audience that teaches readers how to deal with absence. Lisa’s life is about to change. She’s a senior in high school and exploring college. Her brother is part of the crew of a clipper called the Northern Star for the summer. She has to do a paper on the historical Mirabelle Manor. The more she learns about the manor, the more it parallels to her life. Mirabelle was an original owner of the manor, married to Captain Hutchings. Mirabelle would wait for weeks to receive letters about her husband’s welfare, using her status to comfort the other families of the crew. When the Northern Star becomes lost at sea, Lisa finds solace in the journal of Mirabelle, using her experiences to find comfort as she waits for news of her brother. Through the connection she feels with the late owner, she’s able to process her own fear and find hope.

The Unicorn Tree is the perfect comfort for juvenile readers who have a parent or relative away on a dangerous job. It gives them something to relate to. Lisa pushes people away, but she stays strong for her parents and uses the manor as comfort. Cynthia Collins gives younger readers someone who knows what they’re going through. Lisa’s brother is lost at sea in a hurricane. This situation can easily be applied to someone at war, in the navy, going into a hurricane to help those in need, or any other risk taking job. It can be hard for people to work through fear and it can feel like no one else understands. The Unicorn Tree is that understanding. It’s a comforting novel that’s real, heartfelt, and a little bit mystical. A must-read!


“I am impressed and moved by how well you’ve captured not only facts/reality about maritime history and life, but also the interior life of people actually involved, on shore and on the water.”

— Laura Pires-Hester, Ph.D., Vice-Chair of Schooner Ernestina Commission

“The Unicorn Tree is a remarkable achievement… I kept reading, not just because I had to, but because I wanted to. It’s a real page turner.”

— Barbara Stretton, author of the Tori Trotter Mysteries

“This is a fascinating book, for high schoolers as well as adults! Cynthia Collins weaves history with both suspense and mystery, skillfully building a story within a story. …a must-read for any high school student.”

— Robin Tidwell, author

“Cynthia Collins’ The Unicorn Tree is not your typical Young Adult book fare. Very well-written, it combines history, teenage angst, family crisis, and the occult in a wonderful blend that keeps the pages turning. An added plus is you will learn a lot about nautical terms and how old ships work. In short, I highly recommend it!”

— S. R. Mallery, author

“I have enjoyed The Unicorn Tree immensely. I loved all the characters, the weave of centuries, the presence of Mirabelle Manor and the shore… You have mastered all your details and carried me through the experience while always holding my attention.”

—Lee Gruzen, writer and editor, Ship Lore and Model Club of the Port of New York

“The Unicorn Tree blends history with coming of age. Full of angst because her brother was lost at sea, a teenage girl discovers an old and fascinating journal. Her suspenseful search to unravel truth weaves history into her adventure. Author Cynthia Collins has penned a delightful story that any age can enjoy. I highly recommend The Unicorn Tree to all.”

—Kathleen Rowland, author

“An old manor, a curious journal, family crisis and suspense – a great plot. A book for teenagers and adults alike. A recommended read.”

—Diane Major, author

“The lines move with a tempo of suspense. Well researched and believable. Wonderful plot and characters that come alive. A good read.”

—D. A. Ramirez, author

For more information, see also excerpts and book overview.

Available at Paperback and Kindle and Barnes & Paperback and Nook


© 2016 Cynthia Collins. All rights reserved.