The Wolf Tree
by Philip R. Sullivan

3-D Cover for The Wolf Tree

    "True love is like a ghost;
     everyone talks about it,
     but few have seen it."


The Wolf Tree

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Snippet from Book

Nights in Maine, even during early December, can be darn cold. And when I blew into the hospital's emergency ward on a blast of air that was cresting like arctic surf, she shivered a bit. I think it was the weather rather than the fact that I was dripping blood.

"What happened to you?" she asked, as she led me across the polished floor to a room that glared under its fluorescence. "I'm cut," I said, deciding to stick with the immediate facts. By this time, she'd seated me on a stool and had heaved the sopping towel I was pressing against my head into a waste barrel. She kept poking at my head with gauze squares while I was leaning over her stainless steel sink, watching bright red drops as they hit the glistening surface. Finally she got the flow stopped and was applying pressure directly to the laceration with one hand while she washed my face and scalp with the other.

"Are you hurt anyplace else?" she asked.

"Nope." I wasn't going to tell her about my self-esteem. We got my blood-drenched sweatshirt off, and she had me lie down on the examining table while she called the surgeon.

"Doctor Gladstone will be down in a little while," she said, as she placed the receiver back on its hook. While we waited, she elicited my vital statistics for the medical record. I'd taken off from the house in such disarray that I was without my wallet—and therefore without my Blue Cross number.

"Do you think Doctor Happyrock will sew me up anyway?" I asked.

"Maybe," she answered, "if you can get his name straight."

I began to notice then. She was sort of pretty—tall and willowy, with concerned eyes and a nice smile. And dark brown hair that wavered around her shoulders when she turned her head. The white uniform only hinted at curves. Nice calves though, for sure.

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About This Great Book

Why, at the age of 54, has Michael Manning left his big-city medical practice and retired to a farm in rural Maine? And has he really—as viewed by Lesley Jordan, an attractive nurse in the nearby town of Winchendon—become little more than a narcissist who has reneged on his implied agreement to help his fellow man?

An identity crisis precipitated by Michael's growing disenchantment with the direction of modern medicine has led to his decision to "drop out." But an unexpected series of adventures arise as Michael begins to interact with the folks in his new community. Ensuing events impinge on the fragile friendship developing between Michael and Lesley (almost despite themselves), and leads to their interaction in ways that are both touching and comical. Their story addresses a question that seems to arise inevitably during the course of a human life—albeit not usually in such an offbeat manner—"Does this relationship have a future?"


From A Review

In his classic novel, Steppenwolf, Herman Hesse emphasized that each of us tends to see the self as a unit, or at most as a duality like "good self, bad self." Hesseís hero, Harry Haller, viewed himself in this manner, as either bestial or refined—as either "wolf" or "man"—although within the story a mysterious observer argued that Harry consisted of a hundred or a thousand selves, not simply two.

Philip Sullivan, author of The Wolf Tree, seems to share this view—or at least his protagonist Michael Manning does—because Michael tells us about his attempt to adjust to his new circumstances by way of the often conflicting responses of his many "inner committee-members" (as he calls them).


From The Author

The most flexible way to tell a story is to use an all-knowing observer who narrates happenings in third-person. This approach allows an author to alert readers about dangers the hero isnít yet aware of, use other characters to provide input on whatís going on, and so forth. But when a story involves primarily whatís happening inside oneís hero, nothing can match an account told in first person.

And being more of an inner-focused sort myself, I really enjoyed telling a story about Michael Manning, looked at, so to speak, from inside-out. This way readers get to see first hand whatís going on within Michaelís mind as he confronts the challenging problems—including a new affair of the heart—that arise within his innovatively altered lifestyle.

Philip R. Sullivan


Other Tales By Philip

In His Right Mind - In His Right Mind tells the story of a man who is thrust into an adventure he never would have chosen, with a result he never could have imagined. The line that separates sanity from insanity and health from illness is sometimes hard to find. more...

A Peaceful, Easy Feeling - His childhood scarred by trauma, Patrick Sayer moved to rural Maine as a young man in search of a simple life close to nature. But now the paper-mill workers have gone on strike, and as money runs low, tempers run high. Patrick is unwittingly snared in the deadly struggle and becomes terrified when his own life is threatened by he knows not whom nor why. He seeks help from those around him, but finds in the end that he needs to achieve his own salvation. more...

Coming Home Again - Coming Home Again is the story of Jud Gerard, an earnest young man who is dying before his time. The chronicle unfolds around the central people in Judís life, all very much alive, and all forced to deal vicariously with the issue of their own mortality as they try to help their friend through his final days. The portrayal is candid, yet socked with humor of the sort thatís inherent in our human efforts to find ultimate meaning in life and love and loss. more...


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