The Overstory unfolds in concentric rings of interlocking fable that range from antebellum New York to the late twentieth-century Timber Wars of the Pacific Northwest and beyond. An air force loadmaster in the Vietnam War is shot out of the sky then saved by falling into a banyan. An artist inherits a hundred years of photographic portraits all of the same doomed American chestnut. A hard-partying undergraduate in the late 1980s electrocutes herself dies and is sent back into life by creatures of air and light. A hearing-and speech-impaired scientist discovers that trees are communicating with one another. These and five other strangers each summoned in different ways by trees are brought together in a last and violent stand to save the continent's few remaining acres of virgin forest. There is a world alongside ours-vast slow interconnected resourceful magnificently inventive and almost invisible to us. This is the story of a handful of people who learn how to see that world and who are drawn up into its unfolding catastrophe.