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The Second Tree, a captivating tale of two different worlds

By Vision Reporter

Added 22nd January 2015 01:47 PM

Three American colleagues; Sam, Rory and Martin are in Uganda’s western region of the Rwenzoris on a filming project for the Culinary Network TV Channel.

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Three American colleagues; Sam, Rory and Martin are in Uganda’s western region of the Rwenzoris on a filming project for the Culinary Network TV Channel.

The Second Tree, a captivating tale of two different worlds

Title: The Second Tree
Author: John Butziger
Volume: 322 pages
Publishers: CreateSpace Independent Publishing
Platform North Charleston, SC
Reviewer: Stephen Ssenkaaba

We all know the Rwenzori’s for their breathtakingly beautiful scenery. We also know a little bit about the indigenous people.

Mostly we will have heard of the Rwenzori’s allure to a number of tourists. This region is the subject of an intriguing book that is set to strike a chord with many Ugandans.

The Book entitled “The Second Tree “is written by John Butziger, an American engineer and entrepreneur.

Interesting plot
Three American colleagues; Sam, Rory and Martin are in Uganda’s western region of the Rwenzoris on a filming project for the Culinary Network TV Channel. As they go about their work, Martin is involved in an accident and finds about him a strange fruit which he carries back home and without so much as a thought gives to a colleague named Andrew.

As it turns out, there is more to this fruit-curiously named Nyoka- than just a chance discovery. First it becomes a culinary sensation and a much sought after dish in restaurants around Manhattan- then, it also turns out to have immense healing powers. Andrew jumps on this and sees a chance to make money, maybe even become famous.

But there is a secret about this fruit that Andrew and Martin do not know about but which holds very strong linkages to the
Rwenzoris. For now, all that the two friends care for is to make the most out of this fruit.

The story gets even more interesting when their find draws in powerful government, military and multinational interests. As the plot thickens, as the potential for Nyoka grows, more revelations come out. Just how far can Martin and Andrew go to exploit all this? What about the indigenous people of Rwenzori to whom this fruit is more than just a delicacy? How far will the second tree go to change lives? Go read, go find out.

In a story of fascinating intrigue and unrelenting greed, friendship and old loyalties are put on the line, integrity is sacrificed and good old consumerism takes centre stage as every party to this very juicy project seeks to make the most out of a new strange discovery.

Adventure, intrigue, fun, voracity permeate through this captivating story that successfully marries two otherwise different worlds. From the rustic depths of Rwenzori to the posh suburbia of Manhattan, Butziger’s fast-paced narrative transcends national boundaries, reflecting the challenges of human folly and the struggles of daily living.

Through lively characters and a bubbly atmosphere, Butziger’s work is one roller-coaster ride of intense emotion and heart stopping suspense. Some chapters end just when your mind is racing with questions: “what happens next?”, “did he get up from the fall,?” did he break his limbs?”.

It is this tendency to hold the reader to ransom that keeps you wanting to turn the pages. Vivid descriptions; of the Rwenzoris; of the busy urban Manhattan atmosphere and the emotions of the various characters in this work enable the reader to visualise, relate to and even enjoy the story.

Paragraphs such as: “He wrung the gin out of his shirt as the mudsplattered jeep strained up the mountain path, winding back and forth through the lush growth. The vegetation was otherworldly.

Above the moorlands, huge tree heathers stood draped with colourful mosses…(Page 2)
“Bits of burning curtain fell to the blood-soaked Oriental carpet, igniting small fires with each lick of flame. Martin pulled the log from the broken window and rushed at Andrew, who sprinted into the kitchen.”(Page 302-303).

You will enjoy the plot of this story as much as you will the descriptive, very colourful style of its author.

Adapted into film

The Second Tree has been adapted into film by the African Film and Writers Society (AFWS)-a Ugandan founded initiative that promotes local artistes and film makers.

According to Alexander Driez Kalyango, the AFWS acting president, “we will be engaging local screenwriters, actors and film/production artists from different parts of the region for screen roles in this movie.”

Already AFWS is preparing a script for the movie which is expected to feature Kilembe mines, Rwenzori Mountains, Kasese as some of the places mentioned in the book. By showcasing some of Uganda’s most beautiful places, this film is expected to draw the world’s attention to Uganda’s potential as a tourist destination.

This film will also be used as an opportunity to support those that are intending or already training for careers in television production.

This book has already won critical acclaim from readers across the world. Kalyango describes The Second Tree as a “wellpolished piece of work presented in clarity and laid out in a style that is a joy to read, highly entertaining and absolutely relevant.

According to Butziger, this is the first of a series of the captivating tale, with more coming. The book can be obtained online through Amazon. It is one that you want to read.
 

The Second Tree, a captivating tale of two different worlds

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