Book Review: The Girl at the Top of the Tree by Barry Corbin

The Girl at the Top of the Tree

by Barry Corbin

Published: 2018

ISBN: 978-1775327905

Genre: Historical Fiction

Pages: 380

I enjoy local stories that take place in rural settings, so when I read The Girl at the Top of the Tree, it struct a nerve. The story takes place in rural Nova Scotia, the Annapolis Valley to be exact, or as locals call it, The Valley. It starts several generations into the past, but quickly transports readers to the 1960s.

The brief family history tugs at my genealogical nerve, and I’m wondering about the surname and if I can find it on a census record. Details about the First and Second World Wars also pique my interest. I’ve done a lot of research on both because of family members, including my father, who served in them.

Ultimately, The Girl at the Top of the Tree is a love story. In the backdrop is the history of farming, particularly apple farming in Nova Scotia. As the love story between Anna and Byron progresses, so too does the farming industry. It moves from small, family-operated farms to large farms run more like a business than what used to be a personal touch.

Byron, the main character, is the oldest son of William Corbett, a somewhat reluctant farmer who had to assume the role after his father died prematurely. Although Byron has plans for his future, they are threatened by a horrible accident.

The Girl at the Top of the Tree follows Bryron from his teenage years to middle age, the farming industry from the 1960s to 2008. Although life serves him several severe blows, he is fortunate to have his loving family to support him.

If you love reading about rural struggles with a heavy dash of love and history, then pick up a copy of The Girl at the Top of the Tree. It’s the debut novel for this Nova Scotia author.

If you live in The Valley, the book launch takes place Friday October 26, 2018 at the Berwick Library.

To read more about this story, read the Kings County News article: Berwick author’s first novel weaves love story, focuses on evolution of a family apple farm.

The book is available at

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