Cover for The Wolf Tree

Published by Foremost Press
Trade Paperback
236 pages
$13.97

Available to booksellers
through distributors from
Ingram and Baker & Taylor.

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     "A stimulating novel filled with 
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Back Cover Blurb

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?"

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The Wolf Tree
by Philip R. Sullivan
ISBN-10: 1-936154-70-6
ISBN-13: 978-1-936154-70-8

About this Book

Why has Michael Manning left his big-city medical practice and retired early to a farm in rural Maine? And has he really—as viewed by Lesley Jordan, an attractive nurse in nearby Winchendon—reneged on his implied agreement to help his fellow man? An unexpected series of adventures arise as Michael tries to settle into his new community, leading to interactions with Lesley that are touching yet comical. Their story addresses a question that arises inevitably during the course of a human life: does this relationship have any future?

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About the Author

Photo of Philip R. Sullivan


The Wolf Tree is Philip R. Sullivan's fifth novel. In addition to his private practice, Doctor Sullivan has taught clinical psychiatry and neuroscience at Harvard Medical School for many years. He lives in a countrified Massachusetts setting where he has also raised African sheep.

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A Review

Feel free to use all or part of the following, and edit to suit. This content was prepared for your use. We ask no acknowledgement of any kind.

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).

Michaelís story begins with his bursting into the emergency room of a rural Maine hospital, bleeding profusely from a head wound of rather unexplained origin. There he meets Lesley Jordan, an attractive nurse who will turn out to be his femme fatale, though she sees him as a rather flawed physician whose very early retirement makes her think he has reneged on his implied agreement to help his fellow man.

An unexpected series of adventures arise as Michael tries to settle into his new community, leading to interactions with Lesley that are touching yet comical. Their story addresses a question that arises inevitably during the course of a human life: does this relationship have a future?

But the author, a psychiatrist by trade, seems to have more in mind than simply the unfolding of interesting events. He wants to let us know about the complexly conflicting goings-on within Michael. Nor does Doctor Sullivan do so by way of a duality, as in the good self and the bad self whereof Saint Paul so famously spoke.

Instead, itís as if there were a considerable number of "committee members" within Michael, contending with each other and forming alliances to take control of his body and authorize its activities. The degree of unity that results seems to be the outcome of shifting alliances among various committee members.

Hesse might well have concluded that Michael, like Harry before him, consists of a hundred or a thousand selves; although in Michaelís story, this fact is portrayed in a rather different manner. The effect is striking, however; sufficiently so that we would invite readers to come join Michael Manning and observe this medley in action as he initiates a new era of his life—including a new affair of the heart.

The Wolf Tree was published by Foremost Press. It can be ordered through local bookstores and at ForemostPress.com, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.com.
ISBN-10: 1-936154-70-6
ISBN-13: 978-1-936154-70-8
236 pp, $13.97

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