Theresa Verboort


The Communing Tree

The Communing Tree is a new novel about courage, persistence, and survival as two sisters face a perilous new life alone in the wilderness. 


A memorable book for young adults and the young at heart.




A light flashes in our direction, and we flatten on the ground. … I’m trembling uncontrollably in terror, but through my fear comes the instinct to run and hide. … I grab Kali and the dog and race back deep into the woods.


Sixteen-year-old Judith and her little sister, Kali, are the last of their survivalist family. For years they have lived hidden deep in  the Kalmiopsis Wilderness of southwestern Oregon, convinced that the end times were coming. When tragedy strikes, the girls escape their family’s killers, joining their grandmother at the family home.  When she too is gone, they live alone in the wilderness, fearful of being discovered. Judith cares for her little sister Kali, who, because of trauma, has stopped speaking. Alone, they struggle to survive in their isolated cabin, until a mysterious secretive visitor brings them aid. Will they discover who he is? Will they ever find a way to leave and return to the “outside,” as they think of it? Will they be alone forever?



Theresa (Ackerman) Verboort was born in Coos Bay, Oregon, and grew up on the southwestern coast in the fifties. After high school, she worked in forest-fire lookouts to earn her way through college to achieve a BA in English. These experiences were fine background for writing this novel. Always interested in writing, she, after a long career as a wife and mother, finally had time to bring Judith’s story to fruition. The great Kalmiopsis Wilderness of southwestern Oregon inspired the writing of The Communing Tree.



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