The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara

A book that is in equal parts beautiful and disturbing. I really enjoyed the detailed descriptions of the Micronesian island and the tribe, as well as the backstory for the life-giving turtles (the Godly love affair). Norton’s character, from his disdain for his parents (and even torment of his Mother) to his general lack of interest in others well being, to his ultimate destruction of a people, species and habitat, was bone chilling. As a scientist working in the US I recognized only too well that single-minded focus on success and notoriety where ego rules all. I am shocked, as many others have noted, that this was the debut novel of Yanagihara, the writing is excellent and the character development just right. A truly excellent book.