Skip to content

The Tree You Come Home To

Appearance Date: 10/29/2022

The Tree You Come Home To takes the reader on her personal journey to finding meaning and healing. Jane Olmsted’s family didn’t adhere to the characteristics that the media portrays for those struggling with mental illness and addiction. Doctors, attorneys, and social workers repeatedly told Jane and her husband that they weren’t used to working with “families like yours.” The Tree You Come Home To tells the story of Jane’s family’s struggle with mental illness, addiction, and the crises that followed the murder of her youngest son. It can provide hope and comfort to those facing similar situations and encourage empathy and compassion in those who haven’t.

About her book, Olmsted said, “I hope The Tree You Come Home To will appeal to many different people. As a story about the journey to healing after a great loss, it will help other people struggling with grief. As a mother’s story about a son’s addiction and his difficulties in overcoming dysfunctional behaviors, it will also speak to parents and counselors or therapists working with teens in trouble. This memoir is also about the inner life and about writing one’s way to healing—it’s about finding the right language, expressing difficult things in ways that don’t further confuse, understanding dreams, appreciating the deeper meanings in everyday life.”

Meet the Author

Jane Olmsted
Jane Olmsted

Jane Olmsted is a retired professor of English at Western Kentucky University. Her collection of poetry, Seeking the Other Side, was published in 2015 (Fleur-de-Lis Press) and a chapbook, Tree Forms (Finishing Line Press), was published in 2011. Her poems and stories have appeared in Nimrod, Poetry Northwest, The Beloit Fiction Journal, Adirondack, and Briar Cliff Review, among others. An essay about the loss of her son, “The Weight of a Human Heart,” won the 2001 Memoir Journal grand prize for the guns issue. She and her husband have adopted their youngest son’s daughter; another granddaughter lives in Louisville. They live almost in the country with three dogs, three cats, two rats, and innumerable fish.