Book review: Birnam Wood sees eco-activists get caught in a moral tangle

Booker Prize winning author rolls out a gripping literary thriller riding on the choice between what’s wrong and what’s hard

Eleanor Catton: gleefully makes her characters question their core beliefs, with a hefty side order of satire. Picture: Murdo MacLeod

It’s taken Eleanor Catton a decade to write her third novel. Since winning the Booker Prize with The Luminaries in 2013, she has written the screenplay for its BBC mini-series adaptation which starred Eve Hewson.

Birnam Wood, taking its name from the infamous prophecy at the heart of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, is an environmental action group. Its members’ primary tactic is to tacitly grow fruit and vegetables on land they don’t own, then sell the produce ...