Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Sound Among The Trees

A house with a turbulent Civil War history becomes home to a new bride and stepmother in Susan Meissner's richly absorbing tale of a line of women stuck living in patterns of regret.

For 150 years, Holly Oak, a spacious Southern home, has stood the test of time and wills in historic Fredericksburg with Civil War scars to prove it. Marielle Bishop marries into the family with multi-generational ties to the home, leaving behind her independence and her love of Arizona's deserts to move to Holly Oak to become a wife and stepmother. But it isn't long before Marielle is led to believe that the house she just settled into brings trouble and misfortune to all the women who live there. Local folklore has it that Susannah Page, a Yankee spy who housed Union soldiers, haunts Holly Oak because she's longing for pardon. When Susannah's great-granddaughter Adelaide McClane tells her that the house is "stuck" because of it's tumultuous past, Marielle is determined to get past the rumors and uncover the secrets that are buried within its walls. With Adelaide's richly peppered superstitions and deep family roots at stake, Marielle must carve her new life out carefully as she sorts out the truth and makes peace with the sacrifices she has made for love.

This story is sent in two eras. We read Marielle's story sent in the present time. But, to me, the most interesting part of the book is Susannah's letters. For a little over a hundred pages the story is told through those letters.

The first part of the book was pretty interesting. Marielle marries Carson, who was married to Adelaide's grand-daughter Sara prior to her death. When Marielle moves in to the family home, she is regaled with stories of Susannah's ghost and a house that can't move on from what happened in the past. She begins a low key search to find out exactly what happened.

After the portion of the book with the letters, we go back to the future with Marielle. I have to say that after the letter portion, I found the ending to be a bit of a let down.

But all in all it was a good book.


My copy of this book was graciously provided by Waterbrook/Multnomah for my honest review.

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