A house shrouded in time.
A line of women with a heritage of loss.
As a young bride, Susannah Page was rumored to be a Civil War spy for the North, a traitor to her Virginian roots. Her great-granddaughter Adelaide, the current matriarch of Holly Oak, doesn’t believe that Susannah’s ghost haunts the antebellum mansion looking for a pardon, but rather the house itself bears a grudge toward its tragic past.
When Marielle Bishop marries into the family and is transplanted from the arid west to her husband’s home, it isn’t long before she is led to believe that the house she just settled into brings misfortune to the women who live there.
With Adelaide’s richly peppered superstitions and deep family roots at stake, Marielle must sort out the truth about Susannah Page and Holly Oak— and make peace with the sacrifices she has made for love.
This book took me a while to get into. There just wasn’t much going on in the first half of the story to keep me interested. It wasn’t bad. It just didn’t grab me. The best parts were the scenes with The Blue-Haired Old Ladies. I laughed and alternated between thinking how sweet it was that the friends cared so much for each other and wanting to shake someone for poking her nose where it didn’t belong.
I think what bothered me most about the book is that there really isn’t any conflict. The characters all get along, with the exception of Adelaide’s estranged daughter, and even that situation doesn’t provide enough conflict to keep the story interesting. It could be argued that the conflict is between the family and the ghost, or the family and the house, but it just wasn’t enough for me.
A little over halfway through the book, Marielle starts reading Susannah’s letters written during the first part of the Civil War. Written from April 1860 through September 1863, the letters not only provide us (and the family) with the truth of what happened to Susannah, but brought in the historical angle that snagged me. I couldn’t put it down after that.
You can read an excerpt of the book here.
About the book
Title: A Sound Among the Trees: A Novel
Author: Susan Meissner
Publisher: WaterBrook Press
Release date: October 4, 2011
Where I got the book: I received an ARC of this book for free from WaterBrook Press through the Blogging for Books program.
Rating: 3.5 stars Hard to rate this one because I didn’t really like the first 200 pages of the book, but I loved the last 100+
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