Monday, January 23, 2012

Blogging for Books: A Sound Among the Trees

A Sound Among the Trees by Susan Meissner

(from Amazon)
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.   

My Thoughts:

Wow!  This book totally drew me in.  I didn't realize until I was done with the book that I have read another book by this author.  As with the Shape of Mercy, this book was excellent!

The writing switches each chapter from elderly Adelaide's point of view to new bride Marielle's.  Both women, in their own way, wrestle with the haunting of the house - whether a haunting by ghosts or memories, neither can decide.

Adelaide feels her house, Holly Oak, has a grudge against any women born to its family, a grudge held over from Civil War times.  Marielle feels the house has an unnatural pull to the memories of its dead, former inhabitants, one of whom is her new husband's first wife and the mother of his children.

It takes the discovery of letters written during the Civil War to clear up the mystery enshrouded in Holly Oak.  One third of the book is taken up by these letters written from young Susannah Page (transplanted southerner) to her cousin in Maine during the first 3 years of the Civil War.  These letters are beautifully written and weave a story all their own, in ways connected with that of Adelaide and Marielle and in ways separate.  When I got to that part of the story, I literally could not put the book down.  It was that intriguing.  In beautiful imagery, these letters show the ugliness and unfairness of war, that no matter which side of the conflict you are on, no one really wins.  The victory only comes in the healing of a country and a family after the war is done.

I highly recommend this book.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

I received a complementary Kindle version of this book to review by the Blogging for Books program.  All opinions are my own.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a winner! Thanks for the great review. :O)