I resisted the pull of this book more than once when the e-mail from Blogging for Books showed up in my inbox. I try not to overload myself with books to review, which is easy for me to do. I love to escape into a good novel. I finally gave in and requested A Sound Among the Trees by Susan Meissner. The ties to the Civil War, family secrets, and a possible ghost were irresistible.
A Sound Among the Trees begins with a wedding reception in the garden of a Civil War-era mansion. Guests mingle and remark about the cannon ball embedded in Holly Oak’s side. Adelaide, the home’s owner, watches the groom—her grandson-in-law—and the bride greet friends and relatives, and everyone seems to be avoiding the fact that Carson used to be married to Sara, Adelaide’s granddaughter.
It doesn’t take long to realize that relationships in this family are complicated. Carson and Sara, along with their two children, had lived with Adelaide. Carson’s new bride, Marielle, will live there with him and the children too.
As if that weren’t odd enough, the reception is barely over before Adelaide speaks to Marielle and alludes to strange goings-on in the house. The consensus among the people in Fredericksburg, Virginia, is that Holly Oak is haunted by Adelaide’s great-grandmother, Susannah Page.
The story continues with secrets surrounding Adelaide’s daughter Caroline, who left Sara to Adelaide to raise when Sara was just an infant. Caroline has rarely returned to Holly Oak through the years.
It all comes to a head when documents from the past are discovered, and the inhabitants of Holly Oak begin to learn the truth—about the house, its previous owners, and themselves. The ending is unexpected and satisfying. I’m glad I gave in to the temptation and requested this book. I couldn’t put it down!
Susan Meissner is an award-winning author whose books include The Shape of Mercy, Lady in Waiting, and A Sound Among the Trees. She is the wife of an Air Force chaplain and a mother of four young adults.When she’s not writing, Susan directs the Small Groups and Connection Ministries program at her San Diego church.
If you’d like to know more about Susan Meissner and her writing, please check out Susan’s website or follow her on Twitter. You can also enjoy this podcast about A Sound Among the Trees or read an excerpt!