Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Sound Among the Trees

A Sound Among the Trees by Susan Meissner

Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: WaterBrook Press (October 4, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0307458857
ISBN-13: 978-0307458858


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

This was a different book than I was expecting. For some reason I was thinking it was going to be about a home that was haunted by a past relative. It is more a story of a home and family that is haunted by the past.

The book starts out with Marielle Bishop moving into the home of her new husband's deceased wife, Sara's family, where Adelaide, the matriarch of the family still resides. Sara was raised by Adelaide, who is her grandmother. Now doesn't that grab your attention? Right away, I thought Marielle was a special woman. I can't think of many women who would move in with the family of the former spouse's family.

Holly Oak, the antebellum house they live in is grand and has housed many generations. Some believe the home to be haunted by the ghost of Susannah Page who is thought by many to have been a Civil War traitor or spy. All is not what it seems.

This book is not a true ghost story but more the story of a family stuck in the past. There seems to be troubles with each generation of women who have resided in the home. All these women are very strong but yet vulnerable. Their stories are pretty involved but it all comes together in the end.

I love when a book includes letters written by the characters. One of my favorite parts of this book is Part 4 where we get to read letters written by Susannah Page. It gives a pretty important glimpse into the Civil War period and how many people did whatever they had to do to survive the war.

This is not a fast paced book. The story evolves slowly but I think that is because it is a very detailed story. The characters are well-developed and have complex issues which add to the story as a whole. It takes awhile to get all their facts out in the open. Even though it is not fast paced, it did keep my attention and I ended up staying up much too late to finish reading this book. I had to know how it all ended once I knew the story of each woman who lived in Holly Oak.

This is the second book I have read of Susan Meissner's. I also recommend her book, The Shape of Mercy. You can tell when reading one of Susan's historical gems that she does quite a bit of research before she tells the stories of her characters. I like how in both of these books, Susan mixes the present day with the past. I recommend both of these books.

I received this book from the publisher through Amazon Vine for my honest opinion. This is no way influenced my review.

This book takes place in Virginia so it counts toward my Southern Belle Challenge.


  1. This one sounds really good. I agree, I love books that contain letters. I'll keep this one in mind. Great review!

  2. I'll have to keep an eye out for this one. I love stories about families and ghosts.

  3. I loved The Shape of Mercy and this one sounds like I would like it as well. Great review.

  4. This sounds charming. I'm glad you enjoyed it so much.

  5. This does sound like a good read. I like the fact that the characters are developed slowly and fully..

  6. This sounds really good. It sure has a pretty cover. I love the coloring.

  7. I think a lot of us can get stuck in the past. This sounds like a good read.

  8. Great review! I'd like to read this one.

  9. I read The Shape of Mercy also and loved it. I expect to receive this one any day now. Thanks for the review - it sounds great and I can't wait to get started on it.

  10. Just wanted to thank you for reading and reviewing my book. I loved your insightful comments!
    All the best,

  11. Thank you for your kind words, Susan! I enjoyed both books and look forward to reading more of your books! I love how you mix the present and the past in your stories! Thank you for your wonderful stories!


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