A Sound Among the Trees    -     By: Susan Meissner
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A Sound Among the Trees

WaterBrook Press / 2011 / Paperback

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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.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 352
Vendor: WaterBrook Press
Publication Date: 2011
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0307458857
ISBN-13: 9780307458858
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

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.    

Author Bio

Award-winning writer Susan Meissner is a multi-published author, speaker and workshop leader with a background in community journalism. Her novels include The Shape of Mercy, named by Publishers Weekly as one of the Best Books of 2008. She is a pastor’s wife and a mother of four. When she's not writing, Susan directs the Small Groups and Connection Ministries program at her San Diego church.

Publisher's Weekly

A woman marries into a Southern family with a dark past in this mystery about love and loss. Marielle Bishop meets her future husband, Carson, online and moves to the steamy Virginia hills from her home in the arid Phoenix desert. She soon learns that the family’s stately mansion, Holly Oak, houses more than just her new family. Ever since the Civil War, the Bishop family has been afflicted with hardship and strife—with many locals blaming their troubles on the estate’s alleged haunting. Suspicious herself, Marielle decides to investigate Susannah Page—the family’s former matriarch and spy during the Civil War—to figure out why her spirit refuses to leave the property. Meissner (The Shape of Mercy) delivers a delightful page-turner that will surely enthrall readers from beginning to end. The antebellum details, lively characters, and overlapping dramas particularly will excite history buffs and romance fans. (Oct.) Copyright 2011 Reed Business Information.

Editorial Reviews

Praise for A Sound Among the Trees

"Meissner delivers a delightful page-turner that will surely enthrall readers from beginning to end. The antebellum details, lively characters, and overlapping dramas particularly will excite history buffs and romance fans." - Publishers Weekly, starred review

"In A Sound Among the Trees, author Meissner transports readers to another time and place to weave her lyrical tale of love, loss, forgiveness, and letting go. Her beautifully drawn characters are flawed yet likable, their courage and resilience echoing in the halls of Holly Oak for generations. A surprising conclusion and startling redemption make this book a page-turner, but the setting—the beautiful old Holly Oak and all of its ghosts—is what will seep into the reader’s bones, making A Sound Among the Trees a book you don’t want to put down.’
—Karen White, New York Times best-selling author of The Beach Trees

"My eyes welled up more than once! And I thought it especially fitting that, having already shown us the shape of mercy in a previous novel, Susan Meissner is now showing us the many shapes of love. A Sound Among the Trees is a hauntingly lyrical book that will make you believe a house can indeed have a memory…and maybe a heart. A beautiful story of love, loss, and sacrifice, and of the bonds that connect us through time."
—Susanna Kearsley, New York Times best-selling author of The Winter Sea

"I have a dozen things to do (like sleep!), but here I huddle through the night, turning pages, mesmerized by yet another Susan Meissner novel. How does Susan create characters that stay with me long after I close the book? How does she transport a reader so easily to a mansion in the South, in this century, bringing one family’s challenge of the Civil War to speak to contemporary times? How does she address the emotions and memories that hold us hostage with such grace? How do her turns of phrase bring tears unbidden to my eyes? I keep reading, knowing I’ll discover a fascinating story and hoping I’ll infuse some of the skill and craft that Susan weaves to make it. A Sound Among the Trees is one more exceptional novel from a world-class storyteller. Jodi Picoult, make room at the top."
—Jane Kirkpatrick, award-winning author of The Daughter’s Walk

"A Sound Among the Trees is another Meissner masterpiece filled with well-shaped characters, a compelling plot, and haunting questions: are our memories reliable enough to grow us, or do we cling to them as an excuse not to live? Meissner stunned me as she skillfully grappled with those mysteries. I left the book resolved to live joyfully in the sacredness of today."
—Mary DeMuth, author of The Muir House

Product Reviews

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Quality:
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Displaying items 1-5 of 48
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  1. ME
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Bound by what we think we know
    February 25, 2014
    ConnieR
    ME
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I loved this book, my first by author Susan Meissner. I must admit that at first I couldn't get into the story. Adelaide and her musings about hauntings and such made me think the book was going to be different than it turned out to be. I'm so glad I persevered until Adelaide, Marielle, Caroline and Susannah pulled at my heartstrings.

    This book has so many messages to carry. It speaks of young love, first love, redeeming love, unfailing love, saving love. It also speaks of memories, and truth, and how one can color the other. Memories can be faulty, colored by emotion or generations of hearsay.

    I don't want to say more about the story than what you can read in the synopsis, but I urge you to read this book. I loved the peek into the Civil War as well, and from a different perspective than usual.
  2. North Carolina
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Glad I gave this author a 2nd chance
    March 26, 2013
    Vera
    North Carolina
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Review: This is the second book I have read by this author and I enjoyed this particular book much better than the first one I read ("The Girl in the Glass"). Set in modern day, "A Sound Among the Trees" is a story about one family's history and how many believe the house, "Holly Oak," is haunted by its ancestor, Susannah Page who was rumored to be a Civil War spy for the North and a traitor. Her great-granddaughter Adelaide, the current matriarch of Holly Oak, doesn't believe that Susannah's ghost haunts the mansion.

    When Marielle Bishop marries into the family and moves into Holly Oak with her new husband Carson and his two children (Hudson & Brette), she soon begins to believe that there may just be some truth to the story that the house is haunted. Carson's former wife Sara was Adelaide's granddaughter and she passed away while living at Holly Oak. It seems that misfortune has fallen to several of the women who have lived at Holly Oak and Marielle begins to wonder if she might be in for the same fate.

    "A Sound Among the Trees" is well written and easily draws you into the characters. I particularly enjoyed the section of the book that dealt primarily with Susannah Page and her life during the Civil War. The author painted a very real picture of how a young woman may have felt during this period of history and the suffering many endured.

    I'm most glad that I gave this author a second chance and read "A Sound Among the Trees." (rev. P.Howard)

    DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy of A Sound Among the Trees was provided by the publisher Waterbrook Multnomah through its blogger review program Blogging For Books in exchange for our honest review. Opinions expressed are solely those of the reviewer.
  3. Summerfield, FL
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    February 2, 2013
    debwilson
    Summerfield, FL
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Susannah Towsley Page is nothing but a girl caught up in the War between the States in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Born in the North, she and her mother have sojourned home to the Holly Oak plantation after her father's death. Accused of being a spy for the North, Susannah does what she has to do in the name of love. Will the choices she makes prove to be more costly than she first realized?

    One hundred and fifty years later, Susannah's great-granddaughter Adelaide, is the owner of the old southern plantation that survived the devastation of the War. At ninety years old, she truly believes that both she and Susannah have fallen victims to the tragic feelings of the house that had seen so much sorrow.

    Marielle Bishop marries into the family, knowing nothing of the superstitious belief that Holly Oak bears a grudge against it's past and brings misfortune to all the women who make it their own. Will she discover the truth before it's too late? Or will the past finally bring about the resolution Holly Oak so desperately needs?

    This novel encompassed two of my favorite elements in fiction: past and present. There is just something so romantically poignant and hauntingly beautiful about times and places we can re-create, but never live or experience for ourselves. Meissner takes up from past to present with such smooth transition, you never realize it happened. She draws you into the mystery of the house and the stories of all the women who were trapped there with such ease, you will loose yourself. I know I did.

    A copy of this book was provided for free by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
  4. 2 Stars Out Of 5
    January 31, 2013
    Stephanie
    Quality: 2
    Value: 2
    Meets Expectations: 1
    I really do not like posting a bad review, but its really impossible not to here. I read a book in less than two day, and I had to force myself to finish this one. I love Susan Meissner, she is an awesome writer, but this book was a let down. The characters were hard to like, I'm not sure it was that they were weakly written of if it was just the over all mood that killed the entire book for me. I'm sorry but I couldn't recommend this one.
  5. Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    THE POWER OF THE DEEP SOUTH...
    January 24, 2013
    Crystal
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Brilliant, Stunning, Emotional, Thought-provoking, are just of the adjectives to describe 'A Sound Among the Trees'! I was raised in New Orleans, so being a southern girl at heart I was extremely curious to read this novel! I also loved a good mystery, and was fascinated by the description and mystery shrouded within! The story centers around this beautiful misunderstood mansion 'Holly Oak', one of the last remaining antebellum homes. The author has such a unique way of storytelling, that you can almost feel like the house itself is living and breathing, just waiting to share it's centuries of memories! We begin from the viewpoint of Adelaide, current owner of Holly Oak, a hearty elderly great grandmother with quite a history of pain, regret, doubts and wisdom. Her widowed son has recently married the young and innocent Marielle, who soon finds out the marriage isn't what she bargained for - with ghosts, illusions, a past that shouldn't be acknowledged, will she have the courage to forgive and forget? Every person has a skeleton in their closet, and I love a good mystery! At the end of the day, you find that these are normal, relatable people, with personal struggles, joys, and loves! I just couldn't put it down!

    I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest, unbiased, non-profit review.
Displaying items 1-5 of 48
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