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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.
Number of Pages: 352
Publication Date: 2011
|Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)|
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, doesnt believe that Susannahs 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 husbands home, it isnt long before she is led to believe that the house she just settled into brings misfortune to the women who live there.
With Adelaides 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.
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 pastors 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.
"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 settingthe beautiful old Holly Oak and all of its ghostsis what will seep into the readers bones, making A Sound Among the Trees a book you dont 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 familys 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 Ill discover a fascinating story and hoping Ill 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 Daughters 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
bubby1 Stars Out Of 5A Sound Among the TreesNovember 11, 2015bubbyQuality: 1Value: 1Meets Expectations: 1I did not care for this book at all. It should have been written in a short story. Too long and dragged out. The history part was overdone. I'm going on a cruise and will probably leave it in their library. Someone might
get some thought provoking enjoyment out of it. I have ordered hundreds of books from you and love 99% of them. This one is not my taste.
ConnieRMEAge: 55-65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Bound by what we think we knowFebruary 25, 2014ConnieRMEAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I 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.
VeraNorth CarolinaAge: Over 65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Glad I gave this author a 2nd chanceMarch 26, 2013VeraNorth CarolinaAge: Over 65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Review: 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 ï»¿in exchange for our honest review. Opinions expressed are solely those of the reviewer.
debwilsonSummerfield, FLAge: 18-24Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5February 2, 2013debwilsonSummerfield, FLAge: 18-24Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Susannah 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.
Stephanie2 Stars Out Of 5January 31, 2013StephanieQuality: 2Value: 2Meets Expectations: 1I 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.