Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Beach Trees

The Beach TreesAuthor: Karen White
ISBN: 978-0-451-23307-3
Publisher: New American Library
Source: TLC Book Tours
Purchase Link: The Beach Trees

In the aftermath of tragedy, life goes on—painful and forever altered, but ripe with new beginnings. For Julie Holt, traveling to the beautiful but ravaged coast of Biloxi, Mississippi, is a journey into a secret past and a life she never expected. Julie first knew loss at the age of twelve when her sister disappeared, never to be found. As her once close-knit family grew apart, Julie’s mother obsessively searched for the girl and when her mother died, Julie took up the search, never letting go of the hope.

Then at an art exhibition in New York she meets Monica—a struggling artist and single mother who reminds Julie so much of her sister that she can’t help feeling drawn to her. Monica paints a vivid picture of her family, but never says why or how she lost contact with them. She has another secret: a heart condition that will soon take her life.

When Monica dies, Julie inherits from her an antique portrait as well as custody of her young son, Beau. Taking him back to Biloxi and New Orleans to see the family he has never met, Julie discovers a connection of her own. The portrait, of an old relative, was done by her great-grandfather—and unlocks a family history she never knew.


The Beach Trees is a perfect example of fiction mixed with mystery and light suspense elements.  While the beginning of the novel was slow to start, it quickly became a story I didn’t want to put down.  The novel is full of secrets that will immerse and bring shocking revelations to light for Julie and the Guidry family.

Plot - While I had my assumption of who did what in this novel, I was left guessing at some parts of this mystery and second guessing my assumptions. The plot is interesting as well as addictive and thrilling to read.

Characters - What a diverse group! The characters of The Beach Trees are easy to fall in love with. They each bring something special to the novel, completing the story in their own ways. Everyone seems to have something to hide as Julie discovers the deep, dark secrets of the Guidry family.

Setting - set in New Orleans and Biloxi, this novel is the heart and soul of the south. From the deep roots to the dark family secrets, belles of the ball and loyalty of friends and family, The Beach Trees portrays the southern legacy and pride it is known for. The setting is perfect. It is clear the author had a deep love for her own roots.

Writing style - This book flowed effortlessly. While the story was a tad slow to start and didn’t quite capture my full attention, it picked up quickly and soon became a novel that was hard to put down. The authors writing style is easy to read. She paints a clear picture for the reader and carries you deep into the story. I really enjoyed reading this novel and will read more titles by Karen White because of it.

Length - The Beach Trees is 403 pages and is a perfect length for the story. The author ties up major aspects of the story while leaving some issues unresolved, which works for the story even though my curious nature made me wonder. The novel is a satisfying read that left me a fan of Karen. I wouldn’t change the length or results of this story.

Overall, The Beach Trees is a wonderfully entertaining read. It is full of charm, loyalty, family history, tradition and determination. I highly recommend this novel. You’ll be glad you read it!

**Check back this afternoon and read a "behind the scenes" guest post by Karen!!**

About the Author
From her first moments on the South Carolina and Georgia coasts, novelist Karen White was in love. Was it the history—especially that of Charleston and Savannah—the architecture, the sound of the sea, the light, the traditions, the people, the food, the lore? Check all of the above. Add Karen’s storytelling talent, her endless curiosity about relationships and emotions, and her sensitivity to the rhythms of the south, and it seems inevitable that this mix of passions would find its way into her work.

Known for award-winning novels such as Learning to Breathe, the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance 2009 Book of the Year Award finalist The House on Tradd Street, the highly praised The Memory of Water, the four-week SIBA bestseller The Lost Hours, Pieces of the Heart, and her IndieBound national bestseller The Color of Light, Karen has shared her appreciation of the coastal Low country with readers in four of her last six novels.

Italian and French by ancestry, a southerner and a storyteller by birth, Karen has made her home in many different places.

Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, she has also lived in Texas, New Jersey, Louisiana, Georgia, Venezuela and England, where she attended the American School in London. She returned to the states for college and graduated from New Orleans’ Tulane University. Hailing from a family with roots firmly set in Mississippi (the Delta and Biloxi), Karen notes that “searching for home brings me to the south again and again.”

Visit Karen's website and her Facebook page.

4.5 out of 5 Photobucket

1 comment:

  1. I loved this book! Like you, I had an inkling of who did what to whom, but White pretty much kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time.


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