Book Title: The Sound Among the Trees
Author: Susan Meissner
Genre: Historical Fiction – Civil War/Christian Fiction
Publisher: Waterbrook Multnomah
My Rating: 4 of 5 Star
Summary: Holly Oaks is an antebellum Mansion in Fredericksburg, VA with a history of tragedy and hardships starting with it’s occupation during the Civil War. Does the ghost of Susannah haunt the home and place a curse among all who inhabit it? What is Susannah’s story and why would she still be here?
Ninety-year-old Adalaide has lived in Holly Oaks all her life, and she believes there is something about the house. Newlywed Marielle who has just come to live there with her new husband and his children is curious herself. What is the sorrow that embraces this place? An outspoken neighbor is convinced there is a ghost, and is determined to prove it.
Trying to summarize this book is actually more difficult that reading it for yourself. The story is about loss. Everyone at Holly Oaks for generations has seemed to suffer terrible loss, and somehow it’s been linked back to Susannah, who most possibly was a Union Spy in Confederate Virginia. But it’s only legend. There is no documented evidence. Marielle is new to the family and naturally curious, so she attempts to get answers herself.
The story is quite engaging. The plot lines keeps the reader wondering what will become of it all. There are surprises along the way as well. The characters seemed very real in their struggles and hardships. Her Christian perspective is there – but not “the” storyline. The resolution of events certainly has a Christian edge, but it’s not a “come to Jesus” type read. Faith is a subtle mechanism in the big picture of this story.
Discovering Susan Meissner’s books has been a great pleasure. I got a chance to review The Girl in the Glass earlier this fall and have also read Seahorse on the Thames. Each of these books has been unique in their stories, characters and approaches, but all have been enjoyable reads that made me think.
I was provided a copy of the book by the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.