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The Mulberry Tree

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  5,327 Ratings  ·  255 Reviews
He needed me
For nearly twenty years, those three words dictated the life of Lillian Manville. Quiet, unassuming, and overweight, Lillian did anything to please her husband, the self-made billionaire James Manville. Since the age of seventeen, she had obeyed this powerful older man's every command and in return she received a life beyond her wildest dreams. Elaborate ma
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Published June 1st 2002 by Simon & Schuster Audio (first published January 1st 2002)
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Alison Looney
Jan 30, 2009 Alison Looney rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Alison by: Kelsey told me it was her all time favorite book
It's hard to catalogue the all failures of this book. Writing, plot, characters, dialogue, themes...everything falls flat. It's a little bit mystery, a little bit romance, and a little bit Wikipedia entry on canning tomatoes. Blend together artlessly and presto! You've churned out your 87th book.
Sophie ♥
Not sure I can say I disliked this book... but I certainly wouldn't classify it as a romance which is probably why it didn't sit well with me. The plot was a bit more mystery/small town story than it was contemp romance. I found the characters kind of BLAH but I had nothing against the book itself. The plot was relatively interesting but the complete lack of romance put me off.
Joann Muszynski
Jun 18, 2009 Joann Muszynski rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Joann by: Betty E. Book Pal at my day job
I finally finished reading The Mulberry Tree by Jude Deveraux.

This book started out with a bang and hooked me in immediately, but then started to slide downward, drifting into a kind of humdrum that nearly had me closing the book for good. The only saving grace came in the form of my Book Pal at work who said, "It gets boring in the middle, but stick it out and keep reading. It gets really good at the end." Normally I do not have the patience to stick it out. If my attention span begins to dr
There are two books in my collection that I read occasionally when I need a light read and something kind of fun, and this is one of them. It is the story of Lillian Manville, the wife of billionaire James Manville, who is killed when his plane crashes in the middle of the night. He dies, leaving Lillian a decrepit old farm house and a mysterious note that reads, "Find out what happened." Lillian undergoes plastic surgery and moves to the farm in rural Virginia, trying to reassemble her life, wh ...more
Jul 10, 2013 Cindy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Quite a disappointment.....picked it up as a light summer read, but was ready to put it down before I finished it. Took a weird turn about halfway through, and by the end I was so confused by all the different characters and plot gaps that I didn't even care.
Jul 13, 2013 Leslie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just finished my 4th reading of this book. After suggesting it as a good read to a friend, I couldn't get it off my mind and had to read it again. It had been a couple of years since my last reading and it had the same impact on me. I love this book. I would like to give it several more stars in my rating. I know there are a lot of negative reviews about it and I don't understand what they don't like. It has romance, mystery, motivation. I did feel the ending was a little rushed, so maybe I ca ...more
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Feb 19, 2014 Sheskis rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm at a loss to understand why this was a bestseller. Implausible plot, trudged on interminably, then ended so quickly, with no rationale why any of the characters behaved the way they did, heroes or miscreants.
This book was alright I liked it at first but it got confusing and then stupid. Lifetime.
This was an enjoyable mystery about Lillian, a young widow of a billionaire. She is left alone when her husband dies in a plane crash, bequeaths his wealth to siblings and only leaves Lillian with an old, run-down house and a note telling her to find out what really happened. She doesn't understand the note or what it is she is supposed to discover. The book follows her on this quest. Through it, she meets many people - some want to help her but others don't. She soon realizes that there is a bi ...more
Nouf Maymony
Aug 02, 2014 Nouf Maymony rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, drama
Spoiler Alert:

I wish that the story was set during The Golden Six time. That storyline was way more fascinating that the Bailey's attempts to restart he life. The end was very interesting. But the writer didn't explain how Luke came to be under the mercy of his "brother and sister"?
Also, if his grandmother knew everything, why did he send his widow to that farm at all? He could have asked her to go see his grandmother.
And how come he didn't give his wife anything during his lifetime? She doesn'
Katherine Coble
May 29, 2015 Katherine Coble rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is a terrible book. The characters are themselves implausible, the situations surrounding them are ludicrous. The "mystery" (this was an author's early attempt at crossing over from straight romance to romantic suspense) was convoluted and yet dull eat the same time. Every challenge the main character faced was immediately swept away a few sentences later. And as if all that wasn't bad enough, we had my LEAST favourite trope--fat character loses weight through a miracle illness and is sudde ...more
Aug 02, 2013 Candice rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wouldn't read it again. It was ok but too many characters made this tedious and a bit confusing. Still not sure what happened to a few of the golden six. Left with a lot of loose ends but so exhausted from reading this book I don't even care.

The romance didn't catch me, with the main character eluding that she wasn't that taken with the hero, until the end.

Pretty talented author to be so versatile however as this book is very different to the others of hers I have read.
I feel awful writing this but this was probably one of the worst books I've ever read. I realize it's not a traditional romance but there was zero chemistry between the main characters. There were too many stories to follow, too many name changes, and too much dialogue - yes I said too much dialogue. I'm really disappointed as this is the first book I've read from Jude. Will not recommend.
Sep 15, 2013 Marie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one roller coaster of a mystery(? is mystery the right genre?) book. Throughout the book I loved figuring out new secrets of the characters and finding pieces of information to fill the gaps of the protagonists knowledge. Who are the Golden Boys? Who was Jimmie? What happened on the 30th of March?
I loved how the author drew me in and lead me through the finding of knowledge.

Pros for the book
- Complicated mystery. I definitely think this is a pro. Not at one point was the story predic
Diana Hockley
I won't go into the synopsis which other people have but say how I reacted to this book.

SPOILER ALERT***************SPOILER ALERT******************

There were aspects of the plot which I liked and others didn't seem believable. After changing her name, Lillian becomes Baileym but I could not understand how the inheritors of her husband's fortune could refuse Lillian entry into the house within hours of Jimmy's death? It surely would have been illegal because probate hadn't been passed and all her
Dec 02, 2009 Lynda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this would just be a light read but it was really good and held my interest to the end. There is a story/mystery within a story. Lillian's husband dies leaving her nothing but a run down farmhouse and $50,000 while leaving a fortune to a brother and sister he hated! Her husband's lawyer gives Lillian a note from her husband asking her to find out what really happened. Although she has no idea what he is talking about and having nowhere to go, Lillian travels to the farm and starts a ne ...more
Mar 18, 2013 Jeanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
A RABCK from bookstogive.

Lillian meets James Manville at a fair. He asks her to marry him and she says yes. She is only 17 but lies about her age. They were married almost 20 years. He was a billionaire and she obeyed this powerful older man and in return she received a life beyond her wildest dreams. But James dies suddenly and Lillian's life style has come to a abrupt halt. Her husband left everything to his sister and brother. He left her with an old farm.
This is where the story really starts
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that's actually what I said right after I closed the damn book. I felt as if I wasted such precious hours in this shitload book.
It's so boring. No climax. Yes the characters met already but there are no spark. I tried my best to like it, obliged and willed myself. But I just can't seem to like this dull book. My first and ABSOLUTELY last Jude Deveraux book.

Sharon Huether
Dec 22, 2016 Sharon Huether rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, chick-lit, family
A captivating story of a recently widowed woman, who changed her appearance, her name and moved
to an old home she inherited from her late husband.
For the first time in her life she is independent; wanting to start a business on her own.
While looking for information on her late husband she uncovers some awful family secrets.
With the help of trusted friends the truth is brought to life.
Such a great read, especially with all the characters in the story.
Carolyn F.
The first chapter or so I was really intrigued by this book, then I found out more than I ever wanted to know about canning and the liquors and the flavors available - blah, blah, blah. Then the mystery started. My favorite character was actually Arlene, who is just a minor player in this book. 3-1/2 stars
Pam Ogrady
Feb 28, 2016 Pam Ogrady rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the book. I read her books when I want to escape from all the stress of real life. I'm not big on romance but don't mind a little, her books usually deal with more than the hearts and flowers of regular romance. They are definitely light reading and that's what I want at times.
Patricia Ponton siegel
good story but if he had billions a trust would have been in place. also the estate tax would have taken at least nine months minimum while doing date of death value on the estate , so they would not be running off with the money, sorry worked for an estate cpa/lawyer .
Jul 10, 2015 Joan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A little slow in the beginning but I had a feeling this book would deliver. Interesting and kept my attention!
Jan 18, 2016 Lara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't care for the ending at all. And I found it difficult to follow with too many characters. This one felt like she kind of threw it together last minute.
Me gusto aunque es más de intriga que romance, hubiera querido un poco más de interaccion entre Mat y Lilian.
May 23, 2014 Mimi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not really a romance book an I was sorta disappointed because it got very slow in the middle.
Jan 21, 2017 Rosie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lillian Manville, the devoted wife of business titan Jimmie Manville, had always taken the blessings of her life for granted - until the devastating news of Jimmie's death turns everything upside down. Lillian is bewildered to learn that Jimmie has willed her nothing but the rundown farmhouse of his Virginia childhood and left his fortune to his greedy brother and sister. All Lillian has now is a house she's never seen - and Jimmie's cryptic note alluding to a mysterious scandal that had haunted ...more
Jan 19, 2017 Beatrice rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romantic-fiction
The wife of one of the wealthiest men in the world finds herself suddenly a widow - with nothing. The only thing her husband left her was a broken-down house in a remote country town. How will she build a life for herself? And will she make the same choices with the new man in her life?

Usually I love anything Jude Deveraux writes, but please give this one a miss. The characters are a little flat, the storyline is a bit higgledy-piggledy, and none of it really rings true.
I was surprised at how I found myself mostly interested in all the details of how she was going to renovate her house, what furniture she bought for it, and what food she was going to can next or what jam she was making, and I want the recipes. I don't care about the plot or whodunit...just give me a full description of the remodeled kitchen!!!
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Jude Gilliam was born September 20, 1947 in Fairdale, Kentucky. She has a large extended family and is the elder sister of four brothers. She attended Murray State University and received a degree in Art. In 1967, Jude married and took her husband's surname of White, but four years later they divorced. For years, she worked as 5th-grade teacher.

She began writing in 1976, and published her first bo
More about Jude Deveraux...

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“Mother Theresa once said that what hurt people more than poverty or illness was feeling that they weren’t needed.” 3 likes
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