The Beach Trees
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Beach Trees

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  5,357 ratings  ·  670 reviews
From the bestselling author of After the Rain, Sea Change, and The Color of Light...

From the time she was twelve, Julie Holt knew what a random tragedy can do to a family. At that tender age, her little sister disappeared-never to be found. It was a loss that slowly eroded the family bonds she once relied on. As an adult with a prestigious job in the arts, Julie meets a s...more
Kindle Edition, 432 pages
Published (first published April 12th 2011)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Melissa Muszak
Ok, here's the thing. It was a gripping read. I debated on 3 or 4 stars, but ultimately decided that I since I really, really wanted to find out what happened, that was saying something. I have five main issues:

1) The historical part of the story was fantastic. However, the newer story in the book was not nearly as good as the story in the past. I kept wanting to skip ahead to go back to Aimee's story.

2) The reason that Monica left was not believable to me. It wasn't good enough to stay away fro...more
Marilyn Rondeau
Julie Holt and Monica Guidry become best friends with the young artist Monica, who because of artistry and zest for life had reminded Julie of her long lost sister who had disappeared some 17 years ago and whom Julie was still looking for. After Monica, who had congestive heart failure died, Julie received a legacy of a beach house as well as guardianship of Monica’s five year old son Beau. Julie decided to head to Biloxi and discover the beach house Monica had so loved and to discover why Monic...more
Deborah
After finishing THE BEACH TREES, I longed for more of the story, and to go and see what New Orleans and the Gulf Coast are like. I closed the book, and it was as though I'd left some good friends behing!

Karen White's THE BEACH TREES is an excellent and compelling read! It begins with Julie, who has inherited (part) ownership of a home on the river in Biloxi, Mississippi, along with her best friend's five year-old son. Her deceased friend, Monica, died very young, of a congenital heart problem, a...more
Lizz
I have been sitting here since I finished the book trying to come up with a good review. I just keep coming back to.... Wow. I love Karen White's books, but this is my absolute favorite. I found myself torn between wanting to keep reading to find out what happened, and wanting to read more slowly so as to be able to savor the story longer. No need to rehash the plot (not that I ever do anyway) since that has been done numerous times by those more skillful at that than I. Just read it. Then you c...more
Denise
I just loved this book. Being a huge fan of Karen White, I probably loved the book before I even read it. This author really knows how to do family drama and wonderful, draw you in scenic descriptions. A big bonus if you are a fan of southern fiction.
ReviewsByMolly
May 25, 2011 ReviewsByMolly rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to ReviewsByMolly by: TLC
I absolutely LOVED this novel! It's not your everyday novel...it's BETTER than that! If you are looking for a well written, mostly serious yet at times funny, beach read, look no further than Karen White's THE BEACH TREES. Her style is unique and gripping and will keep you hooked to the very end.

The characters found amongst these pages are both complex and real. Julie and Trey both experience the tragedy and stress of loosing someone they love. But, when both are faced with decisions and huge r...more
Splage
WOW! So different than what I usually read...and it was soooo good. There was romance in the book, but I wouldn't classify this as a Romance. It was such a heart wrenching story of such wonderful people and how things that happened generations before affected their family. Hidden family secrets, the heroine, Julie trying to uncover those secrets and wonderful story telling from the characters had me turning the pages seeing what would happen next.


This is a story is about finding answers to unkno

...more
Cherie Magnus
It's one thing to have a facility with words, and it's another to construct an engrossing story with a smooth release of information. Ms White is a wordsmith, but much of the time in this novel there were too many of them, and too much reading the expressions of people, along the lines of "behind his eyes he kept his secrets to himself", and having an important recollection just beyond the character's grasp and memory all to create suspense. "Something floated by in my mind that avoided me." The...more
Kerry Hennigan
In travelling south to Biloxi, Julie Holt is travelling towards her future; one in which she has a home at the evocatively named River Song, left to her by her late friend Monica, and is step mother to Monica's son Beau. Or, it could just be another episode in her life of searching.

Julie's younger sister went missing when they were both children, but Julie has never given up hope of finding Chelsea, and never stopped feeling guilty for her sister's disappearance. Monica had reminded Julie of Che...more
Jessica
I won this book from the "giveaways" here on Goodreads! I have read this author before, and while I liked that book (The Lost Hours) I enjoyed this one even more. This book tells the story of Julie, friend to a recently deceased Monica, who finds herself the guardian of Monica's son Beau. Monica's family is from the Gulf Coast and Julie ends up there looking for a home she inherited from Monica that, thanks to Hurrican Katrina, no longer exists. Instead Julie finds Monica's brother Trey and thei...more
Jacqie
Kind of a vanilla book for me. The setting was what spoke to me most about the book. It made me want to be on a secluded beach, listening to the bird calls and smelling the breeze.

There are two protagonists in the book, Julie and Aimee. Julie's story frames the book. She has become the guardian to a five year old boy after his mother dies young of a heart condition. She takes him to New Orleans to meet his family and also to restore a beach house in Biloxi that she now co-owns with that family,...more
Deborah
Julie Holt’s own Massachusetts family disintegrated after her little sister disappeared when Julie was twelve. Forever haunted by that loss, Julie grows up and moves to New York, where she meets struggling artist Monica Guidry, seemingly by chance. Monica, too, has been profoundly affected by family tragedy and has run away from her own family for reasons Julie has yet to learn. When twenty-eight-year-old Monica dies suddenly, she makes Julie the guardian of her five-year-old son, Beau, and wil...more
Kathleen
I imagine most people would acknowledge they have kept a secret to protect someone else’s feelings at least once in their life. In this novel, however, the secrets are many and have devastating consequences despite how fiercely attempts are made to guard them. Entering this culture of secrets is Julie Holt and a five year old boy for whom she has recently been made his legal guardian. Her mission, left to her by her close friend, his mother, is to connect him to his New Orleans/Biloxi roots. The...more
Villate
This was an all right story. I was a little surprised by the "twist" of who murdered whom in one case, and a little surprised by the reason for the other murder (oh come on, really? I know it's New Orleans, but REALLY?). I liked that racism wasn't a huge theme of the story but that its influence was still felt and that it affected the actions of some of the characters - that seemed more realistic than the ham-handed behaviors portrayed in, say, "The Help." The main characters were a little too b...more
Dale Harcombe
Three stars.
Maybe it was the wrong book at the wrong time of year or possibly I was put off by the faint print but I struggled to read this one. Julie Holt's sister disappears when she is twelve and it affects her life. Even as an adult she is constantly looking to find her sister, Chelsea. When she meets Monica, a struggling artist they form a deep friendship or so Julie thought. Even though Monica leaves her son Beau in Julie's care, Julie finds out she doesn't know as much about her friends...more
Lyndi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Teresa Lukey
Oh, how I love southern fiction. The Beach Trees takes place in New Orleans, LA and Biloxi, MS and is a story of families and their secrets.

Having honeymooned in New Orleans, it brought back good memories for me and just added more fuel to my, "I want to move to the south", fire.

In the story, Julie Holt, is willed a home on the coast in Buloxi, MS and guardianship of Beau, her best friend Monica's son, after Monica's passing. When Julie realizes that the home was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina and...more
Heidi
Sometimes I love Karen White, but this wasn't one of those times. Julie was made the guardian of her deceased best friend's 5-year-old son, Beau, and also inherited her late friend's beach house. So Julie left her life in New York and drove to Mississippi, presumably to take up residence in the beach house with Beau. When she got there, however, she found that the beach house had washed away during Hurricane Katrina. With nowhere else to turn, Julie contacts Beau's extended family, who, until th...more
Edith
What a masterfully crafted novel! I received this book as part of the First Reads program and was thrilled when it arrived just a few days after the contest ended. I had not read any books by Karen White before, but I plan to pick up as many of her novels now as I can. The author did a wonderful job describing the Gulf Coast area and definitely made me want to visit there. Her stories of the resilience of the residents there was very touching. She also developed amazing believable main character...more
Dianne
Family secrets are always a favorite for me, and this one was good I figured out the who of the mystery pretty fast the why of it I was all wrong about. I liked the flow of the chapters with the two main characters. I have to admit I did like Aimee's chapters a lot better that is what was keeping a hold of me. Aimee talking about her past, and putting the puzzle together. I also loved learning about the Katrina trees.
The main problem and the reason for the 3* is in the first few chapters when...more
Catherine
This was my first novel by Karen White. It won't be my last. I am really impressed by all the books I've read coming out of NAL. The Beach Trees pulled me in right away, and didn't let go until I finished the last page. I love stories where the past intertwines with the future and the characters must journey through to find the memories that will release them from the pain they still hold onto. I admit to getting a bit confused with the story from time to time, but on the whole, I think it all f...more
Tifnie
Because it's summer, silly!

This book is a nice "begin the summer" read. Easy. Interesting. A perfect murder mystery.

The Beach Trees is about Julie Holt who is thrown into the fast lane when she becomes guardian to her best friend's little boy and inherits her home in Biloxi as well. The pace is quickly set in motion when she arrives in Biloxi only to find that the home, River Song, has been destroyed and she is not the only owner. As Julie and Trey, her best friend's brother, slowly rebuild Rive...more
dawna
well....it has the dubious distinction of having some of the most unlikeable characters of any book I've ever read. I had no bonding with or sympathy for the main character, who was about as deep as a small puddle of water...I originally blamed bad writing but the narration told from aimee's POV gives no such issues. most of the rest of the characters were hardly more mature than the 5 year old in the tale. also, the main narrator's sister being missing had little to do with the storyline and wa...more
Katie
I am slowly becoming one of Karen White's biggest fans. I've read about three of her other books and am gearing up to start another one, and this book is up there in my favorites. The characters and their special situations were so well written. The mystery that surrounds them and all the clues that Karen gives us left me unable to put it down. I read this book in literally two days.
This book has a little bit of everything. Tragedy, adventure, mystery, and romance, and the little bits of comedy...more
Cindy
What a great book! Now officially my favorite by this author!

Really enjoyed this book and the family mystery surrounding it. I also enjoyed both of the main characters and the way the author switched flawlessly between the two stories.

Why did I give it four stars instead of five? Though I enjoyed the ending, it felt a little anti-climatic to me. Maybe it was just because I wanted the story to continue and am hoping the author will write another book that includes these characters.

Karen White-to...more
Kathy
I really enjoyed this book especially now that I am living near the Gulf Coast. Ms White wrote a lot about the determination and strength it takes to re-build after a disaster. She helped me understand why someone bothers to rebuild in the same place instead of moving on to someplace else. I have been mostly nomadic so that is a concept I find hard to understand. I want to read more of this author.
Joann
My first Karen White novel but definitely not my last. This setting is Biloxi, Mississippi where we learn of the destruction left behind by Hurricane Katrina and how that event touched so many lives through the eyes of the main characters. This is a heartwarming story of friendship, love and families with elements of tragedy, loss, and redemption. I would recommend this book.

Marcia
This is Karen White at her finest!!! Just enough mystery and intrigue to keep you guessing and a whole lot of history to make it all feel real. After reading this I have a better understanding for the surviviors of Hurricane Katerina. I was one of the guilty ones wondering why they would stay and why they would rebuild. I have a better understanding of their "diligence" now.
Renee
I loved this book for the same reasons I loved Secret Life of Bees. Different authors, but similar pattern. While the book is a novel, it is threaded with mysteries (which I love) that made me read till my eyes closed every night until I finished it. It is also responsible for me adding both New Orleans and Biloxi to my list of places to visit.
Shawn
4.5 stars. Another winner from Karen White. I enjoyed the dual viewpoints, and I was equally engrossed by both Julie's and Aimee's stories. I loved the New Orleans/Biloxi settings, and, even though I figured out part of the mystery early, another part WAS a bit of a shocker. Well done!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Ten Beach Road
  • Life Without Summer
  • Driftwood Summer
  • Folly Beach (Lowcountry Tales, #8)
  • Beach Trip
  • The Summer We Came to Life
  • Heat Wave
  • Swimming Lessons
  • Deep Down True
  • Second Time Around
  • Seven Year Switch
  • Summer's Child
The House on Tradd Street (Tradd Street, #1) On Folly Beach The Lost Hours The Girl On Legare Street (Tradd Street, #2) The Memory of Water

Share This Book

“I know what it is to hope and pray so hard that you're sure God will answer your prayer just so you'll stop asking.” 33 likes
“The answers we seek aren't always the answers we want, are they? But knowing the truth is what helps us sleep at night.” 21 likes
More quotes…