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A Sound Among the Trees

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  2,320 ratings  ·  430 reviews
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, doesn’t believe that Susannah’s ghost haunts the antebellum mansion looking for a pardon, but rather the house itself bears
Paperback, 330 pages
Published October 4th 2011 by WaterBrook Multnomah (first published January 1st 2011)
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Average rating 3.71  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,320 ratings  ·  430 reviews

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Ashley Daviau
Sep 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Potential ghosts, lost letters and restless houses? Sign me up! I thoroughly enjoyed everything about this story, it completely drew me in right from the start. The only thing that slightly affected my enjoyment was our main character, I found her a tad annoying at times and I can’t really pinpoint why. But other than that minor issue, I really enjoyed this book. It was thoroughly entertaining and kept me guessing right to the very end!
Dale Harcombe
Jan 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Marielle meets her husband via the internet. When they are married, she moves from her home in Arizona to Holly Oak. Holly Oak is an old home in Virginia. Despite some misgivings from family, Marielle is agreeable to living in the old house with her husband Carson, his two children and his grandmother-in-law, Adelaide. Holly Oak is also the place where Carson lived with Sarah, his first wife. There are those who believe the house is haunted or, at the very least, brings misfortune to the women w ...more
Aug 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Susan Meissner’s voice in Christian fiction and her authority with words sucks me in with the cadence of her writing in the story she weaves.

There is an incredible amount of subtext in her latest novel “A Sound Among the Trees” and I was excited to pick up a book blending two of my favorite periods: contemporary and historical Civil War. The book didn’t delve into as much of the latter as I would have liked, but was more focused on how the past actions of previous lives rippled down three, four
Shirley Brosius
Feb 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
A Sound Among the Trees keeps you turning pages from beginning to end. Susan Meissner does her homework and, in this novel, shines a spotlight on family relationships complicated by the Civil War. Susanna was rumored to be a spy whose presence lived on at Holly Oak, a stately southern mansion with a cannonball embedded in its walls. Generations later, Marielle married into this family, which could not seem to break free from shadows of the past.

The novel captures the complexities of love and los
Mar 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Dana by: Christian Fiction Devourers Book of the Month March 2016
This was a fascinating book. About 3/4's of the book is written in contemporary setting. At first I was like I can't believe I am reading this, I was kind of freaked out about ghosts and spirits and such and at times I felt prickly, but then comes the Civil War part and wow, it just all came together and now I can't stop thinking about it. I loved how it all wrapped up and gave a nice wrapped up ending. I have to say, i really really enjoyed the Civil War parts of the book, it was so intriguing ...more
Deanne Patterson
Feb 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
I enjoyed the historical civil war part of the story more than the contemporary part.
Tara Chevrestt
Jul 23, 2011 rated it liked it
I first discovered this book while browsing Amazon one night. I typed "historical fiction" in books and then "coming soon." This is NOT historical fiction, however. I need to get that out there, because the search and the lovely Civil War dress on the front will have people expecting a historical fiction.

It's a good book, just not what it appears to be. Until page 200 or so, it is all contemporary. Marielle marries a man and gains an instant family and household. She suddenly has a husband, two
I'm a big fan of Susan Meissner's contemporary fiction (not so much of a fan of her historical fiction) but I found it very, very hard to stay connected with this story. The main problem is that the focus of the novel is the house, not the characters living in the house during the present day (although they had interesting back-stories that would have been fun to explore more deeply) and the possibility that there were ghosts or curses attached to it. I have to give Meissner credit for attacking ...more
Jul 27, 2020 added it
I wasn't sure about this book I thought it was going to be like a ghostly story but its not really more the lady who lived there projecting her feelings onto the house. The most interesting part was the letters that Susannah wrote to her cousin during the Civil War. It was an ok fiction story I wouldn't call it historical fiction would have given it a 3.5 if goodreads had the ability to do that but since they don't gave it a four thought it was better than a 3.
Hallie Szott
Feb 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
In Fredericksburg, Virginia, everyone knows the legends of Holly Oak’s ghost and its traitorous past. Susannah Page, a suspected Union spy, supposedly haunts her beloved home, seeking absolution. And the ones who live there now are the ones who suffer.

Adelaide, the great-granddaughter of Susannah, welcomes a new family to Holly Oak as her grandson-in-law marries for the second time. His new wife, Marielle, chooses to move away from everything she knows into this historical Southern homestead fil
Maureen Timerman
Nov 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011-read
This story takes you from Modern day to the Civil War period. We open the story at a wedding reception for Marielle and Carson, at which looks like a beautiful Southern estate. Carson and Marielle have meet over the internet and there interest bloomed into love. They were married in Arizona, and are having the reception in Virginia.
Carson and his two children live in Virginia in the beautiful old home, that has been in the family for many generations. The home is actually Carson's deceased wife'
Book Him Danno
I will be reviewing this title on my blog in the next few more real soon.

I enjoyed this book quite a lot. I found the modern idea of internet dating and how the older generation just didn’t understand pretty entertaining. Loss plays a huge part in this book, loss of self, loss of loved ones, loss of reality. The writing flowed well and just sucked me into the story every time I picked it up.

The ending chapters with the letters from Susanna were fascinating with the history she share
Susannah Page was a young woman during the civil war, her great granddaughter, Adelaide is ninety in the twenty-first century, and Marielle is her new granddaughter-in-law who has just married her grandson-in-law Carson Bishop four years after he became a widower. Marielle moves into the family home Susannah inherited and soon becomes swept up in Adelaide’s superstitions regarding the house and the superstitions of one of Adelaide’s friends that Susannah’s ghost haunts the house because apparent ...more
Kris - My Novelesque Life
2011; Waterbrook/Random House

I am a sucker for historical novels set during America Civil War era so I was excited to read this one. I figured A Sound Among the Trees would be a dual timeline novel - set present day with usually a historical storyline. The novel starts out with a Marielle marrying Carson, a widower with two young children, and moving into his late wife's grandmother's estate. Adelaide, the grandmother, raised her granddaughter and helped with the caring of her chi
Kate Goderstad
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A Sound Among The Trees is a beautifully written tale which explores the ways in which past ad present interact and connect in ways so misunderstood by all who experience it. The most powerful aspect of the story, however, is the depiction of how one who loves deeply sacrifices all to protect those around her. I would suggest this book to any historical fiction or romance reader as it is, again, a wonderfully written tale of love both lost and found.
Mar 22, 2018 rated it liked it
A gentler read about goes back and forth between the Civil War and current times. Adelaide the 80 something current resident of Holly Oak believes the house has a grudge against the women in the family. Why, you ask? Because former occupant (Susannah), may have been a traitor to the confederacy and because of her nefarious history, some believe believe has cursed the women in Adelaides family. Sounds a bit convoluted, but if you like historical fiction, this could be a good fit.
Joyce Krebs
May 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
I gave it 4 stars because the section with the Civil War letters was very good.
I’m going to preface this review with a bit of a complaint. When I signed up to win this book from the First Reads program, there was zero indication in the description or author’s blurb that this book is a contemporary Christian novel. I have no objection to Christian presses or authors writing Christian novels but I am a secular gal and I feel a bit annoyed that this book was not accurately described. I often see novels that either make it implicitly or explicitly clear in their descriptions t ...more
Colleen Turner
Aug 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I read and reviewed this book for

When Marielle decided to marry Carson Bishop she knew there would be some challenges. She would be moving across country, leaving her family and friends behind in Arizona to become an instant mother to Carson’s two children in Fredericksburg, Virginia. As if this wasn’t enough, they would be living at Holly Oak, the childhood home of Carson’s first wife, Sarah, who died four years earlier. The home that Sarah’s grandmother, Adelaide, still
Jennifer Jensen (Literally Jen)
Adelaide has always lived in Holly Oak, a historical Virginian house with ties to the Civil War. Her great-grandmother, Susannah Page, is said to haunt Holly Oak. Adelaide believes it is because she is remorseful for having sympathies for Union soldiers. Adelaide’s life has always been filled with pain; her daughter Caroline has lived a reckless life filled with drugs and alcohol, her granddaughter Sara (Caroline’s daughter) died in her 30s, and Adelaide herself suffers a fall and swears that Su ...more

This was a different book than I was expecting. For some reason I was thinking it was going to be about a home that was haunted by a past relative. It is more a story of a home and family that is haunted by the past.

The book starts out with Marielle Bishop moving into the home of her new husband's deceased wife, Sara's family, where Adelaide, the matriarch of the family still resides. Sara was raised by Adelaide, who is her grandmother. Now doesn't that grab your attention? Right away, I thought
Meagan Myhren-bennett
Oct 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Meagan by: Blogging for Books
By Susan Meissner

A SOUND AMONG THE TREES is two stories in one. The first belongs to Marielle and Adelaide, the second belongs to Susannah. Susannah’s story is woven into Marielle and Adelaide’s.

When Marielle marries widower Carson Bishop, she doesn’t fully realize what she is marrying into. Carson lives at Holly Oak, the ancestral home of his first wife Sara, with Sara’s grandmother Adelaide and his children Hudson and Brette. But Holly Oak’s a has secret, a secret hidde
Barbara Mitchell
Oct 08, 2011 rated it liked it
This is the story of Holly Oak, a house in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and the generations of women who lived in the house between the Civil War and present day. A cannonball still stuck in the side of the house is a reminder that it survived the war, but it did so because the family had connections to both sides. Rumors say the house is haunted, that there are Yankee soldiers buried in the cellar, and that one of the women in the family was a spy for the North.

Beginning in this way, with Adelaide
Jul 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
“There are many shapes to love, Eleanor.”

Can a house have a memory? Can it hold a grudge? What about seeking absolution from the horrors of it's past, bringing misfortune to the women who live within it's walls? This is what Adelaide believes about her antebellum mansion, Holly Oak, in Virginia, which bore the brunt of and survived the Civil War. The way she describes it is like a record player getting stuck at a certain point on the record, playing over and over because the needle can't move
Sep 22, 2012 rated it it was ok
Author: Susan Meissner
Publisher: Waterbrook Press
October 2011
ISBN: 978-0-3074-5885-8
Genre: women’s fiction

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, doesn’t believe that Susannah’s ghost haunts the antebellum mansion looking for a pardon, but rather the house it
Feb 17, 2013 rated it it was ok
A Sound Among the Trees tells the story of a family that has lived in their home Holly Oak for multiple generations. Due to a mysterious past that began around the time of the Civil War, many people claim the house to be haunted. Although the family originally does not believe in the haunting, reflection over past events and a series of new happenings begins to make them wonder. This wondering causes one of the family's young ladies to begin seeking answers that they hope will settle things once ...more
Loraine Alcorn
Oct 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
A Sound Among the Trees By Susan Meissner is a really different kind of Ghost story or paranormal story . as the story goes you have a new wife named Marielle who marries into a ready made family with high hopes she will be able to adjust to life in the south and to her new family.

Marielle is hearing all kinds of unusual things about the large house she now lives in with her new husband , his children and the children's great grandmother named Adelaide.

Little by little we lean that something hap
Feb 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Yet again, Susan Meissner provides a story that drew me in and kept me engaged. Similar to others of her stories, a present day story combined with history, but there were plot twists and a different approach, so nothing felt formulaic. Thoroughly enjoyed this novel!
Sep 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: review-books
Holly Oak is a house rumored to be haunted by Susannah Page's ghost seeking peace from her troubled past. But is that what is really happening in that mansion, or is the rumor just that - a rumor?

I haven't read any books by Susan Meissner until now. A Sound Among the Trees is a beautifully written contemporary novel with a lot of history and when I was reading "The Letters", it felt like a historical novel.

At first, I thought "The Letters" in the book were going to be my least favorite part, but
Sherri Smith
Jan 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
WOW. I started this book at 8:00 in the evening, set it down to go to bed. But, the story remained on my thoughts, so I had to get up and finish the book. This is definitely a book that once you start, you cannot put back down!

I wasn’t really sure what to expect from the book. The first chapter or two, I was still uncertain. The book read unlike any other Christian fiction book I’ve read, more along the lines of a non-Christian book. It was interesting. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it
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Susan Meissner was born in San Diego, California, the second of three. She spent her childhood in just two houses.
Her first writings are a laughable collection of oddly worded poems and predictable stories she wrote when she was eight.

She attended Point Loma College in San Diego, and married her husband, Bob, who is now an associate pastor and a chaplain in the Air Force Reserves, in 1980. When sh

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