Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

The Sound of Glass

Rate this book
Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Fiction (2015)
The New York Times bestselling author of A Long Time Gone now explores a Southern family’s buried history, which will change the life of the woman who unearths it, secret by shattering secret.

It has been two years since the death of Merritt Heyward’s husband, Cal, when she receives unexpected news—Cal’s family home in Beaufort, South Carolina, bequeathed by Cal’s reclusive grandmother, now belongs to Merritt.

Charting the course of an uncertain life—and feeling guilt from her husband’s tragic death—Merritt travels from her home in Maine to Beaufort, where the secrets of Cal’s unspoken-of past reside among the pluff mud and jasmine of the ancestral Heyward home on the Bluff. This unknown legacy, now Merritt’s, will change and define her as she navigates her new life—a new life complicated by the arrival of her too young stepmother and ten-year-old half-brother.

Soon, in this house of strangers, Merritt is forced into unraveling the Heyward family past as she faces her own fears and finds the healing she needs in the salt air of the Low Country.

432 pages, Hardcover

First published May 12, 2015

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Karen White

40 books6,399 followers
With more than 1.8 million books in print in eight different languages, Karen White is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of 23 novels, including the popular Charleston-set Tradd Street mystery series.

Raised in a house full of brothers, Karen’s love of books and strong female characters first began in the third grade when the local librarian issued her a library card and placed The Secret of the Old Clock, a Nancy Drew Mystery, in her hands.

Karen’s roots run deep in the South where many of her novels are set. Her intricate plot lines and compelling characters charm and captivate readers with just the right mix of family drama, mystery, intrigue and romance.

Not entirely convinced she wanted to be a writer, Karen first pursued a career in business and graduated cum laude with a BS in Management from Tulane University. Ten years later, in a weak moment, she wrote her first book. In the Shadow of the Moon was published in August, 2000. Her books—referred to as “grit lit” (Southern Women’s Fiction)—have since been nominated for numerous national contests including the SIBA (Southeastern Booksellers Alliance) Fiction Book of the Year.

Karen’s latest novel, Dreams of Falling, was published in June, 2018 by Berkley Publishing, a division of Penguin Random House Publishing Group.

When not writing, Karen spends her time reading, scrapbooking, playing piano, and avoiding cooking. Karen and her husband have two grown children and currently live near Atlanta, Georgia with two spoiled Havanese dogs.
- See more at: http://www.karen-white.com/bio.cfm#st...

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
6,859 (32%)
4 stars
9,118 (43%)
3 stars
4,000 (19%)
2 stars
711 (3%)
1 star
220 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,410 reviews
Profile Image for Carmen Blankenship.
160 reviews49 followers
May 17, 2015
The Sound of Glass

Karen White quite simply never gets it wrong. Storytelling seems to be as natural and breathing air to her and I for one will never miss a book she puts out. The Sound of Glass of one of her best.
The book blurb does a great job of explaining what the book is about so I won't recap the book chapter by chapter for you. What I will tell you is that you best forget the laundry, the dishes, dinner, or any other chore that you had planned on doing today because Karen White will be monopolizing your day.

This is a character driven story about family, forgiveness, letting go, with just enough mystery to make it impossible to set down.
I felt so strongly for Merritt. Her pain, her fear, and complete distrust was tangable as she tried to build a new life in the house she had so expectantly inherited.

What I love the most about Karen White's writing is it is not rushed but it is never slow. She is an expert as pacing her stories and bringing her characters to life. I am still thinking about Loralee and Merritt and sweet little Owen.

I read so much that sometimes I forget details of a book months after I have read them. This is never the case with a Karen White novel. I would also highly recommend The Time Between.
Five Stars.

Thank you so much Netgalley and PENGUIN GROUP Berkley, NAL / Signet Romance, DAW for the advanced copy in exchange for this review
Profile Image for Diana | Book of Secrets.
781 reviews572 followers
May 25, 2016
This is the first book by Karen White that I've read, and you'll have to excuse me while I gush over it. Wow! The story and characters were outstanding, and they pulled me in right away.

Merritt is a widow, and she inherits her late husband's grandmother's home in Beaufort, South Carolina. There are a lot of surprises awaiting her there, including a brother-in-law she didn't know about, and a reunion with her estranged stepmother, Loralee, and 10-year old half-brother, Owen. And the secrets! Dark secrets from generations past that come to light.

I really grew to love all of the characters, even Merritt with her stubborn, standoffish personality, and sugary sweet Loralee sharing the wisdom of her mama. I cried along with all of their struggles.

“You’ve been dealt a tough deck of cards, that’s for sure, but it’s time to pull up your big-girl panties and move on. Like my mama used to say, you can’t move forward if you always have one foot on the brake."

THE SOUND OF GLASS is a remarkable, character-driven story of mystery, family secrets, loss, second chances, and letting go. I loved it.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Margitte.
1,164 reviews511 followers
September 15, 2016
Hi sweeties,

Yes, it's me. And I am first going to get through the important stuff, like ... you know... the shiny, thick hair.. darling, for crying out loud, you should know it is hair extensions... tumbling down the leopard-print silk, full make up ... uhummm ... actually, the eyeliner and eyebrows was tattooed on, cute figure, cute skirts and cute clinging t-shirts, pretty toes with dark pink polish, gorgeous pair of legs, that pretty pink suit with a bow at the collar ... and ... oh yes ... for him, an impressive set of abs with broad shoulders and legs that filled out his khaki pants just right.

And then there's cute little Owen, the young boy with a world of wisdom with which he enchants all the adults around him, a big old southern mansions, a buried secret, an odd sisterhood, and a whole lot of drama to be addressed by everyone involved: orphaned, abused, tortured souls - the whole lot of them.

Then there's the wisdoms all women, that is, real women, should know:
Clothes should be tight enough to show that you're a woman, but loose enough to show you're a lady;

Show some leg once in a while, and use a bit of mascara and lipstick;

It wasn't a sin for a woman to use the face and figure God gave you to get ahead in life, as long as it was legal.
And one of the most important secrets of womanhood: we all have animated faces at a shoe sale!

So now that we have the chic lit firmly established, let's move on to the drama. A massive explosion over the Beaufort river flowing through, yes, Beaufort, South Carolina.

Reclusive Edith Heyward witnessed this event in 1955 from her bedroom window in the old mansions. And Edith passed away with a secret firmly buried in her backyard. Now it was 2014 and Merrit was the new owner, after Cal, her husband, was killed in a fire in Maine, where they lived and he worked as a firefighter. He was Edith's grandson.

Then Loralee arrived, all the way from McDonough, Georgia, with young Owen holding her one hand, while her other hand clasped the handbag holding her pink Journal of Truths.

Loralee figured he wouldn't need his physical assets to get ahead one day. He wouldn't need to. With his mama's looks and his daddy's brains, he would do just fine. She was upset about the long red nail she broke when she shoved the last piece of luggage in the back of her Lincoln Navigator. She tried not to cry. It wasn't the biggest tragedy of the past year, just the latter in a long line.

The last entry in her Journal of Truths before she left for Beaufort, South Carolina read:
Sometimes bravery can be just the face of desperation.
Now, if you plan to read this book, remember this line. It is probably the most important one in the book. You can thank me later.

And before you faint from shock, for the three star rating, given my dying annoyance with chic lit, let me set something straight. After battling through the woods of moss-covered chic lit clichés, there is good mystery, a shocking secret, well told, waiting to be discovered.

The third star is actually for Gone With The Wind mentioned in the book. Yes, I read the book three times, and watched the movie probably a dozen times. The ending made me do it. The best ever.

You can skip the ending if you want. Like all formulaic, romance novels, this one doesn't waver from the expected ending... you know, that mechanically followed rule or style present in all of them. For the chic lit averters, like me, stop at chapter thirty. The rest of it is predictable meh.

You won't miss a beat. For my darling romance friends, fasten your pink seat belts and wiggle those cutie toes with the dark pink nails in the high heels. Happily proceed. The ending will be worth your while. You will need your lipstick and mascara! And, oh yes, the rest of the box of tissues.

Profile Image for Esil.
1,118 reviews1,339 followers
May 15, 2015
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an opportunity to read an advance copy of The Sound of Glass. Three strangers with interconnected secrets come together in an old mansion in South Carolina. They all live under unresolved dark clouds which slowly get cleared up as the story progresses. I have a tolerance for the occasional sentimental and somewhat formulaic novel if the story, characters and setting pull me in. And this is what I was hoping for in The Sound of Glass, but it missed the mark in a couple of ways. The central secret that gets resolved at the end was a bit too odd for me and the story felt too long and dragged out. But there were a few pluses: the writing is good and even lovely at times, the sense of place and what it would feel like to live in South Carolina is potent, and one of the characters -- Lorelei -- is truly awesome in her wisdom and generosity. And the book deals with domestic violence without trivializing or overdramatizing the issue. For all these reasons, I suspect The Sound of Glass will appeal to many people. But it didn't quite work for me -- I didn't feel pulled in.
Profile Image for Kelly Ingram.
22 reviews3 followers
April 11, 2015
I'm sorry to say that the Sound of Glass resembled more the sound of grass growing. The pace of the book was excruciatingly slow with bits of folk wisdom thrown in and endless similes - in fact it was like being stuck in a traffic jam as cars slow down to look at a wreck. Add in the Journal of Truths being recorded by one character with such profound bits like "Only quitters quit" and you're left with something better suited to a Lifetime movie. The story dealt with the very serious subject of domestic abuse, but the scenario of the story was so improbable, it was impossible to sympathize with any character. Every main character was not only a victim of domestic abuse, but also an orphan. There were more orphans in this story than in a Disney movie. Those people must have been drawn to each other - like flies to honey. If I hadn't received this as an advance copy, it would have been a DNF for me.
Profile Image for Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews.
1,054 reviews1,374 followers
February 13, 2017
Southern families and families with secrets.

After her husband died, Merritt le​ft their home in Maine and headed to South Carolina to Cal's grandmother's home​ that she ​had inherited​. Little did ​Merritt know that ​her husband, Cal, never told anyone about her, and she didn't know anything about his family.

Grandmother Edith's home is a huge mansion where ​​she ​kept secrets locked up inside herself and in the attic. The death of Edith's husband had an enormous impact on her life for more than one reason. After his death, Edith raised her only son C. J. alone, and he had a temper just like his father. C. J.'s son, Cal, married Merritt and took the temper with him to his marriage.

Merri​tt​ is a bit unlikeable because she just couldn't relax and trust anyone, but who would after she knew no one even knew she existed. When her half brother​, Owen,​ and ​her step-mother, Loralee, unexpectedly arrive at the house and plan on staying, secrets come out, and the story heats up with the secrets of the house and of the characters as they find clues about the house and each other's lives. Merritt became more likeable and caring as the book continued.

Loralee is a bit overbearing, but means well and is very loving. ​She definitely has a secret and a reason for moving in with Merritt. ​

Owen is precocious and a nerd, but very pleasant and sweet and tries to bring Merritt out of her shell.​

Gibbs, Cal's brother, was likable and helpful. He knew secrets about his brother and the house their grandmother lived in. The attic and its contents were the biggest secret his grandmother had and one that caused the most excitement and questions. Would Merritt find out what was meant by what was left in the attic and why Cal’s grandmother did what she did up there?

Did the house hold the family secrets, did the characters hold the family secrets, or did both the house and the characters hold the secrets that had been kept under wraps for years?​ To me both the house and the characters were fragile just like Edith’s glass wind chimes.

THE SOUND OF GLASS is another remarkable, beautiful book by Karen White. Her descriptions of the characters, the scenes, and the emotions of the characters are very real. The book kept me wondering just what some of the female characters had to hide and why they were the way they were.

The characters will grow on you and grow on each other in a warm, inviting way. You will need some tissues as this wonderful story wraps up.

THE SOUND OF GLASS has suspense and mystery as well as addressing the issue of domestic violence.

I truly enjoyed THE SOUND OF GLASS, and if you have ever read one of Ms. White’s books, you know you will be in for a marvelous read. ​

I hope you get to read the book and enjoy it too.​ It is oh so good. LOVED IT. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.
Profile Image for Jeannie.
205 reviews
May 9, 2016
I fell in love with the characters in this story. I found myself thinking about them during the day. I loved Loralee, she made me laugh at times. I recommend this one for fans of chick lit. I plan to read more by Karen White.
Profile Image for Holly in Bookland.
1,008 reviews413 followers
October 7, 2015
I've read a few books by Karen White now and the one thing I've come to expect from her is a well-told story. I've rated her books from 3-5 stars but they have all been good from start to finish. Her newest one, The Sound of Glass, is no exception. I was completely taken in by it from the moment I began reading it. Love, relationships--some good, some bad, power of forgiveness, and the strength to move on. That's what this book was in a nutshell. I liked the characters, especially Loralee. A woman who wouldn't give up and lived by her mama's words of wisdom. To be honest, she made me cry. A lot of sadness in this novel but I did have moments where I smiled. I am glad I was alone when I cried, though--my husband always looks at me funny when I'm crying over a book. It also had family secrets and a touch of mystery to solve. It all made for another winner by Karen White.

**Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for KathyAnne.
570 reviews84 followers
May 8, 2015
This book moved incredibly slow and I really struggled to finish.
The beginning did grab me with the airplane explosion. The mansion that Merritt inherited was an intriguing setting for a story and there was the mystery of the suitcase. That part I liked.
BUT, I just could not stand Loralee, her step mother that ends up moving into the mansion. She was incredibly irritating. I can't relate to a woman who focuses so much on outer appearance, it's a trait that I find shallow and unappealing. Shouldn't a woman be more focused on her inner beauty? I did not like her pushy attitude and the way she was trying to change Merritt and the way she dressed. It is okay to embrace your natural beauty. You don't need makeup to be attractive. And then of course she is the queen of wisdom, always referring to her Journal of Truths, which I did not find to be all that wise.
This story revolves heavily around domestic abuse and it was overdone and unrealistic. Every character was either a victim of domestic abuse or an orphan. It made the story a tad bit unbelievable.
I do see a lot of positive reviews for this book so perhaps this is another case of "It's me and not you."

ARC was provided by the publisher

Follow us on
KT Book Reviews
Profile Image for Myrna.
708 reviews
July 11, 2015
A perfect southern fiction book! With some romance, family secrets, idyllic setting, and great characters the Sound of Glass was an engrossing read. It captures the power of forgiveness and the strength to move on. Karen White is a great author! Highly recommended if you don't mind reading a 400+ page book with lots of descriptions. 4 stars!

Profile Image for Donna.
3,903 reviews20 followers
March 30, 2016
I think I found a new favorite author....Karen White. I absolutely loved the writing in this. It was eloquent and there were many layers to the descriptive quality. And something I've never done before, when I finished this, I started it again. I was sold and hooked from the beginning and I was completely prepared to give it 5 stars. But there were some things in the middle that dragged a little. So, I'm torn between 4 an 5 stars.

The story had great characters. Strong and southern was well represented. I enjoyed this book. Overall, this was predictable, but it was also thoughtful, warm, and fuzzy. I did the audio and the narrator did a fantastic job.
Profile Image for Judy Collins.
2,585 reviews361 followers
May 26, 2016
A special thank you to PENGUIN GROUP Berkley, NAL and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Love the stunning front cover!

THE SOUND OF GLASS by talented Karen White is an emotional multi-generational southern Gothic tale of mystery, secrets, crime, guilt, abuse, and lies; mixed with humor, wit, romance, and much needed healing.

No one can tell it better than the "southern queen"--buried secrets, history, and mysterious attics. When all the secrets come to the surface, someone is "bound" to learn something, and be a better person for them.

As the story opens we hear from Edith Heyward Beaufort, SC in 1955, with her three year old son CJ when a plane crashes with sirens, screams, tragedy, and death. Edith notices a brown leather suitcase that sat upright in her garden as if an uninvited visitor had suddenly come to call, which must have been from the plane crash. However, between the nicely folded clothes, she found no toiletry kit. There was however a note. A note she will take to her grave.

She begins to wonder about its owner, possibly a business traveler? She had an inquisitive mind, as the only child of a widower police detective, she had never known any other way to be. So when the handsome lawyer Calhoun Heyward had come to her small town of Walterboro to try a case, she hadn’t known that she would have been better off pretending to be a simpering female without opinions. Because in the end, that was what he really wanted. Deep in her thoughts - a few seconds later, two policemen are at her door giving her news of her husband.

Next, we jump to Merritt Heyward, 2014, a curator for a small art museum in Maine, moving to Beaufort, SC. She is not a happy person. She had been married to Cal which had been dead for two years and he had never spoken of his family or Beaufort in the seven years they were married. The Heyward’s were an old Beaufort family, since the Revolution. Cal’s grandmother left him the Greek Revival home.

Now it is hers and the Beaufort Heritage Society is interested in acquiring the property for a house museum. She soon discovers Edith was a recluse and no one had been in the house in two decades—about the time Cal left. She also left Gibbs a generous sum, while she left all the contents to Cal, since he was the eldest. She was unaware Cal even had a brother, ten years younger than Cal, a pediatrician in Beaufort.

The next character, which will make you smile is Loralee Purvis Connors, a former flight attendant for Delta, thirty-six years old from McDonough, GA. She has learned three main truths about life: "Time was a slippery thing, pain was temporary, and death wasn’t something to be afraid of."

“She knew growing up dirt poor did not mean you had to stay that way and it wasn’t a sin to use the face and figure God gave you to get ahead in life, as long as it was legal.“

She also writes in her Journal of Truths, (loved it) which she will give to her son Owen one day. With his mama’s looks and his daddy’s brains, he would do just fine. Robert her pilot `husband is long gone and now they are on their way to see Robert’s daughter from his first marriage, to allow Owen to get acquainted with his step sister, Merritt. Lucky, they will be headed to South Carolina, which is better than Maine any day of the week.

When Loralee shows up on Merritt’s doorstep with Owen, the last thing she wants is this southern belle with her non-stop chatty talking, her quirky southern phrases, her journal, and her ten year old geeky son Owen (now called Rocky). Merritt wants to be left alone. They are total opposites. However, Loralee knows Merritt is lost and is one of those people who thinks they have to live with their toes pressed against disaster and comes to expect it. "After all Merritt deserves a good hissy fit before she lays more hurt at her feet."

There is much mystery surrounding each of the characters-how are they connected? Slowly we hear from the past, versus present as all the pieces come together, re-uniting of an odd sisterhood, survivors, a tragedy, and sometimes revenge. The lives of each, as they learn from one another; for a poignant and moving story which will warm your heart.

With wind chimes and beautiful sea glass—mermaid tears, through beatings, storms, and weather -standing the test of time without crumbling, becoming even more beautiful. With laughs and tears, a family joined by love as they break free from the past, and chains which have held them.

I loved all of Loralee’s (a true southern belle) wisdom and inspiration from her Journal. Some of my favorites:

“The weight of fear goes away as soon as we face our monsters and realize they weren’t as scary as we thought.”

“Those who refuse to acknowledge the past are condemned to repeat it.”

“Southerners would talk a subject to death, until it lay gasping and panting in the dust.”

"Sugar, your clothes should always be tight enough to show that you’re a woman, but loose enough to how that you’re a lady.”

“Even the blackest darkness, there is always light shining somewhere.”

“You’ve been dealt a tough deck of cards, that’s for sure, but it’s time to pull up your big-girl panties and move on. Like my mama used to say, you can’t move forward if you always have one foot on the brake."

"A good hissy fit every once in a while is good for you. And if you want to cry your heart out about all the injustices of the world, then do that too. Bless my Heart! There are no shortcuts to anyplace worth going."

A journey of love, redemption, and healing ---If you love rich southern novels and strong women, with a twist of mystery and intrigue -this one is for you! Fans of Mary Kay Andrews will be smiling.

JDC Must Read Books

Be sure and check out Flight Patterns May, 2016. Another winner!
Profile Image for Melodie.
589 reviews65 followers
June 7, 2016
I love a good story and I love the South. So, this one was ripe for the picking.With a tightly woven plot and characters easy to relate to, this one was a page turner. By turns poignant,funny,mysterious and charming, South Carolina is the backdrop for this family drama.
Merritt, widowed after seven years of marriage. Coming to terms with her past is not on her to-do list. So when she finds she has inherited her late husbands' grandmothers' family home in South Carolina, she embraces the opportunity to escape her past. A northerner through and through, she experiences culture shock of the first order.
Loralee, step-mother to Merritt, mother to Owen. Southern from the top of her big hair to the tips of her perfectly painted toenails. Determined to unite what's left of her family before it's too late, she is on a collision course with Merritt. And it is on.
In the beginning, I almost needed a score card to keep track of the relationships. But it comes together in such a way to keep the reader engaged and guessing.And the low country of South Carolina is as much a character as the humans are. The sights ,smells and culture were intoxicating.Lovely read.
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
1,070 reviews27 followers
June 24, 2015
What a beautiful book! The author's descriptions and character development were flawless! I could actually visualize everything and that's a rarity. This book read easily and engrossed me completely.
Profile Image for Lori Elliott (catching up).
733 reviews1,778 followers
May 11, 2015
Well, Karen White has created another southern fiction winner. Loralee was a wonderful character who exemplified a sassy 'southern lady'... and Beaufort was a perfect choice in settings, personifying all the natural beauty of the SC Coast. Another novel that southern fiction fans will relish.
Profile Image for Maren.
600 reviews34 followers
June 9, 2015
I received this eARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I’m almost hesitant to even write a review of this book because it was a big DNF for me. I started this a couple of days ago and just could not get into it. I tried again today and just could not get past the characters. I was really disappointed because it sounded like an interesting plot but it just didn’t capture my attention. I’m kind of baffled at the 4.83 rating on Goodreads. Surely I’m not the only one who just couldn’t get into this book?! Maybe I’m just not in the mood for it. Either way I don’t think I’ll be giving this one another shot. It didn’t help that I was completely confused when Edith’s husband (Cal’s grandfather) had the same name as Cal – Calhoun. I completely got Edith and Merritt mixed up in the first few chapters. The author does include the dates at the beginning of the chapters but I wasn’t interested enough to remember.
Profile Image for ✨Susan✨.
900 reviews175 followers
September 9, 2016
A story of how a dark past that can't stay hidden, interjects itself into the present no matter how well hidden. The sins of the father. Hope and faith help to break a chain of violence that starts generations before. Great characters that play off each other well, even though they are polar opposites. Good narration that added to the time and place in the South.
Profile Image for Ivonne Rovira.
1,903 reviews198 followers
April 8, 2015
Two years after the death of her firefighter husband Cal, Merritt Heyward leaves her Maine home to take possession of a rambling old mansion left to her husband. Cal had steadfastly refused to talk about his origins, leaving his widow with no idea about Cal’s late parents, younger brother, or the reclusive grandmother, Edith Heyward, who left him the sprawling estate in the Carolina Lowlands. Likewise, Merritt had never confided in him how she’d broken off with her airline-pilot father when he’d married a seductive blonde, big-haired airline stewardess just five years her senior.

A Yankee through and through, Merritt is as self-contained as a maple tree — and as out of place in Beaufort, S.C., as such a tree would be amongst magnolia trees, honeysuckle, and saw grass. She bristles at the pushiness, loquaciousness, and flirtatiousness of her sexy step-mother Loralee Connors, now widowed, who simply shows up with her owlish 10-year-old son Owen in tow. Merritt and her brother-in-law, Dr. Gibbes Heyward, loathe one another at sight. (He’s the spitting image of Cal naturally, as this is chick-lit, after all.) And all of those constantly tinkling wind chimes made of sea glass strewn all around the house and grounds seem ready to make Merritt go mad!

Southern mansions and deep, dark secrets go together like pralines and cream, and The Sound of Glass proves no exception. The tale is told alternately by Merritt, Loralee, and Merritt’s beleaguered grandmother-in-law, Edith Heyward. Merritt discovers that her husband Cal wasn’t the only Heyward harboring dangerous secrets, and readers will have lots of fun guessing and discovering just what those were.

I’d read Karen White’s The House on Tradd Street, a so-so Southern Gothic tale of ghosts with unfinished business, but I enjoyed this one much, much more. Grief-struck Merritt Heyward struck me as a more well-rounded character than The House on Tradd Street’s Melanie Middleton; except for the eternally perky Loralee Connors, all of the characters in the book seemed believable. (Still, I think readers will, like me, develop a soft spot for Loralee despite her over-the-top persona.) I hope that White will spin us a sequel so that we can get to see more of Merritt Heyward and her family.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I received this ebook free from NetGalley and NAL in return for an honest review.
Profile Image for Book Concierge.
2,770 reviews332 followers
May 5, 2016
Merritt moves from Maine to South Carolina when she inherits her late husband’s grandmother’s estate. Loralee is also a new widow; her husband, Robert, was Merritt’s father. Loralee sells their Georgia home and, with her son, Owen, heads to Merritt’s to establish a family connection that’s been missing.

This is pretty typical Southern chick lit, with family secrets, damaged psyches (which will be healed with “Mama’s sayings”), scenes intended to produce tears and an unexpected (by the characters, at least) romance. The writing is pretty simple, and I figured out Loralee’s secret long before anyone else did. The BIG secret took a little longer to discern, but that was because it is so convoluted and strange as to be completely unbelievable.

This was the second novel by White I’d read, and I’m not likely to volunteer to read another. I certainly understand the popularity of this kind of escapist beach read, but it’s just not my cup of tea. Oh well, it was a quick read and satisfied a few challenges.
Profile Image for Kirsten .
1,593 reviews255 followers
January 14, 2016
This is (I estimate) a 6-12 kleenex book. It is also an intensely uncomfortable yet cathartic tale.

I usually am not a big fan of domestic melodramas, which this book definitely is. I also tend to avoid books set in the Deep South as they tend to celebrate the beauty of the culture, and gloss over the big warts of Southern life.

That being said, this is a deeply affecting tale with engaging characters that pop off the page. (Well, in my case, they popped off the audio.) The multiple narrators and the depth of the mystery from the past were also very good.

I highly recommend this. (Go Set a Watchman had better be really good to meet the bar set by this book.)
Profile Image for Carol Brill.
Author 3 books154 followers
June 2, 2016

Thank you, NetGalley for an ERC of this book. An easy, and at times, slow beach read with enough suspense to keep me turning pages until the end, mostly to learn the secret at the heart of the story. . I have enjoyed other novels by Karen White. This one was peppered with Over-drawn, cliche characters and mostly predictable plot points and romance. The redundant hints about an illness and the central mystery about a suitcase and letter a grandmother hides, found me repeating over and over, I got it the FIRST time. Merritt's firefighter husband, Cal, died two years ago in a fire. Now, his grandmother, who Merritt never met has died. Not knowing Cal died before her, she leaves Cal The family house down south. Merritt is haunted by Cal's death and by her mother's death when she was a child and decides to leave her life up north and move to her newly inherited home. She barely arrives when her father's widowed second wife shows up with her 10 year old son, Owen--the brother Merritt has never met. The secret at the center of the story and the ways the character's lives suddenly intertwine strained my ability to suspend disbelief.

Sent from my iPad
Profile Image for Melike.
385 reviews
March 25, 2019
I love southern literature especially when it is set in the Lowcountry where I live. This was a well written story about a Beaufort, SC family and the secrets they had. It was heart warming and full of wisdom. I loved Lorelee, she will be an unforgettable character for me and will make me smile for a long time to come.
Profile Image for Ivana.
113 reviews3 followers
February 4, 2021
Američki jug, živopisni likovi i zanimljivo pripovijedanje uklopljeni u neobičnu priču.
Profile Image for Ana Jembrek.
235 reviews170 followers
October 7, 2018

Jedna od centralnih tema ove knjige jest trauma te iscjeljenje od nje. Kako osvijestiti svoju latentnu snagu nakon što je godinama izbijana iz tebe? Ovo je hvalevrijedna inicijativa i to je tema o kojoj bi se doista trebalo više pisati. Autorica se ne bavi samo traumom proizašlom iz obiteljskog nasilja nego i traumom ranog gubitka roditelja. I Merritt i Loralee i Gibbess i Owen dijele iskustvo ranog gubitka jednog ili više roditelja.

Ipak, što sam na kraju od knjige i dobila? Da li je ispunila moja očekivanja? Sad se pripremite za jedan rant. Ako mislite da bi se knjiga vama svejedno mogla svidjeti, onda je sad trenutak da prestanete čitati ovu recenziju. Ne želim vam potencijalno pozitivno iskustvo čitanja pokvariti. Moje mišljenje je po svemu sudeći u manjini.

Proganja me pitanje – da li je ova knjiga doista morala imati gotovo 500 (!!!) stranica? Knjiga koja, unatoč povremenim vremenskim skokovima, zapravo prati samo vrlo kratak period vremena? Knjiga koja se bavi jednom centralnom temom i ne varira mnogo izvan toga? Knjiga koja ima svega nekoliko glavnih likova? Likova koji, iako zanimljivi, također ne variraju puno od kompleksnosti stereotipa unutar kojeg su izgrađeni?

Ne znam za vas, ali u vrevi životnog kaosa meni svaki sat jako puno znači. Svaki slobodan sat je luksuz. I makar mi ga nikad nije problem uložiti u knjigu, čak i dugu knjigu, jako mi je teško kada od strane autora i urednika osjetim da se to vrijeme ne poštuje. Po slobodnoj procjeni, ova knjiga ima nekih 200 stranica previše i nekih 4 sata praznog hoda. U tim stranicama prolazila sam kroz déjà vu života – knjiga je dozlaboga repetitivna, a kroz Owenova lupetanja o triviji (koja su izmakla kontroli!) saznala sam puno previše nepotrebnih informacija o tipovima aviona kroz povijest.

Da, ustrajala sam. Rekli su mi da zbog razrješenja misterija knjige vrijedi izdržati! I iako je taj misterij doista bio dobro osmišljen, falilo je tu sadržaja i opakosti da mi te izgubljene sate opravda.

Likovi su mi se na početku jako svidjeli. Postavljeni su izuzetno stereotipno i bilo je odmah jasno da neće puno izlaziti iz datih im uloga. To mi nije smetalo. Merritt je mračna i slomljena žena koja tek mora ponovno početi vjerovati ljudima oko sebe, ali ima veliko srce. Loralee je glasna južnjakinja koja iz kreveta ne izlazi bez natapirane plave kose, štikli i ruža za usne, ali ima veliko srce. Gibbess je dobronamjeran, strpljiv – sve što nije njegov brat, i ima veliko srce. Owen je začudan desetogodišnji klinac čudnih interesa, ali ima (pogađate!) veliko srce.

I svi bi ti stereotipi sasvim dobro funkcionirali unutar zadanog žanra da knjiga nije trajala u nedogled. Do kraja knjige više nisam imala strpljivosti za njihov nedostatak pravog karakternog rasta, karakterne kompleksnosti, pa i karakterne trodimenzionalnosti. Svi likovi kao da su sanjani – ne postoje van konteksta koji im je autorica zadala i koji je bitan za priču. Nemaju prijatelje, stare ljubavi. Rade stvari koje su bitne za promicanje radnje (npr. prigodno kopaju vrt baš kad treba nešto pronaći zakopanog u njemu) bez pravog opravdanog razloga itd. Rezultat je bio potpuni izostanak ikakvog povezivanja s likovima u priči koja bi trebala biti izuzetno inspirativna i emotivna.

Nisu sve knjige za sve. Možda sam se i ja previše udaljila od žanra bez da sam to do sad primijetila. Stoga vas molim da ovaj osvrt uzmete s dozom rezerve – to je moje mišljenje i nikad se nemojte zadovoljiti sa samo jednim kad su u pitanju knjige. Vama se možda ova knjiga svidjela ili će vam se svidjeti – i to je sasvim u redu. Nikad nisu dva čitatelja pročitala istu knjigu. To je čarolija čitanja.

Originalni osvrt možete pročitati ovdje: https://knjigesumojsvijet.com/2018/10...
Profile Image for Carla.
5,939 reviews128 followers
August 20, 2018
This is the first book by Karen White that I've read, and I don't understand how she has not been on my radar before this. This was a mesmerizing story with strong, outstanding characters that hooked me and pulled me in right away. Merritt is a recent widow, who inherits her late husband's grandmother's home in Beaufort, South Carolina. This is the first surprise for Merritt as she has no idea that Cal had any family anywhere, little own a brother who is still alive. Then there is the arrival of her estranged stepmother, Loralee, and 10-year old half-brother, Owen. Thus begins the unraveling of secrets in both Merritt's and Cal's families, dark secrets from generations past.

When we first meet Merritt, I didn't like or understand her. She was stubborn, standoffish, rude and often downright mean to others. As the story unfolds you get to see what a sheltered person she is, one who has had to hide her emotions for so long, she's not sure how to act. Trying to find her way in a new town, find out who her husband was and why he kept so many secrets, and get to know family members she had no desire to know in the first place; Merritt is destined to learn more about the South, conquer her fears and become the woman she has always wanted to be. Gibbes, her brother-in-law, also comes off as uncaring and rude in the beginning of the story to Merritt, but not to Loralee or Owen, why is that? Loralee, on the other hand is sugary sweet constantly sharing the wisdom of her mama or that she has gained throughout her life. Finally, there is Owen, aka Rocky, who is a ten year old half-brother who is shy, a bit of a nerd, but oh so sweet. This novel is quite character driven so watching the walls come down from Merritt as her relationships with Gibbes, Loralee and Owen develop.The mystery is ages old, but the clues are there and Merritt figures it out throughout the story with the last pieces dropping in place near the end of the book.

THE SOUND OF GLASS is a wonderful, character-driven story of mystery, family secrets, loss, second chances, and letting go. There are so many wonderful little sayings from Loralee, that I wanted to write many of them down myself. From beauty tips, to wise quotes about life and moving forward, Loralee was like a modern day philosopher. If you have not read anything from Karen White before, then I recommend this book. I know I will be reading more from her.
Profile Image for Sue.
2,691 reviews170 followers
February 17, 2022
A character driven story that Karen White writes so well.
A family based story and historical family discoveries that affect the now and the future.

I warmed to this story effortlessly and found it near on impossible to put down.

Each character has their own uniqueness that you can’t help but warm to, yep, even the ratty one!

Highly recommend to those who love a family with secrets.
Profile Image for Yukari Watanabe.
Author 19 books164 followers
April 20, 2015
I received a NetGalley copy in exchange for an honest review.

I really hate to give a bad review when I chose to read an advanced copy, but I have to be honest. This novel annoyed me very much and I couldn't wait to finish it.

I know I'm supposed to be sympathetic to these women who are abused by their husbands including protagonist Merritt. I'm not against that kind of chick-lit and I usually enjoy it, but this novel is too formulaic and overdone to be believable.

Loralee irritated me so much I nearly stopped reading several times. I just don't agree with White's idea of how women should be. I don't like women who care so much about appearance. I strongly believe that each woman should have her own idea of beauty. If someone wants to wear make-up, it's fine by me, but just don't force it to me. I really don't want to be criticized by a woman who wears heavy make-up and high-heels all the time. I love natural looking women, and respect men who love natural looking women.

I felt I was constantly criticized whenever Loralee talked about Merritt's appearance. Her constant wisdom offering was even worse. I totally hate it when people do that. We women have enough of it in our life. I don't think it's kindness as White portraits in the novel. Do we need to be slim and have long legs, and start wearing a mini dress and lipsticks in order to be loved like Merritt?

I don't think this story empowers women who are actually abused. For that reason, I can't give a good review.

I had a strong urge to tell White that people in New England do eat watermelons although it's very hard to find ones with seeds now a days. I wonder people in south still prefer eating watermelon with seeds...
Profile Image for Susan Crowe.
810 reviews5 followers
March 31, 2016
This was an exceptional book! I believe I shared more quotes from this book than any other book I've ever read. Don't attempt this book without an entire box of tissue. 5++++++ stars!!!
Profile Image for Vygandas Ostrauskis.
Author 6 books100 followers
February 17, 2023

Pakankamai gera, bet ir pakankamai ilga knyga. Prityrusi bestselerių rašytoja gali sau tai leisti, kadangi sugeba skaitytoją įkinkyti į skaitymą ir esant gan ilgiems nebūtiniems nukrypimams nuo siužeto, subtiliai priverčia laukti ir tikėtis, kad išryškės nauja paslaptis, kurių kupinas romanas. Romano struktūra netradicinė: pagrindinė veikėja Merita pasakoja pirmu asmeniu, kita svarbi (mano nuomone, ryškiausia romano herojė) Lorelė – aprašoma autorės trečiuoju asmeniu. Tai rašytojai suteikia platesnes galimybes charakterizuoti veikėjus ir reguliuoti veiksmo spartą.
Ne šiaip sau paminėjau, kad Lorelė, kaip romano veikėja, kur kas ryškesnė – nes autorė Meritą charakterizuoja taip: „Kadaise buvau mergina, turinti savo nuomonę ir tvirtą valią, vėliau užaugau ir virtau tokia pat jauna moterimi, tačiau bėgantys metai išplovė iš mano esybės ir viena, ir kita“. Pridursiu – plius dar atsirado tiltų fobija ir begalybė savigraužos... Lorelė man buvo įdomesnė ir savo užrašais, kuriuos vadina „Tiesų knyga“. Nieko ypatingai naujo ar nustebinusio tuose užrašuose neradau, bet jie labai pagyvina knygą, mažina jos paviršutiniškumą. Pvz., „Baimės našta nukrenta tada, kai pažvelgiame savo šmėkloms į akis ir suprantame, kad jos ne tokios baisios kaip atrodė“. Arba: „Kartais drąsa gali būti tik dar viena nevilties išraiška“. „Vien dėl to, kad daug kartų ką nors kartoji ir visa širdimi tuo tiki, melas nevirsta tiesa“. „Gyvenimas netampa lengvesnis. Tik mes tampame stipresni.“ Drąsiai galima teigti, kad autorei pavyko sukurti įdomų personažą: gyvybingą, šmaikštų, tikrovišką.

Ši knyga puikiai tinka pasiimti atostogaujant ar vykstant į neįdomią komandiruotę. Su ja nebus nuobodu. Tiesa prologas ir pirmi du skyriai man buvo klampoki (kol suvokiau veikėjų genealogiją), bet paskui romanas skaitėsi lengvai, net kiek per lengvai, nes kai kurios paslaptys ir net būsimas finalas per greit išaiškėjo. Ar siužetas įtikinantis? – nelabai, bet įtraukiantis į skaitymą ir sukeliantis įvairiausias emocijas.

Jei bestselerio pelno neįtakotų jo puslapių skaičius, ši knyga galėjo būti šimtu puslapių trumpesnė ir skaitant suteikti dar didesnį malonumą.

P.S. Mirti reikia tada, kai išmoksti nebebijoti mirties – skaitant knygą gimė tokia mintis, bet gal tai tik atsitiktinumas ar atėjo laikas, kad manyje ji žybtelėtų.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,410 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.