Tara Chevrestt's Reviews > A Sound Among the Trees

A Sound Among the Trees by Susan Meissner
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bookshelves: 2011-release, civil-war, vine, arc

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 kids, a "haunted" house, and to make matters more complicated, the house actually belongs to her new husband's deceased first wife and the first wife's grandmother is still residing in it. Talk about awkward!

Lots of bad things have happened in this house that survived the Civil War. The grandmother, Adelaide, blames all the death and misery on the house.. but then again, she says it isn't the house's fault. I had a hard time understanding this old lady and her riddles. Nevertheless, some say the house is haunted by Adelaide's grandmother, Susannah, who was said to be a spy.. for the UNION. (This is a southern home.)

Is it a ghost or is it just some bad luck that could happen to anyone anytime? The finding of Susannah's old letters could clear it all up. Susannah's letters were the most interesting part of the book, though too small a part. There's covert activity, shifting loyalties, love for two men... Great stuff!!! But sadly it was only 100 pages and even worse, it was all in letters. This would've been just fine had the letters been scattered throughout the novel, mixed in with the contemporary story, but all at once? Too much "telling" all lumped in one part.

Great idea, but I would have preferred to EXPERIENCE Susannah's tale rather than read it in letters and I would have preferred more of the Civil War and less of the contemporary. Sadly, the heroine, Marielle, didn't interest me near as much.
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Reading Progress

July 23, 2011 – Shelved
July 23, 2011 – Shelved as: 2011-release
July 23, 2011 – Shelved as: civil-war
July 28, 2011 – Shelved as: vine
July 28, 2011 – Shelved as: arc
August 2, 2011 – Started Reading
August 2, 2011 –
page 123
37.27% "Does this never go back in time? The cover, the Civil War references had me thinking it did.. And the fact that it came up on amazon when I did a historical fiction search... So far, it is all contemporary."
August 3, 2011 –
page 208
63.03% "Well, I have finally hit what could be considered the "historical" part of the book and it appears that I have over 100 pages of letter reading ahead of me. (sigh)"
August 4, 2011 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-9 of 9 (9 new)

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message 1: by Jenny (new)

Jenny Q Hey! Looks like this book takes place in my hometown! I'll be watching to see how you like it!


Tara Chevrestt It is on Vine today.


message 3: by Jenny (new)

Jenny Q I saw it, but I passed it up. I'm waiting to see more reviews.


Tara Chevrestt What'd u choose?


message 5: by Jenny (new)

Jenny Q I was torn between a few, but I chose a romance novelist I've been wanting to try: Myra Banks, In Bed with a Highlander, and YA Tudor Romance The Other Countess. I was really thinking about Tighter, Glow, and Juliet Immortal. I decided to go with the two that had the highest ratings. And last week I snagged All These Things I've Done.


Tara Chevrestt Wow! That's great. I rarely see much that interests me but this time I did. My other one is Paris Noire.


message 7: by Jenny (new)

Jenny Q I looked at that one, too! It sounds different!


message 8: by Misfit (new) - added it

Misfit Interesting. I just won this off of Librarything. Assuming it actually ships of course.


Tara Chevrestt It is being marketed as Christian fiction as well. I'm not sure what the deal is.


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