Book Review: A Sound Among the Trees

Olivia Adair

3.5 Stars

March 7, 2012

True to her form, Susan Meissner once again explores the world of historical fiction in A Sound Among the Trees. The reader is left exploring two worlds throughout the novel, vacillating between the familiar modern-day and the remarkable years of the Civil War. The story surrounds generations of women that had lived within the halls of Holly Oak, a beautiful mansion in Virginia that survived the Civil War and had the cannonball embedded in the north wall of the house to prove it.

Newly married to widower Carson, Marielle has just moved into Holly Oak, the chidlhood home of Carson’s first wife and the current home of his mother-in-law, Adelaide. Marielle agrees to live at Holly Oak with Carson and his two children, and Adelaide, as Carson feels it would be best for everyone. It is not long before Marielle begins to hear the rumors that Holly Oak is haunted by Adelaide’s great-grandmother, Susannah Page, who was speculated to have been a spy for the Union during the war.

The story unfolds and the reader is taken on a journey through the lives of the women of Holly Oak and the mysteries the antebellum mansion may or may not hold. Is the beautiful old house haunted? Was Susannah Page a spy and are all of the women of Holly Oak cursed in some way? Does Adelaide herself believe that Holly Oak is haunted, and if so, why does she stay? In addition to the mystery these questions bring forth, the story also allows the reader to become well acquainted with Marielle as she struggles to find her place in an old home and a new family.

While this book cannot be classified as my favorite Meissner novel, I did enjoy reading it and had to get to the end to find the truth of the story. Character development is solid and engaging, and the beauty and horror found in the Civil War is engrossing. The story does move a bit slowly, but overall, I believe it is worth a read.

Disclosure:I received a copy of this book from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for my review. No other compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own and may differ from others.