The Beach Trees by Karen White is a novel of love, family, and the endurance of both friendship and life. Karen White is one of my favorite authors and in my opinion she is a wonderful writer and creator of beautiful stories. In The Beach Trees we travel to Biloxi, Mississippi which had been ravaged by Hurricane Katrina but is being painstakingly rebuilt by people with a lot of hope and faith.
Julie Holt has had her share of tragedy in her life. At the young age of twelve her sister is taken while Julie is supposed to be watching her. Julie has spent her life searching for Chelsea; it has consumed her. She simply can’t believe Chelsea is really gone; as long as there is no body, there is still hope that she may be found or come home. Now Julie is heading to Biloxi to a beach house left to her by her late friend Monica. Along with that beach house Monica also left her five year old son Beau to Julie.
Julie arrives to find that the beach house no longer exists. It had been destroyed by Katrina. She is devastated and has no idea what to do next. Monica had told her to see Ray Von, an elderly woman who gives her a portrait that Julie’s own great-grandfather had painted and that is worth a lot of money. She tells her to take Beau to New Orleans to meet Beau’s great-grandmother Aimee and that she can be sure of a place to stay there.
Julie dreads the meeting as she will have to tell Aimee and Monica’s brother Trey that she has passed away but she knows that both Beau and his family deserve to know each other. As she expected they are devastated but at least now they know what happened to Monica after she disappeared. They are thrilled to have a piece of Monica though in Beau and encourage Julie to stay. Julie takes to Aimee right away and vice versa. Trey however is another story. He and Monica were very close and he is hurt and angry but as Julie and Trey begin to rebuild the beach house called River Song, they discover that they have much more in common than they thought.
The story itself is told alternately through the viewpoints of Aimee from the 1950’s and Julie in the present. As Julie and Aimee spend more time together, the story will switch to the past as Aimee tells Julie what had gone on. As the stories progress, they begin to come closer and closer to just why Monica felt the need to leave her home and never come back or stay in contact with anyone. All the while Julie is becoming closer to both Aimee and Trey and beginning to think that maybe making a home for Beau and herself at River Song when it’s rebuilt isn’t such a bad idea. Julie has been running away from commitment her whole life because she’s so scared that anything and everything can be taken away at a moment’s notice but maybe now she’s ready to settle down.
The Beach Trees is a fantastic story! I love the way Karen White weaves a mystery in with her stories and I really enjoyed watching this story unfold and learning all the family secrets that had laid buried for so many years. I loved the characters especially Julie and Aimee. I felt they were both such caring women and I was just really drawn to them. I always enjoy the way Karen White describes the setting; complete with sights and smells. She makes sure the reader feels as though they are there experiencing everything her characters are. The Beach Trees is a novel that will capture your heart and your attention and keep you reading way into the wee hours of the morning!
I read The Beach Trees by Karen White for her book tour with TLC Book Tours. You can visit the other tour stops here. You can find out more about Karen White by visiting her website as well as becoming a fan on Facebook. Your own copy of The Beach Trees by Karen White can be purchased here in the US and here in Canada.
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