The Beach Trees
Setting: Biloxi, MS
NAL, May 03, 2011
Click here to read an excerpt
Julie first knew loss at the age of twelve, when her younger sister disappeared from a local park—never to be found. As her once close-knit family grew apart, Julie’s mother obsessively searched for the girl, and when her mother died, Julie took up the search. Even as she went on with life, discovering a love for art that she attributed to her painter grandfather, she never let go of the hope that she might find her sister.
Then, working at an auction house in New York, Julie meets Monica Guidry—a struggling artist and single mother who reminds Julie so much of her sister that she can’t help feeling drawn to her, and even a bit protective. Monica paints a vivid picture of her southern family through stories, but never says why or how she lost contact with them. And she has another secret: a heart condition that will soon take her life.
Feeling as if she’s lost her sister a second time, Julie inherits from Monica an antique portrait—as well as custody of her young son. Taking him to Biloxi, Mississippi, to meet the family he’s never known, Julie discovers a connection of her own. The portrait, of an old Guidry relative, was done by her grandfather—and unlocks a surprising family history…
"[White] describes the land and location of the story in marvelous detail...[This is what] makes White one of the best new writers on the scene today."
—The Huffington Post
"White's ability to showcase her characters' flaws and strengths is one of the best in the genre."
— 4 stars, RT BookReviews
"The Beach Trees has beach in the title and has an ocean setting, but it's more than just a 'beach read.' It's a worthy novel to read any time of year--any time you wonder if it's possible to start anew, regardless of the past."
— Durham Herald-Sun
"...tightly plotted...a tangled history as steamy and full of mysteries as the Big Easy itself."
— Atlanta Journal Constitution
"Sense of place is high on the list of things that White does exceedingly well...But place is more than mere setting in this novel; it is also a character, as tenacious and resilient as the people who call this region home...I give this book my highest recommendation."
—The Romance Dish
"White has once again written a novel that is both heart-wrenching and heartwarming, and is filled with all the gentle nuances of the graceful, but steadfast. South...Readers will find reading White's prose an uplifting experience as she is a truly gifted storyteller."
— Las Vegas Review-Journal
"White’s ability to write a book that keeps you hankering for more is her strong suit. “[The] Beach Trees” is a great book about the power of family and connection that you won’t soon forget."
— South Charlotte Weekly
White...weaves together themes of Southern culture, the powerful bond of family, and the courage to rebuild in the face of destruction to create an incredibly moving story her dedicated fans are sure to embrace.
— The Moultrie News
"Alternating between the voices of Julie and Monica's grandmother Aimee, White guides readers to truth of the tale. Readers will find White's prose is truly an uplifting experience"
— Ventura County Star
"Expertly written, White's emotionally tender story of intrigue, love, and modern day natural disasters sets her apart as the ultimate voice of women's fiction."
— Fresh Fiction