The Beach Trees.

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At the end of last week, I finished The Beach Trees by Karen White. A friend from home let me borrow her copy, and I started reading it with no idea what it was about (besides, obviously, something beachy). From its cover, I thought this would be an easy, "poolside"-type read. Well, of course, I shouldn't have "judged the cover". Although it was a light read, this book took quite a few dramatic and suspenseful turns that kept me reading this one way past my bedtime!

The story is about a woman from New York who becomes the legal guardian of a friend's young son after the friend's sudden death. The son's family is all located in New Orleans and Biloxi, Mississippi, so the two head down to the gulf to find family and hopefully, a new normal. In addition to struggling with moving to a completely new place and having custody of a young child (when she is single with neither family nor kids of her own), the main character struggles with recurring memories of a tragedy from childhood. The story focuses on the move to a post-Katrina south and a family with a lot of secrets.

I loved this book for a few reasons. For one, as a piece of southern fiction, it definitely doesn't fail to include plenty of family drama! There are many mysterious parts of the story that kept me guessing and wanting to read more. The author does a great job at developing the characters, both past and present. Lastly, and most likely my favorite part, was the way she describes the scenes of both NOLA and Biloxi.. The landscape and cultures are described with plenty of depth and beauty. Since I visited NOLA this summer, I loved picturing all of the fun architecture, gardens, and of course...the myriad of personalities while reading. :)

If you're looking for a light, yet suspenseful read, try out The Beach Trees and join me in my quest to read more books in 2014!

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