The Beach Trees: The Real Magic Was In Aimee's Storyline

BlogHer Review

What are you seeking? What is your life about? How do your secrets affect your story?

Those are the main questions that the characters struggle with throughout The Beach Trees. An artist living in New York, Julie Holt has dedicated her life to searching for her sister Chelsea, who disappeared with Julie was just twelve. While working at an auction house, Julie becomes friends with Monica Guidry. Turns out that Monica has a past full of secrets -- none of which Julie is aware of until Monica passes away from a {secret} heart condition. Unbeknownst to her, Monica has willed Julie a valuable painting, and also her five year old son, Beau.

The story ramps up right away, as Julie and Beau travel to Biloxi, Mississippi to meet the Guidry family -- Aimee, Monica's grandmother, and Trey, her brother -- as well as a complete cast of characters. Some are in the present, but many of them live in the past. We meet them through Aimee's storyline, as she and Julie attempt to unravel the mysteries that the Guidry family has woven and kept secret for far too long.

While I enjoyed the present tense storyline of Julie and Beau, Trey and Aimee, the real magic was in Aimee's storyline. Dripping with deep Southern charm, mystery and smoky depth, Karen White peels off just one layer at a time as Aimee recalls memories and stories, creating a true page-turner. Finding myself hurrying through Julie's storyline to get to Aimee's, I stayed up into the wee hours to finish this book. Though Julie is who we are supposed to focus on, Aimee was the main character for me.

I do wish that Karen White had delved further into Julie and Trey's pasts. This would have deepened their romantic connection for me; instead, I was surprised by it. Maybe that was the point.

Overall, a historic mystery woven with a modern storyline = success.

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