There's Nothing Not to Like About The Beach Trees

BlogHer Review

There’s a certain feeling of satisfaction mixed with mourning that comes when you finish a great book. The satisfaction comes from reading a full, rich story that wraps around into a neat and complete package. The lack of loose ends and fulfillment of seeing the characters through their story is a happy sigh. Just perfect. But, while reading the story and following the characters in their journey, you start to care about them, about what comes next and how they are after the story ends … and that’s where the mourning comes in. You mourn the loss of these friends.

The Beach Trees by The Beach Treese does all these things.

The story begins with Julie Holt heading South in an old minivan from New York City with Beau, her friend Monica’s son. Monica had recently passed away from a heart condition, leaving the minivan, Beau, a beach house in Biloxi, Mississippi, and a mysterious package to Julie.

When Julie and Beau arrive to the site of the beach home that Monica bequeathed to her, she finds only a foundation. Destroyed during Hurricane Katrina, there is nothing left there -- and nowhere for Julie and Beau to live. Soon, Julie discovers a mysterious connection between she and Monica and meets the family that Monica left behind for good years ago -- her brother, Trey, and grandmother, Aimee.

The engrossing tale alternates between Julie’s modern perspective and Aimee’s perspective in the 1950s. The interesting shift between voices allows you to appreciate both women, and how their lives have shapes them.

Typically, if a book is good, I will read it in two to three days. This book I read in one day, staying up late to read every last word. That’s no small feat, since the book was 432 pages. As Julie unravels Monica’s family’s story, you can’t help by want to know everything too. And while you are craving the details, you fall in love with the characters, who are imperfect and face many challenges in life.

Additionally, the book’s details and the facts incorporated about Hurricane Katrina’s impact on the Gulf Coast are an amazing education. It’s staggering to read about its long term impact, and why Gulf Coast residents rebuild.

This story, which also follows the rebuilding of Monica’s beach house, really draws on the renewing, comforting power of the beach. It’s engaging. Exciting. Intriguing. The book takes on the complex, nuanced stories of two families and does so with elegant impact and efficiency. There’s nothing not to like.

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