Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Review: Sound Among the Trees by Susan Meissner

About Author:
I cannot remember a time when I wasn't driven to put my thoughts down on paper. I attribute this love for writing to a creative God and to parents who love books and more particularly to a dad who majored in English and passed on a passion for writing.

I was born and raised in San Diego, California, and am the second of three daughters. My first writings are a laughable collection of oddly worded poems and predictable stories I wrote when I was eight. My second-grade teacher gave me the journal I in which I recorded these poems and stories. To my knowledge I was the only student in her class that she gave a journal to; she must have seen promise in me. In high school my freshman composition teacher found all kinds of ways to encourage me to develop my skills as a writer. Without telling me beforehand, he read the first composition I ever wrote for him aloud to the class. That's how much he liked it. I have never forgotten how it felt to hear him begin to read something to the entire class and realize it was something I had written.

I didn't do a lot of writing in the years my husband was on active duty in the Air Force, when we were living overseas, or when we were raising our four children. When we moved to rural Minnesota in 1993 after seven years in the Air Force — five of them spent in Europe — I became aware of a gnawing desire to write a novel. I ignored it while the children were young, choosing to try writing articles for magazines. Nothing ever got published however, so I began to think my best days as a writer had already happened in high school with Mr. Barone.

In 1995, I was offered a job as a part-time reporter for my county newspaper. The publisher gave me my own weekly column, In 1998, I was named editor of the Mountain Lake/Butterfield Observer Advocate, the town's weekly paper, after the county newspaper purchased it. I was honored to win several awards over the years, but the best part of my four years as editor was having my paper named the Best Weekly Newspaper in Minnesota by the Minnesota Newspaper Association in 2002.

That year became a rather pivotal one for me as a writer. My beloved paternal grandfather died in July 2002 — my Papa — and his passing had a profound effect on me. I suddenly had an incredible urge to write a book; a novel. I knew I didn't want to come to the end of my life having only dreamed of writing one. I resigned as editor of the newspaper, which was a very hard decision to make, and set out to write Why the Sky is Blue. It took four months to write and ten months to be accepted by a publisher and I’ve been writing novels ever since. My favorite genre is contemporary fiction with a historical thread running through it.

Currently, my husband is an associate pastor at a church in San Diego, and a chaplain in the Air Force Reserves. When I'm not working on a new novel, I am directing the small groups ministries at The Church at Rancho Bernardo. I also enjoy teaching workshops on writing and dream-following, as well as spending time with my family, listening to or making music, reading great books, and traveling.

About Book:
A house shrouded in time.
A line of women with a heritage of loss.

As a young bride, Susannah Page was rumored to be a Civil War spy for the North, a traitor to her Virginian roots. Her great-granddaughter Adelaide, the current matriarch of Holly Oak, doesn’t believe that Susannah’s ghost haunts the antebellum mansion looking for a pardon, but rather the house itself bears a grudge toward its tragic past.

When Marielle Bishop marries into the family and is transplanted from the arid west to her husband’s home, it isn’t long before she is led to believe that the house she just settled into brings misfortune to the women who live there.

With Adelaide’s richly peppered superstitions and deep family roots at stake, Marielle must sort out the truth about Susannah Page and Holly Oak— and make peace with the sacrifices she has made for love.

Paperback, 336 pages
Published October 4th 2011 by WaterBrook Multnomah
ISBN 0307458857 (ISBN13: 9780307458858)

A Sound Among the Trees by Susan Meissner (Chapter 1 Excerpt)

My Thoughts:
Susannah Page is rumored to be a Civil War spy for the North, labeled a traitor to Virginians and the South.
In present day she is known as a ghost searching for redemption of her past now haunting her home Holly Oak Mansion. Her great grandaughter does not believe Susannah is haunting the mansion.  She actually believes it is the house that holds a grudge against the past and is taking it out on the women of Holly Oak Mansion.

Now the mansion has a new resident Marielle Bishop and she soon learns about the haunting of the Holly Oak.  She is not sure what to believe and tries to uncover the truth.

I really got into all the history of Holly Oak Mansion  and  the residents of the mansion past and present.
The Civil War had done much damage to the Virginians. The fortitude of the South to rebuild their lives and their homes was heartbreaking knowing what they all went through.  The hardship of the slaves in the face of their freedom and rebirth of life must have been exalting.

How could anyone not feel as if their are ghost and hauntings  after so many lives and homes were lost in that war.

I highly recommend this book.

I rate this book a 5 out of 5.

I received a copy of this book from WaterBrook Multnomah/Blogging for Books.  In no way was I compensated for this review it is my own opinion.



  1. hey patricia, is it working: :)

  2. YAAAHOO! I can finally get comments.
    thanks Kara. I email my tech and she fixed it.

  3. Patricia, You have a lovely site, I am a goodreads junkie and saw your post so came over to check your review, I have rated it also.
    Paula O

  4. Thanks for your review. Sounds like an interesting book! :O)

  5. Patricia,
    You have so many interesting things to read on your blog. I enjoy it.