I’m so excited to be part of another TLC book tour with the new Karen White novel, The Beach Trees. I think I have read every Karen White novel and have enjoyed them all, but The Beach Trees is my favorite so far.
In the Beach Trees, Julie has been handed a very unexpected inheritance: five year old Beau, the son of her close yet mysterious friend Monica. With no friends or family to provide support, she moves from NYC to the Gulf Coast beach home also willed to her. Her despair and fear overwhelm her when she discovers this beach home in utter ruin after Hurricane Katrina. She is left with no home and only one clue to as to how to find any of Beau’s relations, a portrait painted by Julie’s famous grandfather. Julie finds herself struggling to understand why Monica would have left her childhood home behind 10 years before. And why, inexplicably, Julie and Monica’s pasts seem to intertwine.
While each of Karen’s novels have their own feel and style, Karen stays consistent with three elements. First, each work has a subtle romance, sweet and believable, but not overwhelming to the plot. Second, a historic home is usually a "character" of great importance. Her love of old American architecture is contagious. And third, each work holds a riveting mystery, only to be solved when the characters search for answers within their (often long forgotten) past. The present and past blend together to bring insight and answers to those struggling to find their place in the world and find solace in their own loss.
One paragraph in The Beach Trees sums up my thoughts on the Karen White philosophy. “...some things should never be forgotten. Whether it’s a memory we should learn from or a memory of something precious, sort of like life’s rewind button. Sometimes that’s all we have left.”
The Beach Trees is a story of loss, and the human spirit’s need to rebuild from the rubble. Poignant and hopeful, I highly recommend adding it to your summer reading list.