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A Sound Among the Trees: A Novel Paperback – October 4, 2011

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 327 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press; First Edition edition (October 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307458857
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307458858
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (233 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,320,171 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Praise for A Sound Among the Trees

"Meissner delivers a delightful page-turner that will surely enthrall readers from beginning to end. The antebellum details, lively characters, and overlapping dramas particularly will excite history buffs and romance fans." - Publishers Weekly, starred review

“In A Sound Among the Trees, author Meissner transports readers to another time and place to weave her lyrical tale of love, loss, forgiveness, and letting go. Her beautifully drawn characters are flawed yet likable, their courage and resilience echoing in the halls of Holly Oak for generations. A surprising conclusion and startling redemption make this book a page-turner, but the setting—the beautiful old Holly Oak and all of its ghosts—is what will seep into the reader’s bones, making A Sound Among the Trees a book you don’t want to put down.’
—Karen White, New York Times best-selling author of The Beach Trees

“My eyes welled up more than once! And I thought it especially fitting that, having already shown us the shape of mercy in a previous novel, Susan Meissner is now showing us the many shapes of love. A Sound Among the Trees is a hauntingly lyrical book that will make you believe a house can indeed have a memory…and maybe a heart. A beautiful story of love, loss, and sacrifice, and of the bonds that connect us through time.”
—Susanna Kearsley, New York Times best-selling author of The Winter Sea

“I have a dozen things to do (like sleep!), but here I huddle through the night, turning pages, mesmerized by yet another Susan Meissner novel. How does Susan create characters that stay with me long after I close the book? How does she transport a reader so easily to a mansion in the South, in this century, bringing one family’s challenge of the Civil War to speak to contemporary times? How does she address the emotions and memories that hold us hostage with such grace? How do her turns of phrase bring tears unbidden to my eyes? I keep reading, knowing I’ll discover a fascinating story and hoping I’ll infuse some of the skill and craft that Susan weaves to make it. A Sound Among the Trees is one more exceptional novel from a world-class storyteller. Jodi Picoult, make room at the top.”
—Jane Kirkpatrick, award-winning author of The Daughter’s Walk

A Sound Among the Trees is another Meissner masterpiece filled with well-shaped characters, a compelling plot, and haunting questions: are our memories reliable enough to grow us, or do we cling to them as an excuse not to live? Meissner stunned me as she skillfully grappled with those mysteries. I left the book resolved to live joyfully in the sacredness of today.”
—Mary DeMuth, author of The Muir House

About the Author

Award-winning writer Susan Meissner is a multi-published author, speaker and workshop leader with a background in community journalism. Her novels include The Shape of Mercy, named by Publishers Weekly as one of the Best Books of 2008. She is a pastor’s wife and a mother of four. When she's not writing, Susan directs the Small Groups and Connection Ministries program at her San Diego church.

More About the Author

I cannot remember a time when I wasn't driven to write. I attribute this passion 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 in 1961 in San Diego, California, and am the second of three daughters. I spent my very average childhood in just two houses. I attended Point Loma College in San Diego, majoring in education, but I would have been smarter to major in English with a concentration in writing. The advice I give now to anyone wondering what to major in is follow your heart and choose a career you are passionate about.

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 having children. When my little heirs were finally all in school, though, I became aware of a deep, gnawing desire to write a novel; a desire I managed to ignore for several years.

Finally when I could disregard it no longer, I resigned in 2002 as editor of a small town newspaper, and set out to write my first book, "Why the Sky is Blue." It took four months to write and ten months to be accepted by a publisher. But I was absolutely thrilled to sign with Harvest House Publishers in 2003. I am now working on my sixth novel for Harvest House and it's been a wonderful, thrilling ride.

Customer Reviews

I found out so much about the character writing them and really felt a connection with her.
M. Rogers
Marielle is told more stories from Adelaide her step-children's great grandmother about the house Holly Oaks.
Carrie R. Walker
Susan Meissner is a wonderful author and does a great job developing the characters in her novels.
Diane Lawrence

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Koschnitzgirl on November 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
I was beyond excited to get my hands on A Sound Among the Trees. See, I happen to love Susan Meissner. Her previous books, A Seahorse in the Thames, The Shape of Mercy, Lady in Waiting, and Blue Heart Blessed all sit on my bookshelf, kept forever in my collection as stories worth reading again and again. Meissner's writing is beautiful, she paints detailed pictures of her settings, and in the past I've found her characters as deep as breathing people.

With that said I have to admit that if I didn't have to read this book because I promised to review it I would have never finished it, goodness, I wouldn't have gotten past chapter three. I'm usually one of those people who can fly through three hundred pages in 2-3 days, this book began a month long battle of making myself pick it up and finish it.

I believe the main issue falls on the characters. I found myself not liking them, not empathizing with them, and frankly not caring what happened to them.

The story is slow moving and the entire plot ends up being one big red herring.

When I read I want to escape and leave a book feeling uplifted, or in the least, entertained. A Sound Among the Trees is just plain melancholy the whole way through.

Now, about two hundred pages in a packet of letters is found and the story dips into Civil War times. What would have been an amazing book would have been Susannah's story alone. She's the only character I felt a bond to and any desire to champion. I loved the hundred or so pages devoted to her story, but remember if I hadn't had to read the book I would have never even gotten to Susannah's portion.

I'm pretty bummed, I think this is the first bad review I've ever given but I can't honestly say I'd tell any of my friends to read this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Marilyn Haugen on October 31, 2011
Format: Paperback
A Sound among the Trees by Susan Meissner

Ghosts, superstitions, and a character close to calling up the dead were a surprising theme in this book. The characters were so caught up in the past and thinking about the spiritual world that their normal lives were disrupted and they spent their time dwelling on the unknown. This part of the book seemed to go on and on and I was waiting for one of them to turn to the Lord and His word but it never happened. This would have made the book worth reading to me.

However, when letters from the Civil War are found, we are allowed to read them. Again, I felt the letters went on and on and did not develop this woman into a more mature person from the suffering and turmoil of war. The love portrayed for a man she met as a child was again dwelled upon and the character never goes to God's Word for direction. The latter part of the book was more of a page turner and caught my interest but I was also disappointed. Although we know the most messed up character did indeed find God, there are no details so we are left hanging.
It's ironic I'm doing this review on Halloween. Even though the house wasn't haunted, it had that reputation and the house itself seemed to affect everyone who entered. I would have preferred that God would be invited to dwell there and He could do an extreme makeover that would have awed us and shown us His glory and power.
Susan Meissner is one of my favorite authors. I am sorry to give a bad review but this book was not one of my favorite.

I received this book free from Waterbrook/Multnomah in exchange for this review.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JJ VINE VOICE on October 15, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I was excited to receive this book from the Amazon Vine Program. The synopsis was intriguing.....was there going to be a ghost in an old southern mansion? Was there going to be a supernatural element to this story? The author just didn't deliver that story. The author's writing style was good and the plot had potential, but just didn't quite make it. I absolutely love books set in the south & especially stories with old southern mansions with a Civil War history and I tried to enjoy this book but it just seemed to plod along. I kept waiting for the compelling plot, fascinating characters & haunting questions. Of the three main characters, Adelaid, Marielle & Susannah, Susannah was by far the most interesting. In fact, I think her story alone would have been a better novel. This was a nice book with a nice story but not one I will remember or read again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Diana F. Von Behren TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 23, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Although Susan Meissner's "A Sound Among the Wind" is billed as a ghost story and touted by supernatural romance novelist Susanna Kearsley as a book where her "eyes welled up more than once," this reviewer doubts that the premise, character development and overall resolution will be satisfying enough to provide enthusiastically-received entertainment that forces the heart to pound or extracts any visceral emotion.

For the most part, "A Sound Among the Wind" doesn't try hard enough to connect the interrelationships between its people into a puzzle worth solving. Adelaide, the aging matriarch of Holly Oaks, a Fredericksburg estate that survived the ravaging of Union troops during the Civil War, inhabits the book's center stage. Still grieving for her granddaughter, she must make room in her heart and her home for the new wife of her grandson-in-law. Despite her best intentions, she feels piqued by this onslaught of new life usurping her granddaughter's place within the rather insular confines of her family mansion. Meissner attempts to underline Adelaide's pain and provides the proper mixture of grand dame, Junior Leaguer and conformist determined to keep all things Holly Oaks traditionally perfect and private with an almost sanctimonious aversion to discussion or revelation. However, in order to understand Adelaide, rejoice in her eventual epiphany, and feel that the resolution satisfies and puts all ghosts to rest, Meissner needs to abandon the very attribute that her character Adelaide personifies so well--that of over-protecting her turf with that repressed silence. Meissner expects her readers to embrace the story's solution with the enthusiasm of an enlightenment that never is achieved.
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