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The Beach Trees Paperback – Bargain Price, May 3, 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 250 customer reviews

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Paperback, Bargain Price, May 3, 2011
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Editorial Reviews


“[White] describes the land and location of the story in marvelous detail...[This is what] makes White one of the best new writers on the scene today.”—The Huffington Post

The Beach Trees has beach in the title and has an ocean setting, but it’s more than just a ‘beach read.’ It’s a worthy novel to read any time of year—any time you wonder if it’s possible to start anew, regardless of the past.”—Durham Herald-Sun

“Tightly plotted...a tangled history as steamy and full of mysteries as the Big Easy itself.”—Atlanta Journal Constitution

“Sense of place is high on the list of things that White does exceedingly well...But place is more than mere setting in this novel; it is also a character, as tenacious and resilient as the people who call this region home...I give this book my highest recommendation.”—The Romance Dish

“White has once again written a novel that is both heart-wrenching and heartwarming, and is filled with all the gentle nuances of the graceful, but steadfast, South...Readers will find White’s prose an uplifting experience as she is a truly gifted storyteller.”—Las Vegas Review-Journal

“White’s ability to write a book that keeps you hankering for more is her strong suit. The Beach Trees is a great book about the power of family and connection that you won’t soon forget.”—South Charlotte Weekly

“White...weaves together themes of Southern culture, the powerful bond of family, and the courage to rebuild in the face of destruction to create an incredibly moving story her dedicated fans are sure to embrace.”—The Moultrie News

About the Author

Karen White is the bestselling author of numerous novels including After the Rain, Sea Change, Falling Home, On Folly Beach, and The Color of Light, as well as the Tradd Street novels including The Strangers on Montagu Street and The Girl on Legare Street.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: NAL Trade; 1 edition (May 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451233077
  • ASIN: B005IUH9CO
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.9 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (250 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #736,738 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Beach Trees by Karen White is a novel of love, family, and the endurance of both friendship and life. Karen White is one of my favorite authors and in my opinion she is a wonderful writer and creator of beautiful stories. In The Beach Trees we travel to Biloxi, Mississippi which had been ravaged by Hurricane Katrina but is being painstakingly rebuilt by people with a lot of hope and faith.

Julie Holt has had her share of tragedy in her life. At the young age of twelve her sister is taken while Julie is supposed to be watching her. Julie has spent her life searching for Chelsea; it has consumed her. She simply can't believe Chelsea is really gone; as long as there is no body, there is still hope that she may be found or come home. Now Julie is heading to Biloxi to a beach house left to her by her late friend Monica. Along with that beach house Monica also left her five year old son Beau to Julie.

Julie arrives to find that the beach house no longer exists. It had been destroyed by Katrina. She is devastated and has no idea what to do next. Monica had told her to see Ray Von, an elderly woman who gives her a portrait that Julie's own great-grandfather had painted and that is worth a lot of money. She tells her to take Beau to New Orleans to meet Beau's great-grandmother Aimee and that she can be sure of a place to stay there.

Julie dreads the meeting as she will have to tell Aimee and Monica's brother Trey that she has passed away but she knows that both Beau and his family deserve to know each other. As she expected they are devastated but at least now they know what happened to Monica after she disappeared. They are thrilled to have a piece of Monica though in Beau and encourage Julie to stay. Julie takes to Aimee right away and vice versa.
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I have read a number of Karen White's books and in my opinion, this one is the best yet. I did not find it slow moving at all, but through in examining each character and each setting. White makes is clear that the damage to the Gulf Coast from Katrina was devastating. While New Orleans suffered the aftermath of flood caused by the levee failures, the wind took its greatest toll on the Mississippi coast along with the thirty something foot tide. White is able to capture the feelings of those left to cope with these disasters, and she also shows their determination to re-build and move forward again. Someone has said, "It's the price we pay for living in paradise." White understands that and brings it out in her story.
The characters are well formed and the plot of The Beach Trees keeps the reader guessing till the very last page. If you are looking for a really good read whether for the beach or the quietness of your own den, this is a definitely recommended book. Good job, Karen White, keep it up.
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By A Customer on May 6, 2011
Format: Paperback
Not long after obtaining possession of a Katrina (don't mention that name in the Gulf) ravaged beach house in Biloxi, Julie Holt leaves New York for the Gulf coast. Her late best friend Monica Guidry who died from congested heart failure gave custody of her five year old son Beau to Julie as she trusted her buddy to take care of her child.

Julie never learned why Monica fled her family but hopes they will welcome Beau. Elderly Ray Von Williams gives her a sealed box sent by Monica to her to give to Julie and tells her to go to New Orleans to Beau's maternal great grandmother Aimee so they have a place to stay. Inside the box is a portrait by renowned Abe Holt, Julie's great-grandfather. Aimee and his Uncle Trey welcome the New Yorker and her ward. Julie begins to learn what drove Monica from Biloxi though what she learns remains confusing. However, what she finds out reminds her of what happened to her family when she was twelve and her sister Chelsea was kidnapped.

The story line contains two subplots respectively told by the prime two females; Aimee in the 1950s and Julie in the present. The comparison between the Gulf through the eyes of the native in the 1950s and that of the Massachusetts born Yankee five years after Katrina will fascinate the audience. The mystery of why Monica cut off her family who Julie believes she cherished based on the stories she shared with her lacks suspense so it is not as interesting as the tour of the Gulf past and present from Biloxi to New Orleans.

Harriet Klausner
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I loved the title and the cover of the book, and I tried hard to like the book, but it was a muddled mess. It seemed like all of the characters had missing sisters and murdered mothers, and the generations skipped back and forth in a dizzying attempt to confuse readers into thinking there was a story hidden somewhere. I persevered to the end, hoping for improvement, and now I'm just relieved to be finished. I will never read another of White's books.
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Format: Paperback
The Beach Trees is one of the best books I have read. Karen's story lines are always great, but this book is superb. The characters are interesting and the scenery that is set...so vivid! I felt like I was in New Orleans and Biloxi as I was reading. Once I started the book, I could not put it down. Summer read, winter read, what ever you are looking for, this is it. Julie is the lost soul that you want to help, Aimee is the grandmother that you adore, Trey is the good looking guy, and Beau is the precious little boy that we all have met. I guarantee complete satisfaction with this one. Thanks, Karen, for another thoughtful, entertaining read! Keep writing, please!
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