About the Book:
In her new novel, White, the national bestselling author of On Folly Beach and the award-winning author of thirteen previous books, weaves together themes of Southern culture, the powerful bond of family, to courage to rebuild in the face of destruction and personal triumph to create an incredibly moving story her fans are sure to embrace.
In the aftermath of tragedy, life goes on—painful and forever altered, but ripe with new beginnings. For Julie Holt, traveling to the beautiful but ravaged coast of Biloxi, Mississippi, is a journey into a secret past and a life she never expected. Julie first knew loss at the age of twelve when her sister disappeared, never to be found. As her once close-knit family grew apart, Julie’s mother obsessively searched for the girl and when her mother died, Julie took up the search, never letting go of the hope.
Then at an art exhibition in New York she meets Monica—a struggling artist and single mother who reminds Julie so much of her sister that she can’t help feeling drawn to her. Monica paints a vivid picture of her family, but never says why or how she lost contact with them. She has another secret: a heart condition that will soon take her life.
When Monica dies, Julie inherits from her an antique portrait as well as custody of her young son, Beau. Taking him back to Biloxi and New Orleans to see the family he has never met, Julie discovers a connection of her own. The portrait, of an old relative, was done by her great-grandfather—and unlocks a family history she never knew.
From her first moments on the South Carolina and Georgia coasts, novelist Karen White was in love. Was it the history—especially that of Charleston and Savannah—the architecture, the sound of the sea, the light, the traditions, the people, the food, the lore? Check all of the above. Add Karen’s storytelling talent, her endless curiosity about relationships and emotions, and her sensitivity to the rhythms of the south, and it seems inevitable that this mix of passions would find its way into her work.
Known for award-winning novels such as Learning to Breathe, the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance 2009 Book of the Year Award finalist The House on Tradd Street, the highly praised The Memory of Water, the four-week SIBA bestseller The Lost Hours, Pieces of the Heart, and her IndieBound national bestseller The Color of Light, Karen has shared her appreciation of the coastal Low country with readers in four of her last six novels.
Italian and French by ancestry, a southerner and a storyteller by birth, Karen has made her home in many different places.
Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, she has also lived in Texas, New Jersey, Louisiana, Georgia, Venezuela and England, where she attended the American School in London. She returned to the states for college and graduated from New Orleans’ Tulane University. Hailing from a family with roots firmly set in Mississippi (the Delta and Biloxi), Karen notes that “searching for home brings me to the south again and again.”
The characters found amongst these pages are both complex and real. Julie and Trey both experience the tragedy and stress of loosing someone they love. But, when both are faced with decisions and huge responsibility, the story comes to life and the reader is taken on a wave of emotions. Julie and Trey learn the true meaning of family and redemption through out this moving novel. I felt myself completely drawn to Julie…for a time, I could imagine myself in her shoes, caring for sweet little Beau and dealing with Trey. I could picture my self in New Orleans along side the coast and watching the waves crashing and seeing the houses that were destroyed during Katrina…..an amazing experience!
Honestly, though, this is not a book that I would have bought from a book store. I tend to stick with mysteries and historical ones from there. But, after reading this now, I can say that I would have been missing out on a wonderfully written story by a truly fantastic author!
This is 5 star worthy and I highly recommend it. You’ll quickly be taken away to the deep south in the town of New Orleans, hear the southern drawl of the natives and make amazing new friends. Karen White will mesmerize you with her incredible talent and if you’re new to her work (like me) you’ll be dying to read more works of fiction by this great author!