A Sound Among the Trees – by Susan Meissner

A Sound Among the TreesA She Reads Selection


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.

* * *


Susan Meissner

I love stories that cross generations and include both historical and present-day elements. In A Sound Among the Trees, author Susan Meissner spins a tale of a family riddled by secrets that have affected several generations of women. The historical sections are set against the backdrop of the Civil War, which forever changed the lives of the members of this family, who continued to suffer repercussions to the present day. In the end, it’s the discovery of the truth that finally sets them free. The story has page-turning tension, especially the Civil War sections that crackle with suspense and drama. I highly recommend this book!

A Sound Among the Trees is a selection of the SHE READS book club, a division of Proverbs 31 Ministries. If you love to read novels and you like discussing them with other like-minded women, this online book club is for you! Each month, the She Reads book club offers one current title as a featured selection. Readers have vast differences in taste, so diverse genres and authors are chosen, with a total of twelve books per year.

The She Reads website features a blog that regularly discusses books and faith; discussion forums that you can participate in as you read that month’s book; author profiles and interviews; and discussion questions you can use in your own book club.

Click here to visit Susan Meissner online.

Click here to visit the She Reads homepage and blog.


I’m giving away two copies of A Sound Among the Trees! Leave a comment by Sunday at 11:59 pm EST. I’ll randomly select two winners. (Winners must live in the US/Canada.)

Do you usually enjoy historical novels, contemporaries, or books that combine both? What are your favorite genres of fiction?

  1. Even though I recently won a copy of Susan’s book, I’d love to win another to give as a gift. I think I like the historical novel or ones that combine both past and present the best — though I do like present day suspense. I like stories with some meat to them rather than romance, though I’ve read some romance that offers important topics and other elements that can keep my reading. Not into fluff really.

  2. Charise says:

    I have it all ready (won on Megan’s blog!). But I wanted to say that I opened it, read the first page and was all ready intrigued that I didn’t notice my toddler chasing the cat UP the Christmas tree. I broke away from the novel just in time to save all three (baby, cat, tree). Really looking forward to reading more (when baby is sleeping).

  3. I love historical fiction that crosses generations and combines contemporary elements. ‘A Sound Among the Trees’ sounds like a fascinating story with lots of tension and interesting familial themes.

  4. I have not yet won a copy but I think the trailer’s music was very well done. Thank you.

  5. Wendy says:

    Susan is one of the classiest women I’ve encountered online. Just had to put that out there.
    Beautiful author.
    ~ Wendy

  6. I’m in! The books sounds like a great read.

  7. Ann Bracken says:

    I’d love a copy of this book! What a great premise.

    I enjoy good writing, whether it be historical, contemporary, or a combination. Recently I’ve been toying with the idea of someone thrust into modern society from hundreds of years ago, which is most definitely a combination. I know it’s been done, but the shock and awe could be very amusing.

  8. Linda Mahon says:

    I love to read historical stories about and by women. When I pick a book to read it is almost always written by a woman. Sounds like your book has all the ingredients of a book I want to read.

  9. I love historicals, but I also like books that combine history with a contempory setting. Pick me! Are you giving away Nook books too or just paper and print?

  10. I read fairly widely, but my favorite genres would probably be fantasy, romantic suspense, historical, and science fiction. The thing I love most about fantasy, science fiction, and historical novels (even though they might seem very different on the surface) is that they all transport the reader to a “place” they can’t reach in any other way.

  11. Lori says:

    I would love to read this novel. I have an historical novel in my head too – someday I will write it out.

  12. Robin Patchen says:

    Sounds like a great novel. I love Civil War stories, and I’d love to win a copy!

  13. An says:

    My favorite genre is fantasy but I love to read any good book, including historical novels and contemporaries!

  14. Sara-Beth COle says:

    It sounds like a great book to read! I hope I win a copy!

  15. I don’t seek out genre but go story by story–if the story sounds good, then I’m down for whatever. Which is why I’d love to win this book!

  16. Christina says:

    I really enjoy historical fiction and would enjoy reading this wook. Thanks for the cool giveaway.

  17. Dawn Marie Buell says:

    I dropped out of the reading scene a while back after having children. And, since I was in grade school I loved to write and haven’t had time for that much either. Purchasing self help books and signing up for sites such as your gives me inspiration and hope that one day I may be able to achieve the dream. I’d love to read your book!!!!

  18. Cheryl says:

    Historical fiction intertwined with modern day–I’m working on a similiar, yet very different, project for my MFA. :-)

  19. Enchanting. Susan’s book sounds like a terrific read. Our daughter, Rachael in Texas devours stories of historical import and relational ties that bring hope. I would love to add “A Sound Among the Trees” to her collection. Thanks, Rachelle.

  20. Yes! I’m in for this! Hope I win!

    I most enjoy books that are so engrossing I can’t put them down. . .any genre.

  21. Everything said about the book makes me want to read it. I do like mixing history with today. Tess Gerritsen’s “The Bone Garden” does this. It is a mystery suspense page turner with the creepy truth about medical history of the 1800’s in America.
    I will check out the web sights, Thanks!

  22. A great read, no doubt. Bringing the past to life, and then intertwining characters has got to be challenging but fun!

    A great stocking stuffer, indeed.

  23. I’m looking forward to reading this one. The Shape of Mercy is one of my all-time favorites.

  24. Vera Soroka says:

    This sounds very interesting. I would love to win a copy!

  25. Kerrie Anderson says:

    I love many genres and especially historical fiction. A Sound Among Trees seems intriguing especially as it is set in the south which I am drawn to as I have southern roots myself. I would love a copy.

  26. I like both genres but especially enjoy Susan’s way of combining the two. With characters not easily forgotten, her books have been some of my favorites!

  27. Paula Yantorno says:

    I love the idea of historical mixed with present day…Thank you for the recommendation!

  28. V.V. Denman says:

    Sounds like a great book!

    My faves are romantic women’s fiction and romance, but if a book’s really well-written, anything goes. :)

  29. Carol Wong says:

    I love all historicals, whether they are soley in one period of time or they have that period and today or not. I especially love historicals involving war or the aftermath of war, or before the war like ‘Kitchen House’.


  30. Beth Browne says:

    I’m not a big fan of historical fiction, but one of my favorite books of all time is Gone To Soldiers by Marge Piercy, set in WWII. It’s the writing that gets me. I’d love to give this book a try!

  31. Elizabeth Kitchens says:

    The tone of the story is much different, but I can’t help but think about the Abbot and Costello movie Time of Lives. It’s about two people who are mistaken as traitors and shot during the Revolutionary War. The new owners of the estate they haunt help them prove their innocence.

  32. Linnette says:

    Sounds intriguing! Count me in. I’d love to see how the “haunting” is handled. =)

  33. Lori says:

    I enjoy all kinds of fiction (general, mysteries, science fiction, thrillers, fantasy, historical). I usually like a story that has strong women characters.

  34. Susan is one of my favorite authors. I love her word weaving. Pick me! Pick me!

  35. LOVE historical fiction, especially pioneer/Civil War eras.

  36. I confess to going in spurts… for a few months I will read historical, then switch to contemporary, and back again. I am an equal opportunity fiction reader :0) jennaATjenna VictoriaDOT com

  37. Yes please! This book sounds amazing! I love historical mixed with contemporary and romance, great mix!

  38. S. Wiersma says:

    I love historical novels, especially Christian historical romances!

  39. Judy S says:

    The books sounds wonderful! Will definitely be on my to-buy list if my luck is non-existent! :-)

    Have a super weekend!

  40. Historical novels are my favorite. My first taste was Winds of War. It is the combination of learning historical facts and feeling the pain and triumph of those within the time that really grabs me. Perhaps that is why I loathe vampire novels. There’s nothing but fluff in them. Twilight doesn’t sparkle next to The Zion Chronicles or Shogun. Then again, I’m a man, so I need that left brain input to keep me engaged. O.o (dodges his wife’s punch in the arm.)

  41. That sounds like an interesting book. I’m currently reading The Secret Trial of Robert E Lee which is also historical fiction set during the Civil War. Regarding the US/Canada requirement, I’m a U.S. citizen currently living in Germany per my husband’s military orders, but we have an APO box which is generally considered American for postage purposes, so hopefully that counts if I’m selected.

  42. I love historical fiction. I love learning history that way. As for Susan Meissner’s books, I want the contemporary part of the story to go on and on. At first I wasn’t too cool on the juxtaposition of historic fiction with contemporary, but have warmed to the idea. Above all, I like that Susan is not afraid to tackle contemporary issues in her books-without shaming and preaching. The history preaches; Susan counsels.

  43. This is the second time this book has caught my eye — I guess I’d better add it to my list even if I don’t win! :)

    I’m an amateur genealogist, and I think it’s a good complementary hobby for people who love reading/writing historical fiction. I love to imagine stories to explain the invariable gaps in the records or questions posted by mysterious silent photographs, and to explore what impact the past might have on the present. I like many types of fiction, and stories that blend past and present are definitely on my list.

    • Joe Pote says:

      Brandy, I have fun with that sort of thing, too.

      Several years ago, my oldest son was given a 5th grade assignment of writing a eulogy for George Washington, as though written by a contemporary.

      We had a lot of fun coming up with ideas of how to spin that idea. He wound up writing it as though he had discovered an old document written by Captain William Pote, a relatively well known person in our historical family tree (brother to our direct ancestor), who lived in the same time period as George Washington (best known for his journal while a captive during the French-Indian war).

      It was a lot of fun. My son learned a lot about both family history and American history…and he won a contest!

  44. Joe Pote says:

    My two favorite genres to read are Fiction Thriller and Historical Biography. However, I do also enjoy Historical Fiction…provided it is done well enough to make it feel believable as something that “could have really happened.”

    Your description of “A Sound Among Trees” sounds very interesting. It reminds me a bit of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s style of incorporating a multi-generational sin or curse into a historical novel.

    I’m intrigued!

  45. Terri Thompson says:

    Sounds like a wonderful story! The reading groups sounds fun too.

  46. Cathy Mealey says:

    This book would be right up my mom’s reading alley – entering on her behalf and then when she is done I will borrow it!

  47. Angela Pantony
    I love historical fiction. To my surprise, I was engrossed by Crime and Punishment many years ago after my husband recommended it as well as War and Peace. Perhaps it was from listening to my grandfather tell me tales of the past from his historical research and trying to make a connection with the real people in another time and place. I joke that War and Peace engaged the men with the war saga and the women with the family saga both intertwined. There is something about the broad and sweeping mural of War and Peace that allows me to enter into its world as a welcome guest, free to experience and interact with the characters. I learned so much about frailty of the human heart, the ravages of war inside and out, the beauty and savagery of human nature…in the broadness of scope in the historical backdrop, contrasted by the dear and lovable characters that you want so much to be at peace and enjoy all that life has to offer.

  48. I love stories that intertwine history with a current setting. Even the main story is contemporary, it intrigues me to discover what history led to the contemporary setting and situation.

  49. Nikole Hahn says:

    I have come to like all kinds of books. That one reminds me of a Nora Roberts novel/movie I saw once.

  50. I have reading patterns. At certain times of the year, holidays in particular, I like a good, juicy historical romance. And of course in the summer, I’m a sucker for a more contemporary beach read.

  51. I love the hybrid contemporary/historical–so much that I’ve written two of them. :-)

  52. Flora Sawyer says:

    This book draws me – I do love historical novels – especially those set during the Civil War –

  53. Teri Metts says:

    I enjoy both historical and contemporary fiction, although some of my favorite novels are ones that include both past and present. This looks like a great book! One I would enjoy.

  54. Kelly Combs says:

    I usually prefer contemporary novels, but as a Virginian myself, I would love to read this book!

  55. Jane Steen says:

    Sounds like a great book. I also love novels where the past and present are brought together.

  56. DIXIE says:

    As an almost-southener (Oklahoman), I enjoy southern historical stories. I also like suspense and women’s fiction. The trailer is delightful, hope I win.

  57. Elaine Pease says:

    Since I’m working on a history/mystery YA, I’m devouring anything I can get my hands on in that genre. And this sounds like a “peach.”

  58. Dana McNeely says:

    I read both historical and contemporary fiction, but can’t say I’ve read too many that combine both. It’s an intriguing premise. I’d love to read the book.

  59. Angelica Hagman says:

    Sounds great! This may be the first time I read a Christian-contemporary-historical! :)

  60. Tammi Tremblay says:

    I first put this book on hold at my local library when it was first the book-of-the-month at She Reads. The book was finally available and I just checked it out today. I sat in the library and started reading. I was unable to read to far since my boys were causing a disturbance (plus the library was getting ready to close soon); however, I’m hooked. I can’t wait till the boys are in bed so I can read some more.

    I love historical fiction, as well as contemporary. I also enjoy suspense and mystery; however, I usually tend to shy a way from strictly pure romance novels.

  61. Jenny E. says:

    I love Susan Meissner, and especially enjoyed what she did in The Shape of Mercy. So I guess I like it when books link the past and the present. I’d love to win this book!

  62. Thanks for helping people find out about Susan’s wonderful book! Several of you said you were immediately hooked when you started reading it, as was I. I read it in one sitting– and I rarely do that. I think I’ve only done that twice this year. Definitely plan on picking up a copy if you don’t win!! Rachelle, looking forward to working with you on new She Reads title in the new year!!

  63. Brianna says:

    I can’t get enough historical fiction lately. This sounds like a great read.

  64. Amy Sorrells says:

    Love me some free books! Glad I’m not too late to enter the contest! :)

  65. Care says:

    Toss my name in the hat too! I would love to win a copy!

  66. Cyntha Ivers says:

    I love anything related to women and the American Revolution! Thanks for the book giveaway!

  67. I like historical fiction, present-day or the combination of both.Love reading the written word. i love storylines with lots of tension. Would so love the book, looks great,curl up in a warm blanket with a cup of hot tea…I am all in!!!!

  68. david says:

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