The Sweet Gum Tree by Katherine Allred
Publisher: Ellora's Cave on December 2005
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance (Adult)
Sweet tea, corn bread, and soup beans—everyday fare for eight-year-old Alix French, the precocious darling of a respected southern family. But nothing was ordinary about the day she met ten-year-old Nick Anderson, a boy from the wrong side of town. Armed with only a tin of bee balm and steely determination, Alix treats the raw evidence of a recent beating that mars his back, an act that changes both of their lives forever. Through childhood disasters and teenage woes they cling together as friendship turns to love. The future looks rosy until the fateful night when Frank Anderson, Nick's abusive father, is shot to death in his filthy trailer.Suddenly, Nick is gone—leaving Alix alone, confused and pregnant. For the next fifteen years she wrestles with the pain of Nick's abandonment, a bad marriage, her family and friends. But finally, she's starting to get her life back together. Her divorce is almost final, her business is booming, and she's content if not happy -- until the day she looks up and sees Nick standing across the counter. He's back…and he's not alone. Once again Alix is plunged into turmoil and pain as Nick tries to win her love, something she resists with all her strength. Only one thing might break the protective wall she's built around her emotions—the truth about Frank Anderson's death. But when that truth comes out and those walls crumble, neither Alix nor Nick is prepared for the emotional explosion that could destroy as well as heal.
It’s my first book review, and I couldn’t have asked for a better book to start with! I can not say enough about The Sweet Gum Tree! This is one of those books that you can’t forget and are afraid that you will never find anything else that will match up once you’re done. This book is heart-hurting all the way through. You like angst? You will most certainly get it with this book. There were moments where my heart stopped and I had huge lumps in my throat. I had other moments where I stuck my lip out, pouting like a baby because I didn’t want Alix or Nick to hurt. I think I was so connected with these characters that their feelings became mine. This is the true feel of an amazing book…when you lose yourself and become that connected with the characters.
The only bad thing I have to say about the book is that I could have used more. She could have drawn the ending out more. I need more of the future, although the epilogue was great.
I am not gonna lie — I am a cover whore, and this cover isn’t that exciting, but this is definitely a case of Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover! I want you all to experience this great book. Check it out and come back and tell me what you think!