Sunday, December 16, 2012
The Sweet Gum Tree by Katherine Allred
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.
So over the years I have read A LOT of romance books and I've pretty much enjoyed them all. Most of them are the same type of story. Girl meets boy, girl falls in love with boy, boy does something stupid, girl takes forever to forgive him, boy does something amazing to make girl forgive him, boy and girl live happily ever after. Well...this book...oh my gosh. Where do I begin?? I think I have to say that this book is the BEST contemporary romance novel I have ever read! It's a re-read type book. So much stuff happens and it's not in the usual order that a typical romance novel has. When I was reading this book, I'd be reading a long and everything is happy and then all of a sudden..BAM..something crazy happens and I was like, WHAT!! I can't believe that just happened!! This story made me laugh, made me cry, made me yell..it made me feel all of these different emotions..it was just...wow. You have to read this book! I can't even put into words everything I feel for this story. I love the characters. I love the way the story is written. It's just amazing!!