" Book Review - The Sweet Gum Tree by Katherine Allred | Chris' Book Blog Emporium

Book Review - The Sweet Gum Tree by Katherine Allred

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

10 Brilliant stars !!!!!

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.

Book Blurb

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.

“the opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference”

This book is beautifully well written. It's passionate, but not steamy passionate. We start to build our relationship with the characters when they are 8 and 10. We get the story from Alix POV as she is 8 yrs old . And We continue the journey with her POV as she grows into an Adult woman . Alix comes from a family that is full of love , although her father is not in her life as she is young, The judge (her Grandfather) is there to be her male role model. We start this story with Alix being 8 yrs old and Nick being 10 yrs old . Nick comes from the wrong side of the tracks , he is the son of the town drunk , who owns a salvage yard , and beats the crap outta Nick anytime he wants . Alix discovers that Nick is being hurt by his dad and she vows to save him .

From that point on the two are inseparable they spend every minute they can together and a friendship builds which later on in their teens turns into love . There is a BIG storm Brewing behind all this though and that is Lindsey the daughter of the town mom who sleeps with anyone. Nick takes Lindsey under his wing to protect her and help her . and it is that undoing that drives a HUGE wedge Between Alix and Nick ... I will not tell you more then that because honestly you need to read the story to get the FULL effect of the characters and the story .

This story made me , cry, feel the loss of love, Get Really angry at times , but in the end I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS BOOK !!!!!

“I promise you this. I’ll love you until the day I die even if I have to live without you. And if it’s fifty years from now, you come home, Nick Anderson. Do you hear me? I’ll be waiting on you.”

I loved the symbolism of the sweet gum tree in this love story between Alix French and Nick Anderson, which could definitely be considered “epic”. I loved both these characters, though there were moments they both exasperated me and made my heart just ache.

“Lies and half-truths hurt not only the liar, but the people they love most.”

“You can’t turn love on and off like a light switch, no matter how hard you try. All you can do is wall it off, one brick at a time, until you’ve created an impenetrable fortress around your emotions. And once that fortress is built, you camouflage it so well that even you can’t see it anymore.”

This book will break your heart, it is definitely one of the sweetest yet saddest books I’ve read. Ever.

I felt like I was inside the story and watching it, feeling all the emotions the characters felt. Not one character did I end up not liking and for the life of me, it started out that way. But by the end, I called them all my family. My friends. I cried when I finished because not only is the ending bittersweet, but I didn't want to leave them.

I would recommend this book to ANYONE who has not read it .......

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  1. Off to get a copy, will definitely Have to read. Great post.

  2. This is one of my most favorite books ever. I'm so glad to see you enjoyed it just as much as I did! :)